Hannah Wells

Doctor of Philosophy, (Sciences)
Study Completed: 2016
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
The Structure and Performance of Collagen Biomaterials

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Type I collagen based materials are used in a range of industrial applications including leather for garments and upholstery, acellular dermal matrix materials for surgical tissue repair, and pericardium for heart valve replacements. These materials rely on a matrix of collagen fibrils for mechanical strength, an important property for their applications. Understanding the behaviour of collagen fibrils within biological materials is imperative for optimising overall material performance and quality. Ms Wells used a combination of synchrotron based small angle x-ray scattering, electron microscopy and ultrasonic imaging to study collagen fibril structure and behaviour in a range of materials. A method of detecting a leather defect called looseness using ultrasound was developed. Response of individual collagen fibrils to strain and the features of collagen fibril structure that give stronger medical materials were uncovered. Her research could be particularly useful for the leather and medical industries to improve current and develop new products

Professor Richard Haverkamp
Dr Steven Matthews