Biomimetic collagen materials

Topic  18
Main supervisor
S. Förster


MLZ institution FZJ
Local supervisor 1
Joachim Loos
Local supervisor 2
Local supervisor 3
Local supervisor 4

Biomimetic collagen materials

Description Collagen is the major component of connective tissues, including skin, bone, cornea, tendon, and ligament. Collagen is based on a hierarchical organization of triple helices, that are arranged into connected fibrils which determine the mechanical and biological properties of tissue. Due to the importance of collagen-materials for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, there is a rapidly growing area of research to use self-assembling polypeptides to synthesize biomimetic collagen materials.

The project will investigate the self-assembly of peptides into helices to achieve a similar structural hierarchy as collagen. Using specific crosslinking types the mechanical properties of the collagen-mimetic materials can be adjusted. Furthermore, biomineralization of the helix assemblies will allow a route to materials structurally analogous to bone.

Fellows will become familiar with the synthesis, fabrication and characterization of modern biological materials involving state-of-the-art neutron and complementary techniques such as X-ray scattering and electron microscopy, and develop a modern portfolio of skills in both academic and industrial settings.