Mar Drugs. 2023 Jul 28;21(8):428. doi: 10.3390/md21080428.
Research in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine has an ever-increasing need for innovative biomaterials suitable for the production of wound-dressing devices and artificial skin-like substitutes. Marine collagen is one of the most promising biomaterials for the production of such devices. In this study, for the first time, 2D collagen membranes (2D-CMs) created from the extracellular matrix extract of the marine demosponge Chondrosia reniformis have been evaluated in vitro as possible tools for wound healing. Fibrillar collagen was extracted from a pool of fresh animals and used for the creation of 2D-CMs, in which permeability to water, proteins, and bacteria, and cellular response in the L929 fibroblast cell line were evaluated. The biodegradability of the 2D-CMs was also assessed by following their degradation in PBS and collagenase solutions for up to 21 days. Results showed that C. reniformis-derived membranes avoided liquid and protein loss in the regeneration region and also functioned as a strong barrier against bacteria infiltration into a wound. Gene expression analyses on fibroblasts stated that their interaction with 2D-CMs is able to improve fibronectin production without interfering with the regular extracellular matrix remodeling processes. These findings, combined with the high extraction yield of fibrillar collagen obtained from C. reniformis with a solvent-free approach, underline how important further studies on the aquaculture of this sponge could be for the sustainable production and biotechnological exploitation of this potentially promising and peculiar biopolymer of marine origin.