Preparation and characterization of chitosan/chondroitin sulfate-based scaffold for cartilage regeneration.

last updated: 2013-02-04
TitlePreparation and characterization of chitosan/chondroitin sulfate-based scaffold for cartilage regeneration.
Publication TypeComunications - Poster
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsPiai J. F., Martins A., Alves da Silva, ML, Reis R. L., Muniz E. C., and Neves N. M.

Preparation and characterization of chitosan/chondroitin sulfate-based scaffold for cartilage regeneration


J. F. Piai1,2,3, A. Martins1,2, M. A. da Silva1,2, R. L. Reis1,2, E. C. Muniz3, N. M. Neves1,2

1 3B’s Research Group, University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal

2 ICVS/ 3B´s Associate Laboratory, Braga/ Guimarães, Portugal

3 Grupo de Materiais Poliméricos e Compósitos, GMPC - Departamento de Química- Universidade Estadual de Maringá - Maringá, Paraná, Brazil.


Chitosan has attracted interest as a candidate biomaterial for cartilage repair because of its biocompatibility and structural similarity with glycosaminoglycans naturally present in the extracellular matrix of cartilage [1] [2]. Being chondroitin sulfate (CS) an important cartilage matrix component, we propose herein the immobilization of this biomaterial at the surface of electrospun chitosan nanofiber meshes (Ch). To prepare the chondroitin sulfate coated Ch meshes we used a layer-by-layer polyelectrolyte strategy. The chitosan surface is the polycation and CS provides the polyanion. Thus, CS was immobilized by electrostatic interaction with the Ch fibres, forming a polyelectrolyte complex. Contact Angle, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirmed the successful CS-coating. After CS-immobilization, SEM images revealed small particles at the surface of the fibers (Fig. 1).  Furthermore, Ch/CS showed higher hydrophilicity than the controls without CS.

Human articular chondrocytes (HACs) were cultured on electrospun chitosan meshes with and without immobilized CS. It was observed that HACs proliferated through the entire time course of the experiment in both types of scaffolds. However, after 7, 14, 21 and 28 days of chondrocytes culturing, no significant quantitative changes in the results of cell viability and proliferation and GAGs quantification were observed due to CS immobilization at Ch mesh. However, SEM micrographs of the cells seeded in the samples coated with CS show the spherical morphology of chondrocytes since the initial time point (7 days) and being preserved during the whole experiment. In controls without CS, the cells only show this characteristic morphology at the last time point (28 days). This result suggests that the presence of CS at the surface of the chitosan mesh provides the adequate cues for the cells to preserve the phenotype during in-vitro culture.

In conclusion, CS immobilization was successfully achieved and provides a valid platform enabling further surface functionalization methods in scaffolds to be developed for cartilage tissue engineering.   






















Figure 1: SEM micrographs of the fibrous structure of: (a) Chitosan mesh; (b) Polyelectrolyte complex of Chitosan/Chondroitin Sulfate


Keywords: cartilage regeneration, chondroitin sulfate, chitosan, electrospinning.


[1] I.K. Shim, W.H. Suh, S.Y. Lee, S.H. Lee, S.J. Heo, M.C. Lee, S.J. Lee, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A 90 (2009) 595–602.

[2] N. Bhattarai, D. Edmondson, O. Veiseh, F.A. Matsen, M. Zhang, Biomaterials 26 (2005) 6176–6184. – GMPC, UEM, - Av. Colombo 5790 - 87020-900, Maringá, PR, Brazil

Conference NameXI Meeting of SBPMat (Brazilian Society of Materials Research)
Date Published2012-09-01
Conference LocationFlorianópolis, Brazil
Keywordschondrocytes, Chondroitin sulphate, PCL modification
Peer reviewedyes

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