A new class of bio-composite materials of unique collagen fibers

Mirit Sharabi, Yael Mandelberg, Dafna Benayahu, Yehuda Benayahu, Abdussalam Azem, Rami Haj-Ali*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


A novel collagen-based bio-composite was constructed from micro-crimped long collagen fiber bundles extracted from a soft coral embedded in alginate hydrogel matrix. The mechanical features of this bio-composite were studied for different fiber fractions and in longitudinal and transverse loading modes. The tensile modulus of the alginate hydrogel was 0.60±0.35. MPa and in longitudinal collagen-reinforced construct it increased up to 9.71±2.80 for 50% fiber fraction. Ultimate tensile strength was elevated from 0.08±0.04. MPa in matrix up to 1.21±0.29 for fiber fraction of 30%. The bio-composite demonstrated hyperelastic behavior similar to human native tissues. Additionally, a dedicated constitutive material model was developed to enable the prediction of the longitudinal mechanical behavior of the bio-composite. These findings will allow tailor-designed mechanical properties with a quantitatively controlled amount of fibers and their designed spatial arrangement. This unique bio-composite has the potential to be used for a wide range of engineered soft tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-81
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Bio-composite
  • Collagen
  • Hyperelastic
  • Mechanical behavior
  • Soft tissue


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