Organic-Inorganic Hybrids of Hydroxyapatite with Chitosan
In tissue engineering, a scaffold helps determine 3-dimensional morphology, increases cell survival, provides initial mechanical stability, supports tissue ingrowth, aids in the formation of tissue structure. Chitosan is the partially deacetylated form of chitin that can be extracted from crustacean. It degrades in the body to non-harmful and non-toxic compounds and has been used in various fields such as nutrition, metal recovery and biomaterials. Hydroxyapatite, a major inorganic component of bone, has been used extensively for biomedical implant applications and bone regeneration due to its bioactive, biodegradable and osteoconductive properties. The application, however, of hydroxyapatite is limited due to own brittleness. Since the natural bone is a composite mainly consisted of organic collagen and inorganic hydroxyapatite, many efforts have been made to modify hydroxyapatite by polymers. In this study, organic/inorganic hybrids were fabricated solid-liquid phase separation and a subsequent freeze-drying process. The microstructure, mechanical properties, and bioactivity of the scaffolds with various contents of hydroxyapatite were studied. The structure of the scaffolds prepared was macroporous and interconnected. The compressive mechanical properties such as compressive modulus and yield strength were improved according to the increase of hydroxyapatite contents mixed with chitosan. After 7 days of sample immersion in a simulated body fluid, for scaffolds containing hydroxyapatite, numerous bonelike apatites were formed on the surfaces of the pore walls. This study suggests that desirable pore structure, mechanical properties, and bioactivity of the hybrid scaffolds might be achieved through controlling the ratio of hydroxyapatite and chitosan.
Panjian Li, Kai Zhang and Clifford W. Colwell, Jr.
K.H. Im et al., "Organic-Inorganic Hybrids of Hydroxyapatite with Chitosan", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 284-286, pp. 729-732, 2005