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Rice unveils new method to grow synthetic collagen
Date:9/8/2011

tive collagen, but we start with shorter peptides," said Hartgerink, associate professor of chemistry and of bioengineering.

With an eye toward mimicking collagen's self-assembly process as closely as possible, Hartgerink's team spent several years perfecting its design for the peptides.

Hartgerink said it's too early to say whether the synthetic collagen can be substituted medically for human or animal-derived collagen, but it did clear the first hurdle on that path; the enzyme that the body uses to break down native collagen also breaks down the new material at a similar speed.

A faculty investigator at Rice's BioScience Research Collaborative, Hartgerink said scientists must next determine whether cells can live and grow in the new material and whether it performs the same way in the body that native collagen does. He estimated that clinical trials, if they prove warranted, are at least five years away.


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Contact: Jade Boyd
jadeboyd@rice.edu
713-348-6778
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert  

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