Collagen — Emerging collagen based therapies hit the patient☆
The choice of biomaterials available for regenerative medicine continues to grow rapidly, with new materials often claiming advantages over the short-comings of those already in existence. Going back to nature, collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in mammals and its role is essential to our way of life. It can therefore be obtained from many sources including porcine, bovine, equine or human and offer a great promise as a biomimetic scaffold for regenerative medicine. Using naturally derived collagen, extracellular matrices (ECMs), as surgical materials have become established practice for a number of years. For clinical use the goal has been to preserve as much of the composition and structure of the ECM as possible without adverse effects to the recipient. This review will therefore cover in-depth both naturally and synthetically produced collagen matrices. Furthermore the production of more sophisticated three dimensional collagen scaffolds that provide cues at nano-, micro- and meso-scale for molecules, cells, proteins and bulk fluids by inducing fibrils alignments, embossing and layered configuration through the application of plastic compression technology will be discussed in details. This review will also shed light on both naturally and synthetically derived collagen products that have been available in the market for several purposes including neural repair, as cosmetic for the treatment of dermatologic defects, haemostatic agents, mucosal wound dressing and guided bone regeneration membrane. There are other several potential applications of collagen still under investigations and they are also covered in this review.