A tough act to follow: collagen hydrogel modifications to improve mechanical and growth factor loading capabilities

Sarrigiannidis, S. O., Rey, J. M., Dobre, O. , Gonzalez Garcia, C., Dalby, M. J. and Salmeron-Sanchez, M. (2021) A tough act to follow: collagen hydrogel modifications to improve mechanical and growth factor loading capabilities. Materials Today Bio, 10, 100098. (doi: 10.1016/j.mtbio.2021.100098) (PMID:33763641) (PMCID:PMC7973388)

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Collagen hydrogels are amongst the most well-studied platforms for drug delivery and in situ tissue engineering thanks to their low cost, low immunogenicity, versatility, biocompatibility and similarity to the natural extracellular matrix (ECM). Despite collagen being largely responsible for the tensile properties of native connective tissues, collagen hydrogels have relatively low mechanical properties in the absence of covalent crosslinking. This is particularly problematic when attempting to regenerate stiffer and stronger native tissues such as bone. Furthermore, in contrast to hydrogels based on ECM proteins such as fibronectin, collagen hydrogels do not have any growth factor (GF)-specific binding sites and often cannot sequester physiological (small) amounts of the protein. GF binding and in situ presentation are properties that can aid significantly in the tissue regeneration process by dictating cell fate without causing adverse effects such as malignant tumorigenic tissue growth. To alleviate these issues, researchers have developed several strategies to increase the mechanical properties of collagen hydrogels using physical or chemical modifications. This can expand the applicability of collagen hydrogels to tissues subject to a continuous load. GF delivery has also been explored, mathematically and experimentally, through the development of direct loading, chemical crosslinking, electrostatic interaction and other carrier systems. This comprehensive review explores the ways in which these parameters, mechanical properties and GF delivery, have been optimised in collagen hydrogel systems, and examines their in vitro or in vivo biological effect. This review can therefore be a useful tool to streamline future studies in the field, by pointing researchers into the appropriate direction according to their collagen hydrogel design requirements.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by Medical Research Scotland, EPSRC (EP/P001114/1) and a programme of research funded by the Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation. M.S.S. acknowledges support from a grant from the UK Regenerative Medicine Platform “Acellular / Smart Materials – 3D Architecture” (MR/R015651/1). The graphic abstract was created using BioRender.com.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Salmeron-Sanchez, Professor Manuel and Dobre, Dr Oana and Rey, Jose and Sarrigiannidis, Stylianos and Dalby, Professor Matthew and Gonzalez Garcia, Dr Cristina
Authors: Sarrigiannidis, S. O., Rey, J. M., Dobre, O., Gonzalez Garcia, C., Dalby, M. J., and Salmeron-Sanchez, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Molecular Biosciences
College of Science and Engineering
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Biomedical Engineering
Journal Name:Materials Today Bio
ISSN (Online):2590-0064
Published Online:12 February 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Materials Today Bio 10: 100098
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
173192Engineering growth factor microenvironments- a new therapeutic paradigm for regenerative medicineManuel Salmeron-SanchezEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/P001114/1ENG - Biomedical Engineering
301095UKRMP2 Acellular/Smart Materials 3D Architecture HubManuel Salmeron-SanchezMedical Research Council (MRC)MMRE_P75176 (MR/R015651/1ENG - Biomedical Engineering