Collagen is usually extracted from bovine skin and tendons, porcine skin and a rat tail.Such sources are associated with several problems such as the spread of diseases such as the mad-cow disease and religious constraints of using certain animals.Extraction of collagen from non-mammalian sources is therefore attractive.Hence, IIT Hyderabad researchers have come up with a new idea,
Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad Researchers has derived collagen from waste eel skin and shown that tissue scaffolds built using such collagen allow growth and proliferation of stem cells. The practical applications of this research can lead to utilizing eel fish skin-derived collagen as a promising alternative to animal-derived collagen, which is expensive and associated with pathological diseases.Eel skin and fish skin wastes are commonly discarded in coastal areas, or even disposed of in the sea, which leads to a cascade of events due to breakdown of organic matter and reduction of oxygen levels in sea water.”The research team derived collagen from eel skin by treating it with acetic acid, common salt, and pepsin.The researchers then combined the collagen with alginate hydrogel and used a 3D printing process to obtain scaffolds.
Explaining this research and its significance, Dr. Mano Govindharaj, Young Scientist Fellow, Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Laboratory, IIT Hyderabad, said, “Our team’s finding is a valuable asset in the area of ‘blue’ biotechnology. The colour ‘blue’ in biotechnology is assigned to the development of technology on the basis of aquaculture, coastal and marine biology. Our research group at IIT Hyderabad uses a common marine waste product for producing collagen, a biomaterial that is extensively used in tissue engineering.”