A Simple Method for Ultrastructural Evaluation of Fragile Collagenous Biomaterials


The ultrastructural characteristics and quality of preservation of collagen fibers was evaluated by cutting dry fibers at room temperature and fracturing frozen dehydrated fibers. The preparations were examined by scanning or transmission electron microscopy. The surface of dry collagen fibers cut at room temperature appeared compressed . Observations of the internal substructure were distorted. The open face of the fibers were frequently covered with debris. Conversely , when fibers were frozen and then fractured , dehydrated fibers appeared to have undistorted features and were intact around their edges. No contamination across the face of the fiber was apparent and there was no difference in morphology between the nitrogen and Freon frozen dehydrated collagen fibers. Transmission electron microscopy showed that collagen fibers were composed of a subpopulation of transverse and longitudinal collagen fibrils and fibril bundles embedded in a disorganized amorphous collagen matrix. Freeze •racturing or snapping collagenous biomaterials was shown to be an effective method for retaining the substructure of these dry and very fragile materials. There may be other applications of this technique to the field of biomate{al morphology . KEY W O RDS: Collagenous materials, collagen fibers, collagen fibrils, biomaterials, freeze fracture. *Address for correspondence: Arthur J. Wa~serman, Bio-Pharm, Clinical Services, Inc. Four Valley Square, 512 Township Line Road, Blue Bell, PA 19422 Telep one: 215 283 0770; FAX: 215 283 0733

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Wasserman2017ASM, title={A Simple Method for Ultrastructural Evaluation of Fragile Collagenous Biomaterials}, author={Arthur J. Wasserman and Yasushi P. Kato and Frederick H. Silver}, year={2017} }