The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a network of structural proteins that support cells and enhance tissue mechanical properties. Elastin, a crucial ECM protein, gives tissues elasticity and resilience. However, it is not replenished in the body, leading to tissue degeneration. To address this, we developed customizable biomaterials to counteract age- and injury-related decline in skin function. We processed elastin using a scalable method and created composite elastin/collagen nonwoven materials through electrospinning and crosslinking. These materials contained up to 90% elastin, reducing nanofiber stiffness and increasing porosity. They were absorbable, non-toxic, and suitable for cell culturing. Endotoxin levels were low, and the material caused no adverse tissue reactions after implantation. This work provides a versatile platform for large-scale, cost-effective production of elastin-based nonwovens for various biomedical applications.
About the speaker:
Tobias Hedtke is the CTO and co-founder of matrihealth. He studied biochemistry at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and received his Master’s degree in 2016. Since 2017, he has been a research associate at the Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS in Halle (Saale), Germany specializing in the development and characterization of protein-based biomaterials. He is pursuing his Ph.D. in elucidating the molecular structure of elastin and is using these new insights to develop novel elastin-based biomaterials. Since October 2022, he has been responsible for technology, production, and product development at matrihealth GmbH.