Dry versus hydrated collagen scaffolds: are dry states representative of hydrated states?

  • Tomáš Suchý
  • Monika Šupová
  • Martin Bartoš
  • Radek Sedláček
  • Marco Piola
  • Monica Soncini
  • Gianfranco Beniamino Fiore
  • Pavla Sauerová
  • Marie Hubálek  Kalbáčová
Biomaterials Synthesis and Characterization Original Research
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Biomaterials Synthesis and Characterization


Collagen composite scaffolds have been used for a number of studies in tissue engineering. The hydration of such highly porous and hydrophilic structures may influence mechanical behaviour and porosity due to swelling. The differences in physical properties following hydration would represent a significant limiting factor for the seeding, growth and differentiation of cells in vitro and the overall applicability of such hydrophilic materials in vivo. Scaffolds based on collagen matrix, poly(DL-lactide) nanofibers, calcium phosphate particles and sodium hyaluronate with 8 different material compositions were characterised in the dry and hydrated states using X-ray microcomputed tomography, compression tests, hydraulic permeability measurement, degradation tests and infrared spectrometry. Hydration, simulating the conditions of cell seeding and cultivation up to 48 h and 576 h, was found to exert a minor effect on the morphological parameters and permeability. Conversely, hydration had a major statistically significant effect on the mechanical behaviour of all the tested scaffolds. The elastic modulus and compressive strength of all the scaffolds decreased by ~95%. The quantitative results provided confirm the importance of analysing scaffolds in the hydrated rather than the dry state since the former more precisely simulates the real environment for which such materials are designed.



This study was supported by a grant project awarded by the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic (15-25813A). This publication is the result of the implementation of the “Technological development of post-doc programmes” project, registration number CZ.1.05/41.00/16.0346, supported by the Research and Development for Innovations Operational Programme (RDIOP), co-financed by European regional development funds and the state budget of the Czech Republic. The project was also supported by the “Progres Q29/1LF, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic” and GAUK no. 400215. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided for our work by the long-term conceptual development research organisation under project no. RVO: 67985891. Special thanks go to Darren Ireland for the language revision of the English manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10856_2017_6024_MOESM1_ESM.tif (19.3 mb)
Supplementary Information


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tomáš Suchý
    • 1
    • 2
  • Monika Šupová
    • 1
  • Martin Bartoš
    • 3
  • Radek Sedláček
    • 2
  • Marco Piola
    • 4
  • Monica Soncini
    • 4
  • Gianfranco Beniamino Fiore
    • 4
  • Pavla Sauerová
    • 5
    • 6
  • Marie Hubálek  Kalbáčová
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Composites and Carbon Materials, Institute of Rock Structure and MechanicsAcademy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPrague 8Czech Republic
  2. 2.Laboratory of Biomechanics, Department of Mechanics, Biomechanics and Mechatronics, Faculty of Mechanical EngineeringCzech Technical University in PraguePrague 6Czech Republic
  3. 3.Department of Stomatology, First Faculty of MedicineCharles University and General University Hospital in PraguePrague 2Czech Republic
  4. 4.Dipartimento di ElettronicaInformazione e Bioingegneria, Politecnico di MilanoMilanoItaly
  5. 5.Biomedical Centre, Faculty of Medicine in PilsenCharles UniversityPilsenCzech Republic
  6. 6.Institute of Inherited Metabolic Disorders, 1st Faculty of MedicineCharles University in PraguePrague 2Czech Republic

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