The improvement of the thermal stability of gel prepared from salmon atelocollagen (SC) was studied. The denaturation temperature (Td) of the SC solution was found to be 18.6°C. Neutral buffer including 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-carbodiimide (EDC) was mixed with acidic SC solution at 4°C, resulting in the introduction of EDC cross-linking during fibril formation. The mechanical strength and thermal stability of the resultant cross-linked SC fibrillar gels reached maximum values at an EDC concentration of 50 mM (f-50 gel). In particular, the melting temperature of the f-50 gel was 47°C, much higher than that of the EDC cross-linked SC gel without fibril formation at the same EDC concentration. The proliferation rate of human periodontal ligament cells on the f-50 gel was higher than that of a porcine atelocollagen fibrillar gel. These results suggest that the gel employed for biomaterials can be fabricated from low Td fish collagen by EDC cross-linking during fibril formation.
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