Electromechanical properties of dried tendon and isoelectrically focused collagen hydrogels
Zeugolis, Dimitrios I.
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Denning, D,Abu-Rub, MT,Zeugolis, DI,Habelitz, S,Pandit, A,Fertala, A,Rodriguez, BJ (2012) 'Electromechanical properties of dried tendon and isoelectrically focused collagen hydrogels'. Acta Biomaterialia, 8 :3073-3079.
Assembling artificial collagenous tissues with structural, functional, and mechanical properties which mimic natural tissues is of vital importance for many tissue engineering applications. While the electro-mechanical properties of collagen are thought to play a role in, for example, bone formation and remodeling, this functional property has not been adequately addressed in engineered tissues. Here the electro-mechanical properties of rat tail tendon are compared with those of dried isoelectrically focused collagen hydrogels using piezoresponse force microscopy under ambient conditions. In both the natural tissue and the engineered hydrogel D-periodic type I collagen fibrils are observed, which exhibit shear piezoelectricity. While both tissues also exhibit fibrils with parallel orientations, Fourier transform analysis has revealed that the degree of parallel alignment of the fibrils in the tendon is three times that of the dried hydrogel. The results obtained demonstrate that isoelectrically focused collagen has similar structural and electro-mechanical properties to that of tendon, which is relevant for tissue engineering applications. (c) 2012 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.