The most important building block in the entire animal world, collagen
is the tie that binds the animal kingdom together.
Life is a string of complex molecules: polymers.
Nature's most abundant protein polymer is collagen.
More than a third of the body's protein is collagen.
Collagen makes up 75% of our skin.
The more science learns about the body, the more integral we see
collagen to be.
Acts as a scaffolding for our bodies.
Controls cell shape and differentiation.
Is why broken bones regenerate and wounds heal.
Why blood vessels grow to feed healing areas.
The Collagen mesh provides
the blueprint, the road map and the way.
Collagen is the fibrous protein constituent
of skin, cartilage, bone, and other connective tissue.
At BioSpecifics Technologies Corporation, we've built our company
on sinew, tendon, and connectivity. Collagen, the most important
building block in the entire animal world, is the tie that binds
the animal kingdom together. In life's long march up from the primordial
ooze, anything with more than one cell -- from the simplest, oldest
living creature to man -- is knitted into whatever it is by collagen.
The word collagen comes from the Greek, and means "glue producing".
No wonder the popular name for collagen is connective tissue. You
might say that Mother Nature had to invent collagen for the evolutionary
march upward from a single cell.
The science of medicine is a continuing journey into ever smaller
territory. From the body as a whole to its separate systems and
parts. Only a generation ago, medical science studied the human
body by examining cells and how they were seen to work. As our microscopes
and methods kept getting stronger, new techniques and devices appeared.
And now biotechnologists gain their latest insights by going deep
below the cellular level. Below and beyond. Down to the molecules:
the bricks and mortar of every living thing in the universe.
We used to think creatures were collections of cells, many different
from each other, but most bound together cheek by jowl like pieces
in a jigsaw puzzle. Now we know that life outside the cell performs
essential functions. And the term 'connective tissue' has taken
on an even broader meaning. Just as connective tissue binds various
parts of the body together, muscle to bone, vertebrae to vertebrae...
collagens are essential for tying cell to cell. To hang together,
cells need a scaffold, a matrix. Like the mesh in a screen. Cells
fill the holes in the mesh. The mesh itself is primarily collagen
-- the tie that binds.
Life is a string of complex molecules: polymers. And Nature's most
abundant protein polymer is collagen. More than a third of the body's
protein is collagen and it can account for an even higher percentage
in particular parts of the body. Collagen makes up 75% of our skin.
The more science learns about the body, the more significant we
see collagen to be.
At this stage of our knowledge, we've found 13 kinds of vertebrate
collagen, plus some smaller molecules looking like collagen spare
parts. Members of the family, we suspect. Each type has evolved
to serve a distinct purpose. Collagen varies depending on the anatomical
region. From muscle to bone to cartilage to blood vessels to nerves
to various parts of the skin, which itself is the largest organ
in the body.
The differences among these collagen siblings come at the ends
of each collagen molecule. It's as though Nature created specified
arms able to share their fingertips with the tips of different molecules
in appropriate cells. That's how they connect. But all collagen
middles are the same. Three strands of repeating amino acids coil
themselves, left-handed, into the unique collagen triple
helix. Then these coils weave themselves right-handed
into a cable, like small steel wires braided into the cables of
a suspension bridge. In fact, collagen has a greater tensile strength
than steel. Presumably, this complex structure was devised by nature
to be invulnerable to the circulating enzymes and other materials
in the body. Nature accomplished this purpose superbly which is
why no other enzyme (of the many thousands in the body) but a "collagenase"
can break it into its component parts.
When the body needs to build any new cellular structure as in the
healing process, for example, collagen and/or collagen fragments
play a central role. Although the role of collagen as a scaffolding
has been known for some time, we now know that collagen controls
cell shape and differentiation, migration, and the synthesis of
a number of proteins. This is why broken bones regenerate and wounds
heal. Why blood vessels grow to feed healing areas. The collagen
mesh provides the blueprint, the road map and the way.
The Collagen Triple Helix is the
icon for the Brainport Region.