Istituto di Cristallografia - CNR

Travelling through the Natural Hierarchies of Type I Collagen with X-rays: From Tendons of Cattle, Horses, Sheep and Pigs

Type I collagen physiological scaffold for tissue regeneration is considered one of the widely used biomaterials for tissue engineering and medical applications. It is hierarchically organized: five laterally staggered molecules are packed within fibrils, arranged into fascicles and bundles. The structural organization is correlated to the direction and intensity of the forces which can be loaded onto the tissue. For a tissue-specific regeneration, the required macro- and microstructure of a suitable biomaterial has been largely investigated. Conversely, the function of multiscale structural integrity has been much less explored but is crucial for scaffold design and application. In this work, collagen was extracted from different animal sources with protocols that alter its structure. Collagen of tendon shreds excised from cattle, horse, sheep and pig was structurally investigated by wide- and small-angle X-ray scattering techniques, at both molecular and supramolecular scales, and thermo-mechanically with thermal and load-bearing tests. Tendons were selected because of their resistance to chemical degradation and mechanical stresses. The multiscale structural integrity of tendons’ collagen was studied in relation to the animal source, anatomic location and source for collagen extraction.

Materials (Basel)
Impact factor
Alberta Terzi , Nunzia Gallo, Teresa Sibillano, Davide Altamura, Annalia Masi, Rocco Lassandro, Alessandro Sannino, Luca Salvatore, Oliver Bunk, Cinzia Giannini and Liberato De Caro