Chlorophyll and Silk-based Oxygen Producing Biomaterials for Tissue Engineering.
Wang, Ching-Chieh Russell.
- The lack of oxygen is often a limiting factor in various tissue engineering applications. In numerous studies centered on the regeneration of tissues and organs, the lack of oxygen diffusion is often one of the major problems encountered. Oxygen is a vital component in the development and proliferation of cells and vascularization of tissues necessary for tissue regeneration studies. Recent studie... read mores conducted to address this problem of oxygen diffusion have been based on the implementation of oxygen releasing biomaterials. These studies were centered on implantable biomaterials that release oxygen over a period of time but do not actually produce it. This study focuses on the production of chlorophyll-based biomaterials that can produce and release oxygen over a prolonged period of time. The main components of the oxygen-releasing biomaterials in this study are plant chlorophyll and silk fibroin. In the search for the ideal oxygen producing system for this study, photosynthesis stood out as the most promising candidate. Photosynthesis is one of the most crucial and common naturally occurring processes in the environment. Photosynthesis is the most significant oxygen producing process in Nature and because of this, has been extensively studied. The fact that photosynthesis has been well studied is one of the reasons why it was chosen for the research presented here. The stability of photosynthesis in Nature makes it a favorable choice for the study as well. This study hopes to maintain the stability of photosynthesis in a synthetic environment. The choice of silk as the other main component of this oxygen-producing biomaterial is based on research that has shown it to be both flexible in its application space and biologically compatible. The biomaterial required for this study must be compatible enough to implant into living organisms and have a controllable degradation timeline. Silk fibroin has been demonstrated to be a promising biomaterial because of a number of attributes (Perry 2008). Silk is also believed to be less toxic than most synthetic biomaterials. This non-toxicity will be important in maintaining the stability of photosynthesis in the biomaterials as well as play a role in the biocompatibility of the biomaterial when implanted in vivo. The goal of this study is to produce a novel oxygen-producing biomaterial by incorporating plant chloroplasts into silk fibroin that will release oxygen for a prolonged period of time. Such a biomaterial could be promising in many tissue engineering applications. In addition to tissue engineering applications, the development of an oxygen producing biomaterial would also have a wider range of applications. Such an oxygen-producing biomaterial can be viewed as a type of 'artificial leaf' that could find applications in fields from bio-catalysis to bio-sensing.read less