This study investigated the effect on the mechanical and physicochemical properties of type II collagen scaffolds after cross-linking with microbial transglutaminase (mTGase). It is intended to develop a collagen-based scaffold to be used for the treatment of degenerated intervertebral discs. By measuring the amount of ε-(γ-glutamyl)lysine isodipeptide formed after cross-linking, it was determined that the optimal enzyme concentration was 0.005% (w/v). From the production of covalent bonds induced by mTGase cross-linking, the degradation resistance of type II collagen scaffolds can be enhanced. Rheological analysis revealed an almost sixfold increase in storage modulus (G') with 0.005% (w/v) mTGase cross-linked scaffolds (1.31 ± 0.03 kPa) compared to controls (0.21 ± 0.01 kPa). There was a significant reduction in the level of cell-mediated contraction of scaffolds with increased mTGase concentrations. Cell proliferation assays showed that mTGase cross-linked scaffolds exhibited similar cytocompatibility properties in comparison to non-cross-linked scaffolds. In summary, cross-linking type II collagen with mTGase imparted more desirable properties, making it more applicable for use as a scaffold in tissue engineering applications. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
- type II collagen scaffold
- microbial transglutaminase
- degenerated intervertebral discs
- epsilon-(gamma-glutamyl)lysine isodipeptide