Tissue engineering is an interdisciplinary field that uses a combination of cells, engineering, and suitable biochemical factors to improve or replace biological tissues. Nowadays, as the field of stem cell research is being developed, human organ regenerative therapies from one single stem cell are expected to cure many diseases that would otherwise require an organ transplant.
For tissue engineering, you need four things:
A scaffold often mimics the extracellular matrix and helps cell migration, and delivers growth factors or expressed biochemicals. Biodegradability of the scaffold is an important factor because it would ideally be absorbed without any surgical removal. The common scaffold used in modern biomedical engineering currently supports cellular structures. But if we consider the cost, environmental consequences, and other potential factors, we know that this scaffold still has a long way to go in terms of efficiency.
What if we could use biowaste, more specifically fish scales, to create a better scaffold?
The answer is simple: collagen.
Type I collagen has a highly crystalline structure made of three amino acid chains cross-linked together. And when these highly rigid structures are distorted by the mechanical stress, molecular dipoles in its structure accumulate the electric charge on the surface. Additionally, collagen is one of the most abundant structural proteins in animals; we have it in our hair, bones, and many other tissues. It also happens to be the main component of fish scales, which makes it both easy to use and cost-efficient. And, most importantly, we know that collagen is much more biocompatible than other metallic batteries and degradable.
Thus our team presents an innovative solution, the Collagen-Derived Engineering Scaffold (CODES). Click through our website to learn more.