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Preparation and characterization of novel elastin-like polypeptide-collagen composites

Authors

  • Shruti S. Amruthwar,

    1. Department of Biomedical Materials Science, School of Dentistry, University of Mississippi Medical Center, 2500 North State Street, Jackson, Mississippi 39216
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  • Aaron D. Puckett,

    1. Department of Biomedical Materials Science, School of Dentistry, University of Mississippi Medical Center, 2500 North State Street, Jackson, Mississippi 39216
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  • Amol V. Janorkar

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biomedical Materials Science, School of Dentistry, University of Mississippi Medical Center, 2500 North State Street, Jackson, Mississippi 39216
    • Department of Biomedical Materials Science, School of Dentistry, University of Mississippi Medical Center, 2500 North State Street, Jackson, Mississippi 39216
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  • How to cite this article: Amruthwar SS, Puckett AD, Janorkar AV. 2013. Preparation and characterization of novel elastin-like polypeptide-collagen composites. J Biomed Mater Res Part A 2013:101A: 2383–2391.

Abstract

Collagen-based biomaterials suffer from poor mechanical properties and rapid degradation. Elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs) possess good biocompatibility and have unique solution properties that allow them to coacervate above a critical temperature. The objective of this research was to prepare a series of freeze dried ELP-collagen composite scaffolds as a proof of concept. Combination of ELP and collagen has the potential to produce composite structures with varying strengths. Four different composite structures were prepared by varying the ratio of ELP to collagen. Increased ELP content in the scaffolds appears to have reduced the residual water content based on Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy and differential scanning calorimetry. Scanning electron microscopy images of ELP-collagen composites showed a three-dimensional, open porous structure with the formation of characteristic aggregates of ELP. The mechanical testing experiments showed that the elastic modulus, tensile strength, and toughness of ELP-collagen scaffolds were significantly greater than neat collagen scaffolds. The improved mechanical properties were attributed to a homogeneous network structure with additional reinforcement coming from the ELP aggregates. Our study confirms that ELP-collagen composites with superior physical and mechanical properties compared to collagen scaffolds can be produced. Further optimization of design parameters will allow producing ELP-collagen composites for specific biomedical applications. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A, 2013.

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