Type I collagen is used widely as a biomaterial. The structure of collagenous biomaterials, including pore sizes and general architecture, can be varied by a number of techniques. In this study, we developed a method to construct flat fibrillar type I collagen scaffolds, 6 cm in diameter and with a radially orientated pore structure, by the use of directional freezing. Different methodologies were tested, the optimal one being freezing of a collagen suspension inside-out, using a centrally positioned liquid nitrogen-cooled tube. Pore sizes could be varied by the use of different tube materials. Use of aluminium tubes resulted in radial scaffolds with a pore size of 20-30 μm, whereas use of stainless steel produced radial scaffolds with 70-100 μm pore sizes. Brass- and copper-based tubes produced scaffolds with less homogeneous radial pores, pore sizes being 90-100 and 50-80 μm, respectively. Fibreglass tubes gave even less uniformity (pore size 100-150 μm). Scaffolds were free of cracks, except in case of aluminium. Scaffolds with a radial inner structure may be especially suitable for tissue engineering of organs with a radial scaffold structure, such as the diaphragm.

Architecture, Collagen, Orientation, Radial, Scaffolds
dx.doi.org/10.1002/term.397, hdl.handle.net/1765/61191
Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Department of Pediatric Surgery

Brouwer, K.M, van Rensch, P, Harbers, V.E, Geutjes, P.J, Koens, M.J, Wijnen, R.M.H, … van Kuppevelt, T.H. (2011). Evaluation of methods for the construction of collagenous scaffolds with a radial pore structure for tissue engineering. Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, 5(6), 501–504. doi:10.1002/term.397