Keratin Biomaterials for Cranio-facial Tissue Engineering
Agency / Branch:
DOD / OSD
The majority of personnel injured in OIF/OEF have suffered blast effects from IEDs. Blasts often cause cranio-facial trauma that is difficult to repair. There is a significant need to develop better platform technologies for these injuries and translate them into clinical and commercial use. A family of biomaterials derived from keratin proteins may provide a platform on which regenerative strategies can be built. Keratins have broad biocompatibility and can be formulated as films, foams, gels, fibers, or solid tissue constructs. One of the problems with many synthetic and naturally derived biomaterials is that they do not promote cell adhesion and migration into scaffolds that have weak cell-matrix interactions. Keratins have intrinsic cell-binding properties that can be exploited to offer potential new solutions to cranio-facial regeneration. This Phase I proposal seeks to perform initial testing of keratin materials using primary cell types relevant to cranio-facial tissues. Assessments will be made regarding cell attachment, proliferation, gene expression and other cell specific assays to validate that keratin materials provide a permissive extracellular matrix-like environment. Results will be used to tailor specific types of keratin proteins into biomaterial scaffolds for use in large animal cranio-facial defect studies to be conducted in Phase II.
Small Business Information at Submission:
1st Floor, Richard Dean Building 391 Technology Way Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Number of Employees: