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Biomaterials. 2002 Jul;23(13):2717-22.

Biocompatibility of thermosensitive chitosan-based hydrogels: an in vivo experimental approach to injectable biomaterials.

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  • 1Faculté de Pharmacie, Université de Montréal, Qué., Canada.


Chitosan, an amino-polysaccharide obtained from the alkaline deacetylation of chitin, presents an interest as a drug vehicle. Indeed, chitosan solutions containing glycerol-2-phosphate (beta-GP) undergo sol-gel transition at a temperature close to 37 degrees C, which make them suitable for the parenteral administration of drugs. However, before using these chitosan derivatives for biomedical applications, it is important to evaluate their biocompatibility, and particularly to test their inflammatory effects. When injected in the hindpaw of the rat, we have shown that: (i) four chitosan/beta-GP solutions tested triggered a non-specific response, with solutions prepared with chitosans of higher deacetylation degrees yielding a lesser inflammatory reaction and (ii) systemic pretreatment of animals with icatibant, apafant and diphenhydramine did not significantly diminish this response; dexamethasone practically abolished it for all solutions and ketanserine only slightly decreased it in one preparation at two different times. In conclusion, it appears that a higher degree of deacetylation of the chitin chain is desirable for superior biocompatibility.

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