pH-responsive collagen fibrillogenesis in confined droplets induced by vapour diffusion

Gloria Belén Ramírez-Rodríguez, Michele Iafisco, Anna Tampieri, Jaime Gómez-Morales, José Manuel Delgado-López

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A novel methodology for the assembly of collagen fibrils in microliter drops is proposed. It consists in the gradual increase of pH by means of vapour diffusion coming from the decomposition of NH4HCO3 solutions. The pH increase rate as well as the final steady pH of solutions containing collagen can be adjusted by varying the concentration of NH4HCO3. Both parameters are of predominant importance in collagen fibrillogenesis. The effect of these parameters on the kinetic of the fibrillogenesis process and on the fibrils morphology was studied. We found that both the kinetic and the morphology are mainly driven by electrostatic interactions. A gradual increase of pH slows down the formation of collagen fibres and favours the lateral interaction between fibrils producing broader fibres. On the other hand, a rapid increase of pH reduces the lateral electrostatic interactions favouring the formation of thinner fibres. The formation of the D-band periodicity is also a pH-dependent process that occurs after fibrillogenesis when the most stable state of fibres formation has been reached.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2305-2312
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 20 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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