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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(3), 1936-1963; doi:10.3390/ijms12031936
Review

Chitin-based Materials in Tissue Engineering: Applications in Soft Tissue and Epithelial Organ

1,2,3
1 Department of Otolaryngology, National Taiwan University Hospital and College of Medicine, Taipei, 100, Taiwan 2 Department of Otolaryngology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, 100, Taiwan 3 Research Center for Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, 100, Taiwan
Received: 14 February 2011 / Revised: 7 March 2011 / Accepted: 8 March 2011 / Published: 17 March 2011
(This article belongs to the Section Bioinorganic Chemistry)
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Abstract

Chitin-based materials and their derivatives are receiving increased attention in tissue engineering because of their unique and appealing biological properties. In this review, we summarize the biomedical potential of chitin-based materials, specifically focusing on chitosan, in tissue engineering approaches for epithelial and soft tissues. Both types of tissues play an important role in supporting anatomical structures and physiological functions. Because of the attractive features of chitin-based materials, many characteristics beneficial to tissue regeneration including the preservation of cellular phenotype, binding and enhancement of bioactive factors, control of gene expression, and synthesis and deposition of tissue-specific extracellular matrix are well-regulated by chitin-based scaffolds. These scaffolds can be used in repairing body surface linings, reconstructing tissue structures, regenerating connective tissue, and supporting nerve and vascular growth and connection. The novel use of these scaffolds in promoting the regeneration of various tissues originating from the epithelium and soft tissue demonstrates that these chitin-based materials have versatile properties and functionality and serve as promising substrates for a great number of future applications.
Keywords: chitin; chitosan; epithelium; soft tissue; tissue engineering; regeneration chitin; chitosan; epithelium; soft tissue; tissue engineering; regeneration
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Yang, T.-L. Chitin-based Materials in Tissue Engineering: Applications in Soft Tissue and Epithelial Organ. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12, 1936-1963.

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