Hydrogel materials based on chitosan crosslinked with functionalized polysaccharides: in vitro cytocompatibility and cartilage regeneration potential

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ICE Krakow

ICE Krakow

ul. Marii Konopnickiej 17 30-302 Kraków


Salagierski, Szymon (Department of Glass Technology and Amorphous Coatings, Faculty of Materials Science and Ceramics, AGH University of Science and Technology)


Hydrogel materials are widely used in medicine and tissue engineering due to their similarity to the natural tissues of the human body. They are well known for their high biocompatibility and swelling - the ability to absorb large amounts of water. These properties determine the possibility of the use of hydrogels in the regeneration of cartilage tissue. In order to enhance regeneration potential of hydrogels, they can be modified with different biologically active compounds. Furthermore, when obtaining hydrogel materials for this purpose, it is extremely important to use an appropriate cross-linking agent that will enable the creation of a durable and stable three-dimensional polymer structure. For biopolymers containing amino groups, e.g. chitosan, such a function can be performed by polysaccharides after appropriate chemical modification. Due to the oxidation of polysaccharides, it is possible to obtain dialdehyde polysaccharides (DAP), which in their structure will have reactive aldehyde groups. These functional groups readily react with amino groups by Schiff base cross-linking, which allows to use the DAPs as unique biopolymer cross-linkers.

The subject of research in this study are hydrogel materials based on chitosan cross-linked with functionalized polysaccharides such as chitosan, dextran, furcellaran, gellan gum and xantan gum. Additionally, functional ingredients such as natural polyphenol - rosmarinic acid and bioactive glass doped with strontium were introduced into the structure of the materials.

In vitro tests were carried out on Hs680 fibroblasts and normal human chondrocytes. The proliferation of cells and cytotoxicty of hydrogel materials were monitored. Moreover the ELISA test allowed to assess the concentration of the components of the extracellular matrix in cell culture – collagen type II and aggrecan.

The obtained results show that by appropriate selection of components, it is possible to obtain stable and cytocompatible chitosan-based hydrogel materials supporting cartilage tissue regeneration.


This work was supported by the program „Excellence initiative – research university” for the AGH University of Science and Technology.


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