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Biomaterials. 2005 Dec;26(36):7616-27.

In vitro characterization of chitosan-gelatin scaffolds for tissue engineering.

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School of Chemical Engineering, Oklahoma State University, 423 Engineering North, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA.


Recently, chitosan-gelatin scaffolds have gained much attention in various tissue engineering applications. However, the underlying cell-matrix interactions remain unclear in addition to the scaffold degradation and mechanical characteristics. In this study, we evaluated (i) the degradation kinetics of chitosan and chitosan-gelatin scaffolds in the presence of 10mg/L of lysozyme for dimensional stability, weight loss, and pH changes for a period of 2 months, (ii) tensile and compressive properties of films and scaffolds in wet state at 37 degrees C, (iii) viability of fibroblasts and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) on scaffolds, and (iv) the alteration in cell spreading characteristics, cytoskeletal actin distribution, focal adhesion kinase (FAK) distribution and PECAM-1 expression of HUVECs under static and 4.5, 8.5, 13 and 18 dyn/cm2 shear stress conditions. Degradation results showed that gelatin-containing chitosan scaffolds had faster degradation rate and significant loss of material than chitosan. Mechanical properties of chitosan are affected by the addition of gelatin although there was no clear trend. Three-dimensional chitosan and chitosan-gelatin scaffolds supported fibroblast viability equally. However, chitosan membranes decreased cell-spreading area, disrupted F-actin and localized FAK in the nucleus of HUVECs. Importantly, the lowest shear stress tested (4.5 dyn/cm2) for 3 h washed away cells on chitosan suggesting weak cell adhesion. In the blends, effect of gelatin was dominant; actin and FAK distribution were comparable to gelatin in static culture. However, at higher shear stresses, presence of chitosan inhibited shear-induced increase in cell spreading and weakened cell adhesive strength. No significant differences were observed in PECAM-1 expression. In summary, these results showed significant influence of blending gelatin with chitosan on scaffold properties and cellular behavior.

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