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Enhanced cell affinity of chitosan membranes mediated by superficial cross-linking: a straightforward method attainable by standard laboratory procedures

Enhanced cell affinity of chitosan membranes mediated by superficial cross-linking: a straightforward method attainable by standard laboratory procedures

Biomacromolecules 15(1): 291-301

It is well accepted that the surface modification of biomaterials can improve their biocompatibility. In this context, techniques like ion etching, plasma-mediated chemical functionalization, electrospinning, and contact microprinting have successfully been employed to promote the cell adhesion and proliferation of chitosan (CH) substrates. However, they prove to be time-consuming, highly dependent on environmental conditions, and/or limited to the use of expensive materials and sophisticated instruments not accessible to standard laboratories, hindering to a high extent their straightforward application. Filling this gap, this paper proposes the superficial cross-linking of CH as a much simpler and accessible means to modify its superficial properties in order to enhance its cellular affinity. CH membranes were prepared by solvent casting followed by a cross-linking step mediated by the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of glutaraldehyde (GA). The membranes were characterized against non- and solution cross-linked membranes in terms of their mechanical/surface properties and biological performance. Among others, the CVD membranes proved (i) to be more mechanically stable against cell culture and sterilization than membranes cross-linked in solution and (ii) to prompt the adherence and sustained proliferation of healthy cells to levels even superior to commercial tissue culture plates (TCPs). Accordingly, the CVD cross-linking approach was demonstrated to be a simple and cost-effective alternative to the aforementioned conventional methods. Interestingly, this concept can also be applied to other biomaterials as long as GA (or other volatile components alike) can be employed as a cross-linker, making possible the cross-linking reaction at mild experimental conditions, neither requiring sophisticated lab implements nor using any potentially harmful procedure.

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Accession: 052982632

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 24328099

DOI: 10.1021/bm401541v

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