Fabrication and properties of porous chitin/chitosan conduit for nerve formation


Yumin Yang, Xiaosong Gu, Renxiang Tan, Wen Hu, Xiaodong Wang, Peiyun Zhang, Tianyi Zhang Jiangsu Province Key Laboratory of Neuroregeneration, Nantong Medical College, Nantong, Jiangsu 226001, People's Republic of China Institute of Functional Biomolecules, State Key Laboratory for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, People's Republic of China


<正> This study provided a casting method to fabricate porous, biodegradable, natural chitin/chitosan nerve conduit by a special mold. The structure of the conduit was designed to resemble that of nerves. Then the conduit was characterized via Fourier Transform IR spectrophotometer (FT-IR) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) as well as tensile strength testing. The SEM examination of conduit sample confirmed that the microstructure of its exterior was homogeneous and highly porous, which might be necessary to release bioactive substances. The FT-IR spectra showed that the used lactic acid was eliminated by neutralization and rinse of distilled water in a pre-drying step, leaving no residues in the conduit. The experiments also indicated that the addition of chitin powder to the chitosan solution led to a great increase of mechanical strength and maximum tensile strength ranging from 7.2 to 9.6 MPa, which was strong enough for operation in vivo. By solidifying the conduit in NaOH before lyophilizing, the hollow conduit could keep its shape without swelling, shrinking or distorting in vivo after implantation. Changing the diameters of inner pillar and outer tuber could easily and inexpensively vary the diameters and thickness of the conduits. Preliminary animal tests using Sprague-Dawley rats further implied that porous chitin/chitosan conduits were well compatible with surrounding tissue. The chitin/chitosan conduit might have excellent potential for being used as scaffolds in nerve regeneration.


chitin/chitosan, conduit, fabrication, properties, nerve regeneration


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