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Zhu J.,DSAPM Laboratory | Xiong Y.,Biomedical Research Institute | Zeng C.,DSAPM Laboratory | Qiang N.,DSAPM Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Biological Macromolecules | Year: 2012

Four kinds of chitosan conduits with longitudinal multi-channels and controlled internal microstructures were prepared using a special mold and a freeze-drying method. One of the conduits was fabricated from a chitosan solution (ab NC), while the other three groups were made from a pre-gelled chitosan solution using genipin as a chemical cross-linker (ab gNC), dibasic sodium phosphate as a physical cross-linker (ab pNC) or a combined ionic and covalent co-cross-linker (ab gpNC), respectively. The porosity of the chitosan conduits ranged from 88 to 90%. The gpNC showed highly interconnected and uniformly distributed pores compared to NC, the gNC and pNC. In contrast, the gNC and gpNC showed about 10% of the volume swelling ratio in 37 °C PBS solution, although the gpNC scaffold's water uptake was the highest, at more than 17 times its original mass. Compressive tests showed that gpNC had significant elasticity and maintained its physical integrity even after compressing them down to 20% of their original height. The elastic modulus of gpNC reached 80. kPa, which was more than twice that of the other groups. Adhesion and proliferation of PC12 cells on chitosan gpNC scaffolds showed excellent properties by MTT and SEM observation, which indicated the potential of gpNC scaffolds for nerve tissue engineering applications. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

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