Interviews with our collagen experts

Collagen plays an important role in the regeneration of tissue. This is why Geistlich Pharma has devoted itself to collagen expertise. Eleven scientists working at Geistlich Pharma have dedicated themselves exclusively to collagen research. Dr. Lothar Schlösser, Director Material Discovery, advances with his team the company’s 160 years of collagen expertise with their work, as they have developed innovative biomaterials for tissue regeneration.

Dr. Schlösser, collagen performs so many different functions in the body. Is it also the same for the collagen in Geistlich biomaterials?

It certainly is. The Geistlich Bio-Gide® collagen membrane is a good example. The dense collagen of the upper layer acts as a dividing wall between a bone graft and the soft tissue. The lower layer has a more open structure in comparison. It adheres well to the tissue, allows cells to colonize and contains fibers that serve as “guiding templates” for somatic cells. Although these are very different properties, Geistlich Collagen has them all.

How can one modify a protein so that it has either this or that property?

There are various approaches. Some of our products, for example, if they should be strong to retain sutures, contain native organized collagen tissue obtained using a gentle preparation process. In other cases we have designed our collagen tissue completely from scratch using natural collagen components in order to obtain a specific effect, for example, to achieve good volume stability when healing.

Is the competition doing the same thing?

Other membranes are frequently assembled from collagen components, but in order to make them strong for suture retention, they must be chemically cross-linked, which can compromise the biology and healing response, which is exactly what we don’t want!