The effects of collagen concentration and crosslink density on the biological, structural and mechanical properties of collagen-GAG scaffolds for bone tissue engineering.
journal contributionposted on 22.11.2019, 15:05 by Claire M. Tierney, Matthew G. Haugh, Jakob Liedl, Fergal Mulcahy, Brian Hayes, Fergal J. O'Brien
In this study, we examined the effects of varying collagen concentration and crosslink density on the biological, structural and mechanical properties of collagen-GAG scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. Three different collagen contents (0.25%, 0.5% and 1% collagen) and two different dehydrothermal (DHT) crosslinking processes  105 degrees C for 24 h and  150 degrees C for 48 h were investigated. These scaffolds were assessed for (1) pore size, (2) permeability (3) compressive strength and (4) cell viability. The largest pore size, permeability rate, compressive modulus, cell number and cell metabolic activity was all found to occur on the 1% collagen scaffold due to its increased collagen composition and the DHT treatment at 150 degrees C was found to significantly improve the mechanical properties and not to affect cellular number or metabolic activity. These results indicate that doubling the collagen content to 1% and dehydrothermally crosslinking the scaffold at 150 degrees C for 48 h has enhanced mechanical and biological properties of the scaffold making it highly attractive for use in bone tissue engineering.