Collagen-based biomaterials have a large range of applications both in vivo and in vitro.
In vivo, collagen-based tissue is used in skin replacement, bone substitutes, and to generate artificial blood vessels and valves. Collagen is also used in drug delivery systems including, shields in ophthalmology, sponges for burns/wounds, mini-pellets and tablets for protein delivery, gel formulation in combination with liposomes for sustained drug delivery, as controlling material for transdermal delivery, and nanoparticles for gene delivery and basic matrices for cell culture systems. In vitro, collagen scaffolds contribute to research in cancer, electrophysiological protocols, neuron myelination, immunology and many other areas.
Excellent biocompatibility due to weak antigenicity and safety due to biodegradability, makes collagen a primary resource in medical applications.
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- Ear, Nose Throat
- General & Gastroenterology surgery
- Plastic & reconstructive surgery
- Preclinical Research
- Tissue Engineering
- Wound Repair
Dental bone void filler
Ear, Nose Throat:
General & Gastroenterology surgery:
Tear duct plugs
Bone void fillers
Demineralized bone matrix
- Plastic & reconstructive surgery:
Bone void fillers
Soft tissue reinforcement grafts
- Preclinical Research:
Cell substrates & other assays
- Tissue Engineering:
Sealants and adhesives
Injections for incontinence
- Wound Repair:
Bone Void Fillers
Collagen has been used as implantable carriers for bone inducing proteins and is used as a bone void filler and substiture due to its ability to encourage bone growth. Collagen sponges are used for bone-related protein carriers.
De-Mineralized Bone Matrix
Demineralized bone matrix (DBM) from bovine sources has had the inorganic mineral removed, leaving behind the organic "collagen" matrix. Removing bone mineral exposes more biologically active bone morphogenetic proteins. As a result of the demineralization process, DBM is more biologically active than undemineralized bone grafts.
Collagen-based drug delivery systems include injectable microspheres based on gelatin (degraded form of collagen), implantable collagen–synthetic polymer hydro gels, interpenetrating networks of collagen and synthetic polymer collagen membranes for ophthalmic delivery. Gel, hydrogel, and liposomes are all forms used for drug delivery.
Collagen provides an attachment framework for the adhesion and growth of certain cell types in vivo. Collagen type I is suitable for endothelial and epithelial cells, muscle cells and hepatocytes.
Collagen membranes can be made from type I bovine collagen. They are used in dental applications to inhibit the rapid regrowth of skin when implanting bone which takes longer to regenerate. Collagen membranes are naturally absorbed by the body, so they do not require surgical removal. They also promote the attachment of new connective tissue and prevent blood loss by encouraging clotting.
Oral surgeons use collagen plugs to reconstruct jaw bone in order to accommodate a dental implant. A specially prepared bone graft is inserted into an empty tooth socket and retained in place with a collagen pug which is absorbed by the body. Collagen plugs control bleeding and facilitate healing.
Colllagen makes a good non immunogenic soft tissue filler. Injected into the skin collagen helps fill in facial wrinkles, restoring a smoother appearance.
Collagen ﬁlm is used as a gene delivery carrier for osteo-induction.
Surgeons repairing skin, dura and other use collagen matrices and collagen sponges to encourage healing and to support the growth of new tissue.
Collagenous hemostats present a modern standard for wound care and during surgery. Their well known in-vivo compatibility and rapid resorption promote efficient healing. Prepared from purified bovine collagen and shredded into fibrils the hemostat presents a large surface area which traps platelets. The platelets aggregate in the interstices of the fibrils to form a plug. In surgical applications, unlike a clamp, no mechanical action is involved. The surgeon presses the hemostat against a bleeding site, and the collagen aids clotting to stop bleeding.
Stress incontinence is the sudden leakage of urine caused by physical activities that put stress on the abdomen. Injecting collagen protein on both sides of the urethra relieved symptoms in about two-thirds of the patients for longer than a year.
Peripheral nerve injuries are among the main challenges in trauma centers. Collagen tubes can help to connect the two stubs of a damaged nerve. To improve healing, companies enrich the neurotrophic factors within the tubes to build a microenvironment, which enhances nerve regeneration after injury.
Collagen ophthalmic “shields” act like “bandage contact lenses.” They contain drugs formulated to and gradually dissolve on the cornea as the body absorbs the collagen.
Collagen products are available in solution and lyophilized powder. Researchers use collagen substrates for cell attachment, cell orientation, cell migration or cell-ECM studies.
Collagen is a major component of the extracellular matrix (ECM). As such, it is a natural choice for biological coatings in many applications. Type I collagens are most frequently used for coatings. Stents can exude drugs and genes. To fix drugs to the stent, medical device manufacturers combine them with collagen and spray the mixture in thin layers on the wall of the device. Because collagen is naturally absorbed, it can be manufactured for controlled release of the embedded drug or nucleotides.
Tear Duct Plugs
Punctal plugs are tiny, collagen-based devices inserted into tear ducts to block drainage. This increases the eye's tear film and surface moisture to relieve dry eyes. Also known as punctum plugs, lacrimal plugs or occluders, these devices often are no larger than a grain of rice.
The goal of tissue engineering is to regenerate damaged tissues by combining cells from the body with porous scaffold biomaterials. These act as templates for tissue regeneration and help to guide new tissue growth. There are two major approaches to tissue engineering. Atelo, type I collagen has well demonstrated advantages for both cell-free or introduced cell methods. Tissue engineers have used porous collagen lattice sponges to support the growth of numerous tissue types. Collagen sponges have also been developed with embedded materials like demineralized bone to encourage cartilage differentiation both in vitro and in vivo.
Sealants and Adhesives
Collagen mixtures can seal wounds in many places in the body and has been used internally to seal blood vessels and externally on the skin lesions. They can also promote tissue adhesion.
Collagenous wound covers are very useful in the treatment of severe burns and as a dressing for many types of wounds, such as pressure sores or bed sores, donor sites from where skin grafts have been taken, surgical sites, leg ulcers etc. These have the capacity to absorb large amounts of tissue secretions, lead to smooth adherence to the wet wound and maintain a low-moisture climate in the wound and shield against mechanical harm and secondary bacterial infection.