Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine

, Volume 25, Issue 12, pp 2743–2756 | Cite as

Synthesis, physiochemical characterization, and biocompatibility of a chitosan/dextran-based hydrogel for postsurgical adhesion prevention

  • Jaydee D. Cabral
  • Marina Roxburgh
  • Zheng Shi
  • Liqi Liu
  • Michelle McConnell
  • Gail Williams
  • Natasha Evans
  • Lyall R. Hanton
  • Jim Simpson
  • Stephen C. Moratti
  • Brian H. Robinson
  • Peter J. Wormald
  • Simon Robinson


An amine-functionalized succinyl chitosan and an oxidized dextran were synthesized and mixed in aqueous solution to form an in situ chitosan/dextran injectable, surgical hydrogel for adhesion prevention. Rheological characterization showed that the rate of gelation and moduli were tunable based on amine and aldehyde levels, as well as polymer concentrations. The CD hydrogels have been shown to be effective post-operative aids in prevention of adhesions in ear, nose, and throat surgeries and abdominal surgeries in vivo. In vitro biocompatibility testing was performed on CD hydrogels containing one of two oxidized dextrans, an 80 % oxidized (CD-100) or 25 % (CD-25) oxidized dextran. However, the CD-100 hydrogel showed moderate cytotoxicity in vitro to Vero cells. SC component of the CD hydrogel, however, showed no cytotoxic effect. In order to increase the biocompatibility of the hydrogel, a lower aldehyde level hydrogel was developed. CD-25 was found to be non-cytotoxic to L929 fibroblasts. The in vivo pro-inflammatory response of the CD-25 hydrogel, after intraperitoneal injection in BALB/c mice, was also determined by measuring serum TNF-α levels and by histological analysis of tissues. TNF-α levels were similar in mice injected with CD-25 hydrogel as compared to the negative saline injected control; and were significantly different (P < 0.05) as compared to the positive, lipopolysaccharide, injected control. Histological examination revealed no inflammation seen in CD hydrogel injected mice. The results of these in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrate the biocompatibility of the CD hydrogel as a post-operative aid for adhesion prevention.



We thank the New Economy Research Fund (Grant No.UOO-X0808) for support of this work. We acknowledge Clare Fitzpatrick for the animal studies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaydee D. Cabral
    • 1
  • Marina Roxburgh
    • 1
  • Zheng Shi
    • 1
  • Liqi Liu
    • 1
  • Michelle McConnell
    • 2
  • Gail Williams
    • 3
  • Natasha Evans
    • 4
  • Lyall R. Hanton
    • 1
  • Jim Simpson
    • 1
  • Stephen C. Moratti
    • 1
  • Brian H. Robinson
    • 1
  • Peter J. Wormald
    • 5
  • Simon Robinson
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology & ImmunologyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  3. 3.Department of PathologyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  4. 4.School of Chemical and Physical SciencesVictoria UniversityWellingtonNew Zealand
  5. 5.Department of Surgery-OtorhinolaryngologyAdelaide UniversityAdelaideAustralia
  6. 6.Wakefield HospitalWakefield Nasal and Sinus InstituteWellingtonNew Zealand

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