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Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl. 2019 Jan 1;94:364-375. doi: 10.1016/j.msec.2018.09.045. Epub 2018 Sep 18.

Mechanically-enhanced polysaccharide-based scaffolds for tissue engineering of soft tissues.

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Department of Engineering of Materials and of Bioprocesses, School of Chemical Engineering, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, SP, Brazil.
Department of Basic Health Sciences, Laboratory of Cell Biology, Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre - UFCSPA, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.
Laboratory for Biomaterials and Bioengineering, Canada Research Chair I in Biomaterials and Bioengineering for the Innovation in Surgery, Department of Min-Met-Materials Engineering, Research Center of CHU de Quebec, Division of Regenerative Medicine, Laval University, Quebec, QC, Canada.
Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Biomedical Engineering, Colorado State University (CSU), Fort Collins, CO, USA.
Department of Engineering of Materials and of Bioprocesses, School of Chemical Engineering, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, SP, Brazil. Electronic address:


Collagen-based materials are probably among the most used class of biomaterials in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Although collagen is often privileged for providing a suitable substrate on which cells can be cultured or a matrix in which cells can be dispersed, its mechanical properties represent a major limitation for clinical translation and even for handling of the obtained regenerated tissue. In this work, the combination of polysaccharides chitosan (Ch) and xanthan gum (X) was investigated as an alternative for scaffolds for soft tissue engineering. Moreover, in an attempt to reach a compromise between obtaining highly porous biomaterials while maintaining appropriate mechanical properties, a surfactant (Kolliphor® P188, K) was added to Ch-X matrices to generate pores, while silicone rubber (Silpuran® 2130A/B, S) was used to balance their mechanical properties. Addition of K (10 or 25% w/w) increased the porosity and pore-dimensions, while addition of S improved by up to 156% and 85% the elastic moduli and the elastic behavior of Ch-X-based scaffolds, under both compressive and tensile loads, respectively, at 50% strain. Relaxation tests confirmed that these materials do have a viscoelastic behavior. The presence of S increased thickness and microscale surface roughness and did not affect liquid uptake and stability, thrombogenicity, biodegradation and cytotoxicity of polysaccharide-based scaffolds. In conclusion, this work shows that Ch-X-S porous blends constitute suitable scaffolds for soft tissue engineering.


Chitosan; Mechanical properties; Silicone; Surfactant; Tissue engineering; Xanthan


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