Collagen/chitosan porous scaffolds with improved biostability for skin tissue engineering
Porous scaffolds for skin tissue engineering were fabricated by freeze-drying the mixture of collagen and chitosan solutions. Glutaraldehyde (GA) was used to treat the scaffolds to improve their biostability. Confocal laser scanning microscopy observation confirmed the even distribution of these two constituent materials in the scaffold. The GA concentrations have a slight effect on the cross-section morphology and the swelling ratios of the cross-linked scaffolds. The collagenase digestion test proved that the presence of chitosan can obviously improve the biostability of the collagen/chitosan scaffold under the GA treatment, where chitosan might function as a cross-linking bridge. A detail investigation found that a steady increase of the biostability of the collagen/chitosan scaffold was achieved when GA concentration was lower than 0.1%, then was less influenced at a still higher GA concentration up to 0.25%. In vitro culture of human dermal fibroblasts proved that the GA-treated scaffold could retain the original good cytocompatibility of collagen to effectively accelerate cell infiltration and proliferation. In vivo animal tests further revealed that the scaffold could sufficiently support and accelerate the fibroblasts infiltration from the surrounding tissue. Immunohistochemistry analysis of the scaffold embedded for 28 days indicated that the biodegradation of the 0.25% GA-treated scaffold is a long-term process. All these results suggest that collagen/chitosan scaffold cross-linked by GA is a potential candidate for dermal equivalent with enhanced biostability and good biocompatibility.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 24, Issue 26, November 2003, Pages 4833–4841