Compressed collagen gel: A novel scaffold for human bladder cells

E. M. Engelhardt, E. Stegberg, R. A. Brown, J. A. Hubbell, F. M. Wurm, M. Adam, P. Frey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Collagen is highly conserved across species and has been used extensively for tissue regeneration; however, its mechanical properties are limited. A recent advance using plastic compression of collagen gels to achieve much higher concentrations significantly increases its mechanical properties at the neo-tissue level. This controlled, cell-independent process allows the engineering of biomimetic scaffolds. We have evaluated plastic compressed collagen scaffolds seeded with human bladder smooth muscle cells inside and urothelial cells on the gel surface for potential urological applications. Bladder smooth muscle and urothelial cells were visualized using scanning electron microscopy, conventional histology and immunohistochemistry; cell viability and proliferation were also quantified for 14 days in vitro. Both cell types tested proliferated on the construct surface, forming dense cell layers after 2 weeks. However, smooth muscle cells seeded within the construct, assessed with the Alamar blue assay, showed lower proliferation. Cellular distribution within the construct was also evaluated, using confocal microscopy. After 14 days of in vitro culture, 30% of the smooth muscle cells were found on the construct surface compared to 0% at day 1. Our results provide some evidence that cell-seeded plastic compressed collagen has significant potential for bladder tissue regeneration, as these materials allow efficient cell seeding inside the construct as well as cell proliferation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-130
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomimetic scaffold
  • Bladder smooth muscle cells
  • Bladder tissue regeneration
  • Bladder urothelial cells
  • In vitro study
  • Plastic compressed collagen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials


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