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Publications in November 2016 - Chitosan for tissue regeneration

This month we deal with chitosan for skin tissue engineering. In 2016, 129 articles about “chitosan” and “tissue engineering” were published. Most publications were written by researchers from China (42 articles), India (14) and the United States (14).

Top Journals Publications
Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl 19
Carbohydr Polym 16
Int J Biol Macromol 8
J Biomed Mater Res A 5
J Mater Sci Mater Med 3

Table: Journals which published the most articles about chitosan for tissue engineering in 2016. Source:

Now we immerse into a review about the current state and future prospects for scaffolding methods and biomaterials in skin tissue engineering. Our focus is the application of chitosan as versatile biomaterial.

Future Prospects for Scaffolding Methods and Biomaterials in Skin Tissue Engineering: A Review

Chaudhari A. A., Vig K., Baganizi D. R. et al. International Journal of Molecular Science, 17 (2), November 2016. doi:10.3390/ijms17121974.

There are different types of scaffolds used in skin tissue engineering with different advantages and disadvantages. The scaffold types can be divided into porous, fibrous, hydrogel, microsphere, composite and acellular scaffolds. The review discusses the application of polysaccharides-based biomaterials for skin tissue engineering. Treatment of burnings and wounds benefits from the hemostatic, antimicrobial and antifungal properties of chitosan. The homoglycan polysaccharide chitosan stimulates fibroblasts proliferation, angiogenesis and cytokine production by macrophage activation. Chitosan supports scar-free wound healing by synthesis and deposition of collagen and hyaluronic acid at the wound area. One study showed improved properties for Chitosan nanofibrous scaffolds compared to 2D and 3D chitosan sponges. An enhanced adhesion, proliferation and differentiation of fibroblasts, keratinocytes and endothelial cells, better vascularization as well as granulation tissue formation has been reported for chitosan nanofibrous scaffolds.

Further mentioned examples for chitin/chitosan formulations with beneficial effects for would healing:

  • Water-soluble chitin ointment
  • Phosphorylated chitin/chitosan
  • Antimicrobial films, sponges and hyrogels of chitosan
  • Chitosan mesh membranes
  • Chitosan films with antioxidant or thyme oil
  • Chitosan-aloevera membranes

The Application of chitosan for scaffolds based on hydrogels has great potential, due to the biocompatibility and biodegradability. Hydrogels are formed by covalent or non-covalent crosslinking of the polymers. Important is thereby fine tuning of adhesion of cells to the scaffold and suitable biodegradation of the scaffold. These properties can be adjusted by varying the molecular weight and degree of deacetylation.

Following chitosan hydrogels were presented for dermal and epidermal tissue regeneration.

  • Chitosan-gelatin hydrogels combined with poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)(PLGA) nanofibers
  • 3D porous Chitosan-alginate scaffold inserted in a poly(ethylene glycol)-g-chitosan (C-PEG) hydrogel – creation of bi-layer environment for fibroblasts and keratinocytes.

Furthermore, there are plenty chitosan-based composites with possible therapeutic applications for wound healing and tissue regeneration:

  • Chitosan nanoparticels containing fibrin gels
  • Cellulose-chitosan fibers as anti-infective bandages (chitosan improves biocompatibility)
  • Chitosan-cellulose-silver nanoparticle mixtures
  • Chitosan-gelatin spongy mixtures
  • Chitosan-gelatin-antibiotic mixtures
  • Chitsan-alginate polyelectrolyte membranes
  • Growth factor containing Chitosan gels
  • Tencel-chitosan-pectin composites
  • Chitosan-fibrin nanocomposites

Of particular interest are polymer-bioceramic composite scaffolds which have improved degradation behavior, higher stiffness and strength. One example is chitosan mixed with mesoporous bioactive glass fibers as composite film, which could be used for skin repair.

Conclusion: There are numerous applications of chitosan for scaffolds in skin tissue engineering. Its many advantages, such as biocompatibility and antimicrobial activity, can be used to provide a suitable 3D environment for cells growth, proliferation and differentiation. The further development and examination of composite scaffolds for skin tissue growth is necessary, to overcome challenges regarding faster cellular proliferation/differentiation and vascularization of the tissue.


The authors of this review are from the Center of Nanobiotechnologie Research at the Alabama State University. Among other things they develop chitosan-PLGA nanomaterials for production of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory formulations. One research project is about the effect of chitosan-based materials on macrophages and dentritic cells.

More publications by University of Alabama:

Swapnil Bawage, Pooja Tiwari, Ankur Singh, Vida Dennis, Shree Singh. “Chitosan – PLGA Nanoparticles Inhibit Respiratory Syncytial Virus”. NanoBio Summit 2015, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, UAB Alumni House and the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, Birmingham, Alabama, October 15-16, 2015

Ankur K. Singh, Erdal Eroglu, Pooja Tiwari, Swapnil Bawage, Vida A. Dennis, Shree Ram Singh. “Chitosan-pHEMA Based RSV-F DNA Nano-Vaccine”. NanoBio Summit 2015, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, UAB Alumni House and the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, Birmingham, Alabama, October 15-16, 2015

Swapnil Bawage, Pooja Tiwari, Vida Dennis, Shree Singh. “Peptide RF482 Encapsulated Chitosan – PLGA Nanoparticles Inhibit Respiratory Syncytial Virus”. TechConnect World 2015 Joint Conferences, EXPOS AND Innovation Showcase, Nanotech, Microtech, Biotech, Cleantech, (NSTI) Washington, D.C., June 14-17, 2015

chitosan, scaffold, tissue engineering, skin, wound healing

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