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Title: Utilising marine collagen as a niche structure for enhanced osteoarthritic repair
Author: Ahmed, Zara F.
ISNI:       0000 0004 9353 4473
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2019
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Collagen is an abundant structural protein in the extracellular matrix and plays a role in both structural integrity and support that guides tissue formation and homeostasis. Collagen or matrix disruption, leading to altered cell-matrix interactions, is implicated in disease pathophysiology. Collagen has in turn become an attractive biomaterial in regenerative medicine, proving valuable in various long-term, robust repair strategies. Osteoarthritis (OA) is a multifactorial disease leading to the degeneration of articular cartilage, affecting approximately 8.5 million in the UK population. Current repair procedures require surgical interventions, with varying degrees of success, easing pain and recovery time. Future repair strategies are now being focused around the formation of new tissue for implantation, incorporating collagen scaffolds, donor cell populations and functional differentiation. This thesis presents a thorough characterization of a novel jellyfish (R.pulmo) source of collagen, benchmarked against mammalian collagen like material compatible with human and bovine chondroprogenitor cell invasion, proliferation, and differentiation. Significantly, no increased immune response was observed compared to research and clinical grade mammalian collagen sources during in vitro examination. Excitingly, jellyfish collagen (JCol) also demonstrated hallmarks of chondro-mimicry, enabling bovine chondroprogenitor cell invasion, proliferation and differentiation. Using a sponge scaffold design JCol provides adequate structural cell-matrix support appropriate for enhanced chondrogenesis in the presence of TGFβ1. The robust body of evidence presented supports the development of JCol, a seemingly inert collagen source, for tissue engineering and/or regenerative medicine applications. Analogous to native articular cartilage, this supports further development of jellyfish collagen as a biomaterial for matrix assisted chondrocyte implantation (MACI) approaches in OA repair. Jellagen, industrial sponsor for the project, have adopted central observations from this thesis and are now progressing with wider commercial and development activities to support market and clinical research expansion.
Supervisor: Francis, Lewis W. ; Khan, Ilyas M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral