Composite cell support membranes based on collagen and polycaprolactone for tissue engineering of skin

Niann-Tzyy Dai, Matthew R. Williamson, N. Khammo, Eric F. Adams, Allan G.A. Coombes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The preparation and characterisation of collagen:PCL composites for manufacture of tissue engineered skin substitutes and models are reported. Films having collagen:PCL (w/w) ratios of 1:4, 1:8 and 1:20 were prepared by impregnation of lyophilised collagen mats by PCL solutions followed by solvent evaporation. In vitro assays of collagen release and residual collagen content revealed an expected inverse relationship between the collagen release rate and the content of synthetic polymer in the composite that may be exploited for controlled presentation and release of biopharmaceuticals such as growth factors. DSC analysis revealed the characteristic melting point of PCL at around 60°C and a tendency for the collagen component, at high loading, to impede crystallinity development within the PCL phase. The preparation of fibroblast/composite constructs was investigated using cell culture as a first stage in mimicking the dermal/epidermal structure of skin. Fibroblasts were found to attach and proliferate on all the composites investigated reaching a maximum of 2×105/cm2 on 1:20 collagen:PCL materials at day 8 with cell numbers declining thereafter. Keratinocyte growth rates were similar on all types of collagen:PCL materials investigated reaching a maximum of 6.6×104/cm2 at day 6. The results revealed that composite films of collagen and PCL are favourable substrates for growth of fibroblasts and keratinocytes and may find utility for skin repair. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4263-4271
Number of pages9
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004


  • cell culture
  • collagen
  • composite
  • fibroblast
  • keratinocyte
  • polycaprolactone
  • skin substitutes


Dive into the research topics of 'Composite cell support membranes based on collagen and polycaprolactone for tissue engineering of skin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this