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Monday 17 October 2011

Chitin scaffolds

Tissue engineering/regeneration is based on the hypothesis that healthy stem/progenitor cells either recruited or delivered to an injured site, can eventually regenerate lost or damaged tissue.

Most of the researchers working in tissue engineering and regenerative technology attempt to create tissue replacements by culturing cells onto synthetic porous three-dimensional polymeric scaffolds, which is currently regarded as an ideal approach to enhance functional tissue regeneration by creating and maintaining channels that facilitate progenitor cell migration, proliferation and differentiation.

The requirements that must be satisfied by such scaffolds include providing a space with the proper size, shape and porosity for tissue development and permitting cells from the surrounding tissue to migrate into the matrix.

Recently, chitin scaffolds have been widely used in tissue engineering due to their non-toxic, biodegradable and biocompatible nature.

The advantage of chitin as a tissue engineering biomaterial lies in that it can be easily processed into gel and scaffold forms for a variety of biomedical applications.

Moreover, chitin has been shown to enhance some biological activities such as immunological, antibacterial, drug delivery and have been shown to promote better healing at a faster rate and exhibit greater compatibility with humans.

References

- Chitin scaffolds in tissue engineering. Jayakumar R, Chennazhi KP, Srinivasan S, Nair SV, Furuike T, Tamura H. Int J Mol Sci. 2011;12(3):1876-87. PMID: #21673928# [Free]