Towards Synthetic Collagen for Regenerative Medicine

Via ScienceDaily: researchers "have unveiled a new method for making synthetic collagen. The new material, which forms from a liquid in as little as an hour, has many of the properties of natural collagen and may prove useful as a scaffold for regenerating new tissues and organs from stem cells. ... Our final product more closely resembles native collagen than anything that's previously been made, and we make that material using a self-assembly process that is remarkably similar to processes found in nature. ... Collagen, the most abundant protein in the body, is a key component of many tissues, including skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and blood vessels. Biomedical researchers in the burgeoning field of regenerative medicine, or tissue engineering, often use a combination of stem cells and collagen-like materials in their attempts to create laboratory-grown tissues that can be transplanted into patients without risk of immunological rejection. Animal-derived collagen, which has some inherent immunological risks, is the form of collagen most commonly used in reconstructive and cosmetic surgery today. ... Despite the abundance of collagen in the body, deciphering or recreating it has not been easy for scientists. One reason for this is the complexity collagen exhibits at different scales. ... Scientists must next determine whether cells can live and grow in the new material and whether it performs the same way in the body that native collagen does. ... clinical trials, if they prove warranted, are at least five years away."

Link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110908124507.htm

Comments

Something I never ever hear discussed in life extension circles, either in person or online, is timeframes for cosmetic rejuvenation of skin. It's as though, in their efforts to disassociate themselves from the "anti aging" marketplace the life extension community avoids talking about the elephant in the room.

So if SENS is potentially twenty to thirty years away, how long until I can go see a specialist and have my skin restored to that of a twenty year old? Presumably much less, right?

The moment that kind of thing becomes available is the moment we reach possibly the most major milestone in convincing the general public that aging is curable. I wish more was both said and done about it.

Posted by: Ben at September 9th, 2011 12:25 PM

I'll second that. If you can have a bunch of 60 year olds going around looking 20, then it'll be a massive PR blow against the view that nothing can be done about aging. Also, the replacement of skin wouldn't be a purely cosmetic thing either; there would be a number of health benefits arising from it. Most obvious is the improved barrier function; older people are more susceptible to cuts, scratches and burns which in turn make them more vulnerable to infection. The other is the elimination of all the advanced glycation endproducts in the skin, as well as the population of senescent fibroblasts. Given that the skin is the largest organ in the body, eliminating the inflammatory burden from this could have noticable effects on the rest of the body.

Although one question is, would replacing skin be sufficient to restore the look of a 20 year old? I've heard a bit about how bone structure and fat deposits may also contribute to the aged look; certainly when looking at older people their faces seem to be of a slightly different shape to the extent of making it hard to imagine them looking 20 merely by imagining them with rejuvenated skin.

Posted by: Arcanyn at September 16th, 2011 10:38 PM

I have invented a method to prepare synthetic collagen which is superior than mentioned in the link. Anyone is willing to hear about it further

Posted by: Dr Murugesan Muthu at February 15th, 2013 6:44 PM

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