Chitosan scaffolds with enhanced mechanical strength and elastic response by combination of freeze gelation, photo-crosslinking and freeze-drying

Published on Sep 1, 2021in Carbohydrate Polymers7.182
· DOI :10.1016/J.CARBPOL.2021.118156
Ilaria Silvestro5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Sapienza University of Rome),
Riccardo Sergi (Sapienza University of Rome)+ 4 AuthorsIolanda Francolini24
Estimated H-index: 24
(Sapienza University of Rome)
Source
Abstract
Abstract In this study, a new scaffold fabrication method based on the combination of a series of stabilization processes was set up to obtain chitosan scaffolds with improved mechanical properties for regeneration of load-bearing tissues. Specifically, thermally induced phase separation (TIPS) of chitosan solutions was used to obtain an open structure which was then stabilized by freeze-gelation and photo cross-linking. Freeze-gelation combined with freeze-drying permitted to obtain a porous structure with a 95 μm-mean pore size suitable for osteoblast cells' housing. Photo-crosslinking improved by ca. three times the scaffold compressive modulus, passing from 0,8 MPa of the uncrosslinked scaffolds to 2,2 MPa of the crosslinked one. Hydrated crosslinked scaffolds showed a good elastic response, with an 80% elastic recovery for at least 5 consecutive compressive cycles. The herein reported method has the advantage to not require the use of potentially toxic cross-linking agents and may be extended to other soft materials.
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