Chitosan/alginate hybrid scaffolds

Principal Investigator: Miqin Zhang

For the past decade, a large number of natural and synthetic porous polymeric materials have been extensively studied for use as scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. Although these efforts have been successful in some aspects the fabrication of 3D bioresorbable scaffolds that have combined mechanical strength and desired biological properties remains a formidable challenge.

This technology is a novel hybrid biodegradable porous scaffold made of naturally derived chitosan and sodium alginate, which has significantly-improved mechanical and biological properties. The scaffolds have a three-dimensional interconnected porous structure and were fabricated by thermally induced phase separation. Physical, mechanical, and biological properties of the scaffolds were characterized and analyzed. The results showed that high compressive yield strength of the chitosan-alginate scaffolds were a result of ionic bonding between the amino groups of chitosan and carboxyl groups of alginate. Cell-material interaction studies indicated that osteoblast cells seeded on the alginate-chitosan scaffolds and cultured without osteogenic medium appeared to attach and proliferate well on the scaffolds and to promote the formation of bone nodules.

Tissue engineered products for bone are anticipated in the near future. This technology can be used to prepare living bone equivalents, following seeding and growth of bone cells. It can also be used as a repair biomaterial to heal difficult bone lesions such as high-impact fractures and loss of entire bone segments.

For more info, contact: Lisa Norton

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