Conception and development of polymeric biomimetically proactive structures for the regeneration of the cardio-vascular tissue


People involved: Simone Vesentini, Alberto Redaelli

Funding source: Italian-Canadian Foreign Ministeries

Funding period: 2004 - 2006

Partners: Laboratory for Biomaterials and Bioengineering polymeric and biomimetic surfaces, Universitè Laval, Hopital Saint Francois d’Assise, Quebec City, Canada.

Collagen is the most used naturally scaffold material. The ability of collagen type I to host different cell phenotype in vitro and its low antigenecity in vivo are well-known. However, the principal drawback of collagen-based materials consists in its low mechanical properties. The present research is aimed at understanding the relationship between the structural organization and the mechanical function of soft connective tissues. Knowledge of this relationship allows to understand connective tissue performance, as well as the role of their substructures in contributing to their mechanical properties.
To address this topic, a multiscale approach has been developed: the estimation of the mechanical properties, at the molecular level, of different substructures has been conducted by means of a molecular mechanics approach; lastly, these mechanical features have been introduced within a upper level model, that is the collagen fibril assembly. The major goal is to improve the properties of collagen based scaffolds, proposing innovative cross linking methods for collagen fibrils bio-mimicking the natural architecture of soft connective tissues and to develop appropriate strategies to tailor an innovative bioMIMetic Scaffold (BioMIMS).