Synthetic neoglycopolymer-recombinant human collagen hybrids as biomimetic crosslinking agents in corneal tissue engineering

Kimberley Merrett, Wenguang Liu, Debbie Mitra, Kenneth D. Camm, Christopher R. McLaughlin, Yuwen Liu, Mitchell A. Watsky, Fengfu Li, May Griffith, Deryn E. Fogg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Saturated neoglycopolymers, prepared via tandem ROMP-hydrogenation (ROMP = ring-opening metathesis polymerization) of carbohydrate-functionalized norbornenes, are investigated as novel collagen crosslinking agents in corneal tissue engineering. The neoglycopolymers were incorporated into recombinant human collagen type III (RHC III) as collagen crosslinking agents and glycosaminoglycan (GAG) mimics. The purely synthetic nature of these composites is designed to reduce susceptibility to immunological and allergic reactions, and to circumvent the transmission of animal infectious diseases. The collagen-neoglycopolymer biomaterials exhibit higher stability to collagenase-induced biodegradation than the control materials, composites of RHC III crosslinked using EDC/NHS (EDC = 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethyl aminopropyl) carbodiimide; NHS = N-hydroxysuccinimide). Even at this proof of concept stage, the thermal stability, enzymatic resistance, and permeability of the neoglycopolymer hydrogels are comparable or superior to those of these fully optimized control materials, which have successfully been tested clinically. Tensile strength is adequate for transplantation, but lower than that of the optimized control materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5403-5408
Number of pages6
Issue number29
StatePublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomimetic materials
  • Collagen
  • Cornea
  • Crosslinking
  • Neoglycopolymer
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Bioengineering
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials


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