Office of the President

Understanding Collagen


Dr. Michael Jaffe heads the Medical Device Concept Laboratory.

Collagen research is a new emphasis of the Medical Device Concept Laboratory (MDCL), directed by Michael Jaffe, research professor of biomedical engineering and chemistry. MDCL projects focus on reconstituted collagen fiber formation, collagen characterization -- both as a "material" and as tissue engineering substrate, collagen mechanical properties and transport of small molecules through skin. One project of special interest is a collaboration among Treena Arinzeh, NJIT assistant professor of biomedical engineering, and Sam Hessami (ob/gyn) and Fred Silver (pathology) of UMDNJ, aimed at understanding the collagenous failure that leads to uterine prolapse, a major problem in women's health.

In another new thrust, MDCL will be part of a NASA sponsored multi-university consortium led by Professor Ilhan Aksay of the Ceramic Materials Lab at Princeton University that will use biomimetic concepts and material science to develop bird-inspired aircraft wings that change shape in response to changing atmospheric conditions.

The Medical Device Concept Laboratory is the technology transfer arm of the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials (NJCB), for which it plays a key role as the fabrication and biorelevant characterization resource.  NJCB is a joint center of Rutgers University, NJIT, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and Princeton University, supported by the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology. The lab recently entered a collaboration with the Polymer Processing Institute at NJIT to help industry solve problems in biopolymers, medical devices and pharmaceutical packaging.