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J Biomed Mater Res A. 2016 Aug;104(8):1863-70. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.35717. Epub 2016 Mar 30.

Preparation, characterization, and evaluation of genipin crosslinked chitosan/gelatin three-dimensional scaffolds for liver tissue engineering applications.

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Tianjin State Key Laboratory of Modern Chinese Medicine, Research Center of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, 300193, People's Republic of China.
Tianjin Key Laboratory of Biomedical Materials, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Tianjin, 300192, People's Republic of China.
Faculty of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300072, People's Republic of China.


In liver tissue engineering, scaffolds with porous structure desgined to supply nutrient and oxygen exchange for three-dimensional (3-D) cells culture, and maintain liver functions. Meanwhile, genipin, as a natural crosslinker, is widely used to crosslink biomaterials in tissue engineering, with lower cytotoxicity and better biocompatibility. In present study, chitosan/gelatin 3-D scaffolds crosslinked by genipin, glutaraldehyde or 1-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-3-ethyl-carbodimide hydrochloride (EDC) were prepared and characterized by Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The biocompatibility of chitosan/gelatin scaffolds corsslinked with different crosslinkers was investigated by cell viability, morphology and liver specific functions. The result showed that the 1% and 2% genipin crosslinked chitosan/gelatin scaffolds possess ideal porosity. The genipin crosslinked 3-D scaffolds possessed the best biocompatibility than that of the others, and maintained liver specific functions when HepG2 cells seeded on scaffolds. The cellular morphology of HepG2 cells seeded on scaffolds showed that cells could penetrate into the scaffolds and proliferate significantly. Therefore, genipin crosslinked chitosan/gelatin scaffolds could be a promising biomaterial used in liver tissue engineering.


3-D culture; Genipin; HepG2 cell line; liver tissue engineering; scaffolds

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