Katherine Sizeland

Doctor of Philosophy, (Engineering)
Study Completed: 2015
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Nanostructure and Physical Properties of Collagen Biomaterials

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Collagen is the main structural component of leather, skin, pericardium (the sac enclosing the heart), and other tissues. These biomaterials have a mechanical function and their physical properties are partly a result of the structural arrangement of collagen. Ms Sizeland used synchrotron-based small angle X-ray scattering to investigate the architecture of collagen in leather and other biomaterials focusing on how the structure changes when different chemical and mechanical processes are applied. In leather, a structure-strength relationship was quantified across a range of different animals and nanostructural changes to collagen were identified throughout the leather-making process. Structural and physical properties were determined to be age-dependent in pericardium. By understanding the hierarchical structure of collagen and its mechanisms for modification when subjected to different chemical and mechanical processes, Ms Sizeland''sresearch has provided valuable insight in to understanding the performance of leather, skin, and other tissues in biological, medical, and industrial contexts. 

Professor Richard Haverkamp
Professor Stephen Matthews