Our laboratory uses organic synthesis to tackle questions in the chemistry and biology of collagen. In particular, we are developing collagen peptides to understand the stability of collagen at the molecular level and explore applications in wound healing and the diagnosis of fibrosis.
collagen, lysyl oxidases, organic synthesis, peptides, synthetic materials
Collagens are the most abundant proteins in mammals and provide skin, bones, and connective tissue with stability. We have developed synthetic collagen peptides to gain a fundamental understanding of collagen at the molecular level. Over the past years we established collagen peptides that can be derivatized at will with one or more functional moiety. This "toolkit" includes pH-responsive synthetic collagen, hyperstable cross-linked collagen triple helices and programmable heterotrimeric collagen.
Our future studies will focus on using our synthetic tools to influence and monitor tissue repair and maturation. For example, we use our reactive collagen peptides for monitoring and targeting tissue remodeling that is initiated by lysyl oxidases (LOX). These enzymes are responsible for the cross-linking of collagen, a process that increases the strength and stability of the collagen matrix. Abnormal LOX activity is, however, associated with impaired tissue function and repair, and with fibrotic diseases and malignancies. We anticipate that our studies will improve understanding of collagen remodeling and provide technological opportunities for the early diagnosis of fibrotic disorders and their treatment. Collaborations with experts in wound healing, tissue engineering, and histology will help to translate our research results into the clinic.
SKINTEGRITY.CH Principal Investigators are in bold: