Comparison of various mixtures of β-chitin and chitosan as a scaffold for three-dimensional culture of rabbit chondrocytes

  • Daisuke Suzuki
  • Masaaki Takahashi
  • Masashi Abe
  • Junichiro Sarukawa
  • Hiroshi Tamura
  • Seiichi Tokura
  • Yasuhiro Kurahashi
  • Akira Nagano


With the use of a recently created chitosan neutral hydrogel, we have been able to create various mixtures of chitin and chitosan without changing their characteristics even at room temperature. The aim of this study was the initial comparison of various mixtures of β-chitin and chitosan as a scaffold for rabbit chondrocyte culture. We created five types of sponges: pure β-chitin, pure chitosan, 3:1, 1:1, and 1:3 β-chitin-chitosan. The absorption efficiencies of chondrocytes in all five types of sponges were found to be around 98%. The mean concentrations of chondroitin sulfate were statistically different neither at week 2 nor at week 4 postculture between the types of sponges. The content of hydroxyproline in the β-chitin sponge was significantly greater than in other sponges at week 4 postculture. From the histochemical and immunohistochemical findings, the cartilage-like layer in the chondrocytes-sponge composites of all five types of sponges was similar to hyaline cartilage. However, only immunohistochemical staining of type II collagen in the pure β-chitin sponge was closer to normal rabbit cartilage than other types of sponges. The pure β-chitin sponge was superior to other sponges concerning the content of extracellular matrices of collagen.



We express our deep gratitude to Mr. Yuichi Kaneko and Ms. Ayako Okamoto for their technical help for obtaining chondrocytes from rabbits and the measurements of hydroxyproline.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daisuke Suzuki
    • 1
  • Masaaki Takahashi
    • 1
  • Masashi Abe
    • 1
  • Junichiro Sarukawa
    • 1
  • Hiroshi Tamura
    • 2
  • Seiichi Tokura
    • 2
  • Yasuhiro Kurahashi
    • 3
  • Akira Nagano
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryHamamatsu University School of MedicineHamamatsuJapan
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Chemistry, Materials and BioengineeringKansai UniversitySuitaJapan
  3. 3.Medical Technologist Glycoconjugate Research Center, Kurihama PlantSeikagaku CorporationYokosukaJapan

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