Carbon nanotubes reinforced chitosan films: mechanical properties and cell response of a novel biomaterial for cardiovascular tissue engineering
Carbon nanotubes have been proposed as fillers to reinforce polymeric biomaterials for the strengthening of their structural integrity to achieve better biomechanical properties. In this study, a new polymeric composite material was introduced by incorporating various low concentrations of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) into chitosan (CS), aiming at achieving a novel composite biomaterial with superior mechanical and biological properties compared to neat CS, in order to be used in cardiovascular tissue engineering applications. Both mechanical and biological characteristics in contact with the two relevant cell types (endothelial cells and vascular myofibroblasts) were studied. Regarding the mechanical behavior of MWCNT reinforced CS (MWCNT/CS), 5 and 10 % concentrations of MWCNTs enhanced the mechanical behavior of CS, with that of 5 % exhibiting a superior mechanical strength compared to 10 % concentration and neat CS. Regarding biological properties, MWCNT/CS best supported proliferation of endothelial and myofibroblast cells, MWCNTs and MWCNT/CS caused no apoptosis and were not toxic of the examined cell types. Conclusively, the new material could be suitable for tissue engineering (TE) and particularly for cardiovascular TE applications.
KeywordsChitosan Polylactic Acid Ultimate Stress Myofibroblast Cell Relevant Cell Type
This work was partly supported with a Greek-German bilateral cooperation program IKY & DAAD (IKYDA 2010).
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