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Biomacromolecules. 2014 Oct 13;15(10):3817-26. doi: 10.1021/bm501156v. Epub 2014 Oct 2.

Tailored freestanding multilayered membranes based on chitosan and alginate.

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3B's Research Group - Biomaterials, Biodegradables and Biomimetics, University of Minho , Headquarters of the European Institute of Excellence on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, AvePark, 4806-909 Taipas/Guimarães, Portugal.


Engineering metabolically demanding tissues requires the supply of nutrients, oxygen, and removal of metabolic byproducts, as well as adequate mechanical properties. In this work, we propose the development of chitosan (CHIT)/alginate (ALG) freestanding membranes fabricated by layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly. CHIT/ALG membranes were cross-linked with genipin at a concentration of 1 mg·mL(-1) or 5 mg·mL(-1). Mass transport properties of glucose and oxygen were evaluated on the freestanding membranes. The diffusion of glucose and oxygen decreases with increasing cross-linking concentration. Mechanical properties were also evaluated in physiological-simulated conditions. Increasing cross-linking density leads to an increase of storage modulus, Young modulus, and ultimate tensile strength, but to a decrease in the maximum hydrostatic pressure. The in vitro biological performance demonstrates that cross-linked films are more favorable for cell adhesion. This work demonstrates the versatility and feasibility of LbL assembly to generate nanostructured constructs with tunable permeability, mechanical, and biological properties.

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