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J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(4), 999-1011;

Development of Chitosan Scaffolds with Enhanced Mechanical Properties for Intestinal Tissue Engineering Applications

Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27101, USA
Department of Molecular Medicine and Translational Science, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC 27101, USA
Virginia Tech-Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, Winston-Salem, NC 27101, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kazuo Azuma
Received: 23 June 2015 / Revised: 29 September 2015 / Accepted: 9 October 2015 / Published: 13 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Applications of Chitin and Chitosan)
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Massive resections of segments of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract lead to intestinal discontinuity. Functional tubular replacements are needed. Different scaffolds were designed for intestinal tissue engineering application. However, none of the studies have evaluated the mechanical properties of the scaffolds. We have previously shown the biocompatibility of chitosan as a natural material in intestinal tissue engineering. Our scaffolds demonstrated weak mechanical properties. In this study, we enhanced the mechanical strength of the scaffolds with the use of chitosan fibers. Chitosan fibers were circumferentially-aligned around the tubular chitosan scaffolds either from the luminal side or from the outer side or both. Tensile strength, tensile strain, and Young’s modulus were significantly increased in the scaffolds with fibers when compared with scaffolds without fibers. Burst pressure was also increased. The biocompatibility of the scaffolds was maintained as demonstrated by the adhesion of smooth muscle cells around the different kinds of scaffolds. The chitosan scaffolds with fibers provided a better candidate for intestinal tissue engineering. The novelty of this study was in the design of the fibers in a specific alignment and their incorporation within the scaffolds. View Full-Text
Keywords: chitosan; tubular scaffold; fibers; mechanical properties; freeze/dry; extrusion/gelation chitosan; tubular scaffold; fibers; mechanical properties; freeze/dry; extrusion/gelation

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Zakhem, E.; Bitar, K.N. Development of Chitosan Scaffolds with Enhanced Mechanical Properties for Intestinal Tissue Engineering Applications. J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6, 999-1011.

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