Faculty Affairs: Faculty Interests Database Andrzej Fertala, PhD
Thomas Jefferson University
Jefferson Medical College
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
|Mailing Address||Contact Information|
1015 Walnut str.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
|Expertise and Research Interests|
| My primary research activities involve the area of extracellular matrix. In particular, my studies focus on
(i) identifying pathomechanisms of heritable diseases of connective tissues caused by mutations in collagen
genes, (ii) technologies to produce novel collagen-like proteins for biomedical applications, and (iii)
developing novel approaches to limit excessive fibrosis.
In the studies on the molecular basis of the heritable diseases caused by mutations in collagenous
proteins, my studies place a main emphasis on (i) osteogenesis imperfecta caused by mutations in collagen
I, (ii) spondyloepiphyseal displasias caused by mutations in collagen II, and (iii) on epidermolysis bullosa
caused by mutations in collagen VII.
In addition to the studies on pathomechanisms of heritable diseases of connective tissues, my work
contributed significantly to developing novel technologies for the production of human recombinant collagens
for a number of biomedical applications. As animal-derived collagens and gelatin, at present widely used in
biomedical and pharmaceutical fields, have the potential to transmit animal-derived diseases, the ability to
produce recombinant human collagens and gelatin is very attractive. The high value and the potential
applicability of recombinant human collagens are reflected by an approved patent and its licensing by
Thomas Jefferson University to a commercial company. In addition to already established technologies, I
continue developing new approaches to the rational engineering of collagenous proteins for biomedical
In response to the need for novel therapies for fibrotic diseases, my laboratory has recently initiated
studies on novel approaches to limit excessive fibrosis. These new approaches are built on my discoveries of
processes that govern the formation of collagen fibrils. As this process is fundamental for the formation of
fibrotic deposits, my concept is that, by inhibiting the formation of collagen fibrils, it will be possible to limit
fibrosis. If experimentally confirmed, this novel concept may lead to developing novel inhibitors of fibrotic
processes occurring in keloids, hypertrophic scarring, and others.
I have a technical collaboration with TestResources. They have designed and engineered knee torque
measurement test machine designed for testing the stiffness of rabbit knee joints.
1. Prockop, D.J., L. Ala-Kokko, A. Fertala, A. Sieron, K.I. Kivirikko, A. Geddis, T. Pihlajaniemi, Synthesis of
human procollagens and collagens in recombinant DNA systems. U.S. Patent Number 5,405,757, 1995 (Patent
licensed by TJU to a biotech company; FibroGen).
2. Prockop, D.J., A. Fertala, Inhibitors of collagen assembly. U.S. Patent Number 6,472,504. 2002.
3. Fertala, A., F. Ko, Collagen or collagen-like peptide containing polymeric matrices. U.S. Patent Number
|collagen; extracellular matrix; recombinant collagen; fibrosis|
Last Updated by Andrzej Fertala, PhD: Thursday, October 13, 2011 5:32:01 PM