Nicked elastin fibres do not calcify after subcutaneous implantation

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Elastin fibres are appealing molecules as biomaterials for tissue engineering. They, however, tend to calcify, precluding their use in soft tissue engineering. In this study, we probed molecular nicking by NaOH as a way to prevent calcification in vivo. The effect of nicking on elastin fibres was evaluated biochemically and electron microscopically. Porous biomaterials prepared from collagen + nicked elastin fibres were subcutaneously implanted in young Sprague Dawley rats and potential calcification was analysed. Scaffolds containing nicked elastin fibres did not calcify, whereas scaffolds containing intact elastin fibres did calcify at the elastin component.

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