By Balaji Prabhu, Director Strategic Marketing for Medical Devices, Evonik Health Care
Collagen is one of the most commonly used biomaterials used in across health care due to its excellent biocompatibility, biodegradability, broad application ranges, well-defined structure and how it interacts with cells and tissues. It can be processed directly, or in some cases utilizing additional cross-linking technologies, into a variety of forms such as lyophilized powders, liquid solutions, hydrogels, films or meshes and sponges for use across a wide variety of health care applications.
However, the supply of collagen from traditional animal-based sources has several risks relating to safety, consistent reproducibility, sustainability and consumer acceptability.
The production of recombinant collagen made via fermentation-based processes represents a significant opportunity to address these market needs for collagen that is safe, sustainable, reproducible and acceptable to consumers. A few companies to-date have sought to develop such fermentation-based recombinant collagens over the last decade. Some of these collagen products may have limited application opportunities within certain market segments. However, there is currently no known recombinant collagen that satisfies all core requirements for supply to health care customers including a triple helix structure, high solubility, and a high-purity process that is commercially scalable utilizing established fermentation processes. That is why Evonik has developed a unique collagen platform technology that can address unmet market needs for the use of collagen across health care and other life science applications.