Novel chitosan hydrogel formed by ethylene glycol chitosan, 1,6-diisocyanatohexan and polyethylene glycol-400 for tissue engineering scaffold: in vitro and in vivo evaluation

  • Zhu Chen
  • Ming Zhao
  • Kang Liu
  • Yuqing Wan
  • Xudong Li
  • Gang Feng


Traditional chitosan hydrogels were prepared by chemical or physical crosslinker, and both of the two kinds of hydrogels have their merits and demerits. In this study, researchers attempted to prepare one kind of chitosan hydrogel by slightly crosslinker, which could combine the advantages of the two kinds of hydrogels. In this experiment, the crosslinker was formed by a reaction between the isocyanate group of 1,6-diisocyanatohexan and the hydroxyl group of polyethylene glycol-400 (PEG-400), then the crosslinker reacted with the amidine and the hydroxyl group of ethylene glycol chitosan to form the network structure. Physical properties of the hydrogel were tested by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and biodegradation. Biocompatibility was assessed by cell implantation in vitro and the scaffold was used as a cartilage tissue engineering scaffold to repair a defect in rabbit knee joints in vivo. FTIR results show the formation of a covalent bond during thickening of the ethylene glycol chitosan. SEM and degradation experiments showed that the ethylene glycol chitosan hydrogel is a 3-D, porous, and degradable scaffold. The hydrogel contained 2 % ethylene glycol chitosan and 10 μl crosslinker was selected for the biocompatibility experiment in vitro and in vivo. After chondrocytes were cultured in the ethylene glycol chitosan hydrogel scaffold for 1 week cells exhibited clustered growth and had generated extracellular matrix on the scaffold in vitro. The results in vivo showed that hydrogel-chondrocytes promoted the repair of defect in rabbits. Based on these results, it could be concluded that ethylene glycol chitosan hydrogel is a scaffold with excellent physicochemical properties and it is a promising tissue engineering scaffold.


Chitosan Cartilage Defect Autologous Chondrocytes Implantation Excellent Biocompatibility Blank Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (81171472, 81201407, 81071270).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhu Chen
    • 1
  • Ming Zhao
    • 1
  • Kang Liu
    • 1
  • Yuqing Wan
    • 2
  • Xudong Li
    • 2
  • Gang Feng
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Tissue Engineering and Stem CellsNanchong Central Hospital and the Second Clinical Institute of North Sichuan Medical UniversityNanchongChina
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryUniversity of Virginia School of MedicineCharlottesvilleUSA

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