Comparative study on the role of gelatin, chitosan and their combination as tissue engineered scaffolds on healing and regeneration of critical sized bone defects: an in vivo study
Gelatin and chitosan are natural polymers that have extensively been used in tissue engineering applications. The present study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of chitosan and gelatin or combination of the two biopolymers (chitosan–gelatin) as bone scaffold on bone regeneration process in an experimentally induced critical sized radial bone defect model in rats. Fifty radial bone defects were bilaterally created in 25 Wistar rats. The defects were randomly filled with chitosan, gelatin and chitosan–gelatin and autograft or left empty without any treatment (n = 10 in each group). The animals were examined by radiology and clinical evaluation before euthanasia. After 8 weeks, the rats were euthanized and their harvested healing bone samples were evaluated by radiology, CT-scan, biomechanical testing, gross pathology, histopathology, histomorphometry and scanning electron microscopy. Gelatin was biocompatible and biodegradable in vivo and showed superior biodegradation and biocompatibility when compared with chitosan and chitosan–gelatin scaffolds. Implantation of both the gelatin and chitosan–gelatin scaffolds in bone defects significantly increased new bone formation and mechanical properties compared with the untreated defects (P < 0.05). Combination of the gelatin and chitosan considerably increased structural and functional properties of the healing bones when compared to chitosan scaffold (P < 0.05). However, no significant differences were observed between the gelatin and gelatin–chitosan groups in these regards (P > 0.05). In conclusion, application of the gelatin alone or its combination with chitosan had beneficial effects on bone regeneration and could be considered as good options for bone tissue engineering strategies. However, chitosan alone was not able to promote considerable new bone formation in the experimentally induced critical-size radial bone defects.
The authors would like to thank the authorities of the Veterinary School, Shiraz University for their kind cooperation.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.
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