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This molecular animation (foreground) depicts the triple helical structure of synthetic collagen fibrils. The fibrils entangle by the millions to form collagen-like structures, which can be viewed with a scanning electron microscope (background). Scientists at Rice University unveiled a new method for making synthetic collagen, which will be a significant advance for cosmetic and reconstructive medicine. The new material, which forms from a liquid in as little as an hour, has many of the properties of natural collagen and may prove useful as a scaffold for regenerating new tissues and organs from stem cells.
Image credit: Jeffrey Hartgerink, Rice University