Collagen is another widely used biomaterial that has found popularity in commercial applications, such as photography. Collagen has more recently been used in tissue engineering applications, by creating hydrogels that provide structure to engineered tissue.
This video introduces collagen as a biomaterial, demonstrates how it is…
In order to maintain tissue organization, many animal cells are surrounded by structural molecules that make up the extracellular matrix (ECM). Together, the molecules in the ECM maintain the structural integrity of tissue as well as the remarkable specific properties of certain tissues.
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is commonly composed of ground substance, a gel-like fluid, fibrous components, and many structurally and functionally diverse molecules. These molecules include polysaccharides called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). GAGs occupy most of the extracellular space and often take up a large volume relative to their mass. This results in a matrix that can withstand tremendous forces of compression. Most GAGs are linked to proteins—creating proteoglycans. These molecules retain sodium ions based on their positive charge and therefore attract water, which keeps the ECM hydrated. The ECM also contains rigid fibers such as collagens—the primary protein component of the ECM. Collagens are the most abundant proteins in animals, making up 25% of protein by mass. A large diversity of collagens with structural similarities provide tensile strength to many tissues. Notably, tissue like skin, blood vessels, and lungs need to be both strong and stretchy to perform their physiological role. A protein called elastin gives p…
Source: Peiman Shahbeigi-Roodposhti and Sina Shahbazmohamadi, Biomedical Engineering Department, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut
A scanning electron microscope (SEM) is an instrument that uses an electron beam to nondestructively image and characterize conductive materials in a vacuum. As an analogy, an…
Source: Hannah L. Cebull1, Arvin H. Soepriatna1, John J. Boyle2 and Craig J. Goergen1
1Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
2Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science, Washington University in St. Louis, St Louis, Missouri