Collagen is the major structural protein in the connective tissues such as skin, bone, ligaments, and tendons. The specific hierarchical organization of collagen molecules determines the unique properties of each specific tissue. For example, in tendon, the parallel alignment of collagen molecules, fibrils, fibril bundles, fascicles and tendon units gives tendon good mechanical properties. Thus, in vitro engineering of collagen molecules hold great promise as a tissue regeneration material. However, there is a need for mechanically superior collagenous structures, which currently cannot be provided by isotropic gels which lack defined orientation. Increasing the anisotropy of gels would increase the strength of collagenous constructs tremendously.

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