Document Type



This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only


Medical engineering

Publication Details

Acta Biomaterialia, August 2015.



Fibrin has many uses as a tissue engineering scaffold, however many in vivo studies have shown a reduction in function resulting from the susceptibility of fibrin to cell-mediated contraction. The overall aim of the present study was to develop and characterise a reinforced natural scaffold using fibrin, collagen and glycosaminoglycan (FCG), and to examine the cell-mediated contraction of this scaffold in comparison to fibrin gels. Through the use of an injection loading technique, a homogenous FCG scaffold was developed. Mechanical testing showed a sixfold increase in compressive modulus and a thirtyfold increase in tensile modulus of fibrin when reinforced with a collagen–glycosaminoglycan backbone structure. Human vascular smooth muscle cells (vSMCs) were successfully incorporated into the FCG scaffold and demonstrated excellent viability over 7 days, while proliferation of these cells also increased significantly. VSMCs were seeded into both FCG and fibrin-only gels at the same seeding density for 7 days and while FCG scaffolds did not demonstrate a reduction in size, fibrin-only gels contracted to 10% of their original diameter. The FCG scaffold, which is composed of natural biomaterials, shows potential for use in applications where dimensional stability is crucial to the functionality of the tissue.