A new biomaterial designed for repairing damaged human tissue, and it closely mimics the properties of native human tissue has been invested by nanoengineers.
The invention from nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego, marks a significant breakthrough in tissue engineering, as the biomaterial does not wrinkle up when it is stretched.
Shaochen Chen, professor in the Department of NanoEngineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, hopes future tissue patches, which are used to repair damaged heart walls, blood vessels and skin, for example, will be more compatible with native human tissue than the patches available today.
The new biomaterial was created using a new biofabrication platform that Chen is developing under a four-year, 1.5 million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health.
This biofabrication technique uses light, precisely controlled mirrors and a computer projection system-shined on a solution of new cells and polymers-to build three-dimensional scaffolds with well-defined patterns of any shape for tissue engineering.
"We are also exploring other opportunities. It's a new material. I think it's just a matter of time before more people will pick up and find applications for it in defense, energy and communications, for instance," Chen said.
His findings were published in a recent issue of the journal Advanced Functional Materials.