The extracellular matrix architecture of bovine pericardium (BP) has distinct biochemical and biomechanical properties that make it a useful biomaterial in the field of regenerative medicine. Collagen represents the dominant structural protein of BP and is therefore intimately associated with the properties of this biomaterial. Enzymatic degradation of collagen molecules is critical for extracellular matrix turnover, remodeling and ultimately tissue regeneration. We present a quantitative, label-free and non-destructive method for monitoring changes in biochemical and biomechanical properties of BP during tissue degradation, based on multi-spectral fluorescence lifetime imaging (ms-FLIm). Strong correlations of fluorescence intensity ratio and average fluorescence lifetime were identified with collagen content, Young’s Modulus and Ultimate tensile strength during collagenase degradation, indicating the potential of optically monitoring collagen degradation using ms-FLIm. The obtained results demonstrate the value of ms-FLIm to assess the quality of biomaterials in situ for applications in regenerative medicine.
- Collagenase degradation
- Fluorescence lifetime imaging
- Non-destructive monitoring
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering