Description:
Background
Tendon injuries are common in adults, necessitating over 300,000 surgical tendon repairs each year in the United States. Quadriceps, Achilles, rotator cuff, and biceps tendons are the most common, affecting an estimated 22.1% of the population. Tendon rupture can occur from acute injury or through chronic degradation of the tissue in the absence of an apparent injury via an unknown biological mechanism.
Current therapeutic approaches to damaged or diseased tendons involve implantation of rehydrated type I collagen gels, occasionally alongside the delivery of embedded stem cells or therapeutics. 
However, despite advances in fabrication and implantation techniques of these scaffolds, complete healing of collagenous tissues remain elusive, with only marginal increases in clinical scores and significant recurrence of wounds and tears.
 
Technology Overview
In this technology, the metastable liquid crystal scaffold is created by dehydrating 10mL of telopeptide intact bovine collagen against acidic 10% polyethylene glycol (PEG) dissolved in deionized water. The solution is extracted and placed in a fresh dialysis bag and then placed in acidic polyethylene glycol dissolved in deionized water for a certain period of time. 
The dialysis bag is then transferred to neutralized polyethylene glycol dissolved in 1xPBS for a certain period of time. The PEG is then warmed to initiate fibrillogenesis for 48 hours. The resulting scaffold contains 30mg of type I collagen and features a fingerprint pattern under polarized light that is characteristic of liquid crystalline order. This fingerprint pattern persists over 90% of the scaffold and corresponds to shifts in the alignment of fibril arrays in the X-Y plane. 
 
Benefits
- Collagen fibrils deliver monomer at a faster rate 
- MLCC construct has a significantly higher density than dehydrated collagen gels 
- Pores are smaller than dehydrated collagen gels 
- Tunable pore size and density permits formulations of constructs for different therapeutics/cell types
 
Applications
- Tissue equivalents for cornea, bone, tendon, ligament tissue engineering 
- Medical device for co-delivery of growth factors & cells 
- Medical implant for collagenous tissue repair (bone, tendon, ligament)
- Scaffold for in vitro laboratory studies 
 
Opportunity
- License
- Partnering
- Research collaboration
Patent Information:
Category(s):
Bioengineering/Tissue
For Information, Contact:
Mark Saulich
Associate Director of Commercialization
Northeastern University
m.saulich@northeastern.edu
Inventors:
Jeffrey Ruberti
Patrick Bradley
Keywords: