What makes CollaFibR™ unique?
CollaFibR™ recapitulates the natural strength of native collagen structures. When a bundle of collagen fibers with the same size as the average tendon, achieves 2-3X the ultimate tensile strength, in the dry state.
CollaFibR™ UTS = 248 MPa
Native Tendon UTS = 50 – 100 MPa
CollaFibR™ induces cellular alignment, migration, and elongation. When a primary tenocyte finds our fibers, it attaches, elongates, and migrates along the fiber, recreating its natural behaviour in-vitro.
A primary tenocyte (green) has attached to one of our collagen fibers and is seen to elongate and migrate along the fiber over 5 hours (recorded using live cell imaging).
CollaFibR™ is capable of supporting 3D cellular growth. Beta-testers have shown that they can seed primary cells into our 3D fiber scaffolds, and grow 3-5 cell layers for at least 7 days.
Confocal imaging of a CollaFibR™ scaffold (green) stained with anti-collagen, seed with primary tenocytes (red).
CollaFibR™ for Bioinks
3D Bioprinting is an additive manufacturing technique used to deposit layers of cells and biomaterials to fabricate biological scaffolds and tissue constructs. Due to its consistency and precision, 3D bioprinting has become a well-established fabrication technique used widely in tissue engineering. Key challenges such as a lack of mechanical durability of printed constructs and limited cell organization have prevented 3D bioprinting from being clinical use. We are currently developing a CollaFibR™ additive that can reinforce bioinks to address these limitations. Once added, the collagen fibers will increase the mechanical durability of printed structures, while guiding cellular alignment, both of which are critical in creating functional tissue constructs. This R&D project was started in 2022, and performance data is available to interested parties under CDA.
When a parallel array of CollaFibR™ is seeded with C2C12 myoblasts (green), the fibers drive a cellular alignment of the muscle cells and induce the formation of multicellular structures. These phenotypes are representative to how muscles grow naturally in order to exhibit contractile forces. We are hoping to recreate this alignment in 3D bioprinting applications.
CollaFibR™ for 3D Tissue Culture
The 3D tissue culture market is an unregulated $1.6B market, growing 15-20% compound annually. The market is focused on the academic and industrial research community that is looking to grow cells in soft, protein rich, 3D environments to better resemble the natural cellular conditions in the human body. Studies have shown that 3D tissue culture increases the efficiency of drug and vaccine development and decreases our dependence on animal models. We have developed highly physiologically relevant 3D collagen fiber environments for cell culture, superior to current available products due to biocompatibility, consistency, and stability.
A 3D scaffold for cell growth composed of 200 layers of CollaFibR™ in a cross-hatched geometry is shown. This scaffold is assembled layer-by-layer to reach a thickness of 200 μm, with a controlled fiber alignment and porosity. Compared to other 3D cell culture products, this product has superior batch-to-batch consistency, and can be stored at room temperature for at least 12 months. The insert design allows the product to be used in a standard 12-well plate, and is compatible with a wide range of analytical capabilities including:
- Brightfield, confocal and live cell imaging
- Cell extraction using collagenase for cell counting or sequencing
- Histological analysis by fixing the cell-laden scaffold
A spider silk prototype with endless potential
Five times stronger than steel while more flexible than rubber, spider silk is one of nature’s most exquisite materials. With nearly endless applications from advanced sutures to ballistic protection, scientists have been trying to replicate spider silk for decades. Using spider silk proteins, the prototype SpidrFibR™ has nearly doubled the records of recombinant spider silk tensile strengths, and shows excellent potential for applications in the green textile industry, aerospace engineering and defense. The SpidrFibR™ data is available for discussion under CDA with interested parties.