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International Journal of Biomaterials
Volume 2018, Article ID 3514019, 10 pages
Research Article

Injectable Hydrogel versus Plastically Compressed Collagen Scaffold for Central Nervous System Applications

1Centre for Nanotechnology & Regenerative Medicine, Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, University College of London, London, UK
2Nanotechnology & Regenerative Medicine Commercialisation Centre Ltd., The London BioScience Innovation Centre, London, UK

Correspondence should be addressed to Alexander Seifalian; moc.liamg@nailafies.a

Received 19 November 2017; Accepted 9 January 2018; Published 7 February 2018

Academic Editor: Weifeng Zhao

Copyright © 2018 Magdalini Tsintou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Central Nervous System (CNS) repair has been a challenge, due to limited CNS tissue regenerative capacity. The emerging tools that neural engineering has to offer have opened new pathways towards the discovery of novel therapeutic approaches for CNS disorders. Collagen has been a preferable material for neural tissue engineering due to its similarity to the extracellular matrix, its biocompatibility, and antigenicity. The aim was to compare properties of a plastically compressed collagen hydrogel with the ones of a promising collagen-genipin injectable hydrogel and a collagen-only hydrogel for clinical CNS therapy applications. The focus was demonstrating the effects of genipin cross-linking versus plastic compression methodology on a collagen hydrogel and the impact of each method on clinical translatability. The results showed that injectable collagen-genipin hydrogel is better clinical translation material. Full collagen compression seemed to form extremely stiff hydrogels (up to about 2300 kPa) so, according to our findings, a compression level of up to 75% should be considered for CNS applications, being in line with CNS stiffness. Taking that into consideration, partially compressed collagen 3D hydrogel systems may be a good tunable way to mimic the natural hierarchical model of the human body, potentially facilitating neural repair application.