Degree Name

Master of Philosophy


School of Chemistry and Molecular Bioscience


Collagen is the most abundant protein in both vertebrates and invertebrates, and it´s the primary structural protein of a wide variety of tissues. As such, it is considered a key factor for tissue engineering application. Nowadays, collagen is being used in a wide range of bioartificial tissues such as bone, however, its two main sources are bovine and porcine which have gradually risen concerns due to the fact of inter-species diseases (such as the mad cow disease) and several religious beliefs. These issues have urged to find new alternative sources, being marine-derived sources one of the most promising ones. The aim of this study is to stablish a protocol to successfully extract collagen type I from the skin of the Red Snapper, an autochthonous fish from the Australian coast. Every year, thousands of kilos of fish´s skins, scales, bones, and tendons are discarded as side product from fisheries. Being able to re-use these materials will not only provide a sustainable income of raw material, but also lower the price of collagen. After the acid-base extraction, collagen was isolated by precipitation and dialysis cycles, leaving a pure product which was later characterized with different spectroscopic techniques (FTIR, CD) and SDS PAGE, and compared to commercially available collagens. To improve the material´s mechanical properties, acrylate groups were incorporated, which allow for a stronger chemical UV crosslinking compared to thermal crosslinking. Finally, the collagen was coaxially printed along some supporting material, both in the core and as a shell, meaning the proper degree of freedom to fabricate different tissues was achieved. Cellular viability was kept above 80% after 21 days, proving the biocompatibility of the material.

FoR codes (2008)



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.