Chitosan/gelatin scaffolds support bone regeneration
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Chitosan/Gelatin (CS:Gel) scaffolds were fabricated by chemical crosslinking with glutaraldehyde or genipin by freeze drying. Both crosslinked CS:Gel scaffold types with a mass ratio of 40:60% form a gel-like structure with interconnected pores. Dynamic rheological measurements provided similar values for the storage modulus and the loss modulus of the CS:Gel scaffolds when crosslinked with the same concentration of glutaraldehyde vs. genipin. Compared to genipin, the glutaraldehyde-crosslinked scaffolds supported strong adhesion and infiltration of pre-osteoblasts within the pores as well as survival and proliferation of both MC3T3-E1 pre-osteoblastic cells after 7 days in culture, and human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) after 14 days in culture. The levels of collagen secreted into the extracellular matrix by the pre-osteoblasts cultured for 4 and 7 days on the CS:Gel scaffolds, significantly increased when compared to the tissue culture polystyrene (TCPS) control surface. Human BM-MSCs attached and infiltrated within the pores of the CS:Gel scaffolds allowing for a significant increase of the osteogenic gene expression of RUNX2, ALP, and OSC. Histological data following implantation of a CS:Gel scaffold into a mouse femur demonstrated that the scaffolds support the formation of extracellular matrix, while fibroblasts surrounding the porous scaffold produce collagen with minimal inflammatory reaction. These results show the potential of CS:Gel scaffolds to support new tissue formation and thus provide a promising strategy for bone tissue engineering.
We acknowledge financial support from the General Secretariat for Research and Technology Aristeia II Grant ‘Osteobiomimesis 3438’. We also thank Prof. Dimitris Vlassopoulos (University of Crete, Greece) for discussions on rheological issues and support of this research. Prof. Elias Drakos is acknowledged for his support in histological study.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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