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  • R ESEARCH ARTICLEdoi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.2009.35.247

    ScienceAsia 35 (2009): 247254

    Properties of -glycerol phosphate/collagen/chitosanblend scaffolds for application in skin tissue engineeringAtchariya Faikruaa, Rattima Jeenapongsab, Monnipha Sila-asnac, Jarupa Viyochd,

    a School of Medical Sciences, Naresuan University, Phayao 56000, Thailandb Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Naresuan University,

    Phitsanulok 65000, Thailandc Cell Engineering and Tissue Growth Laboratory,

    Institute of Science and Technology for Research and Development, Mahidol University,Nakhon Pathom 73170, Thailand

    d Department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Centre for Innovation in Chemistry,Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Naresuan University, Phitsanulok 65000, Thailand

    Corresponding author, e-mail: [email protected] 27 Jul 2008Accepted 9 Sep 2009

    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine the properties of -glycerol phosphate (GP)/collagen/chitosan blendedfilms for the potential application to skin tissue engineering. Various ratios of collagen to chitosan (8:2 and 7:3) and amountsof GP (0.5, 1, and 1.5% w/w) of total polymers were blended in solution form and cast into films. According to SEM images,the casted films showed a non-porous surface. For the mechanical properties, the prepared scaffolds exhibited the maximumelongation ranging from 1523%, which is lower than those found by other researchers. However, the maximum tensilestrength values of the scaffolds made from the collagen/chitosan (ratios 7:3) crosslinked with 0.5 or 1% w/w GP were inthe range of 810 MPa which achieve the recommended values for application in skin tissue engineering. The scaffoldsshowed ability to retain their structure after immersion in phosphate buffer saline solution (pH 7.4) for 1 h, and their volumeincreased about 20%. After incubation in collagenase solution (200 U of collagenase/5 g of collagen) at 37 C, the scaffoldswere degraded within 24 to 26 days which coincides very well with the healing time of acute wounds (about 25 days). FT-IRstudies revealed the possibility of an interaction of GP with collagen/chitosan via ionic interaction that enhances the strengthand stability of the prepared scaffold. The results from an in vitro culture study showed that the keratinocyte HaCaT culturecould adhere well and grow on the selected scaffold with a typical morphology at 98.1 1.8% of the control (cells growthon tissue culture plate) after cultivation for 5 days. The results suggest the potential of the GP/collagen/chitosan blendedfilms for use as skin scaffolds.

    KEYWORDS: skin scaffold, scaffold properties, keratinocyte

    INTRODUCTION

    One of the important factors in skin tissue engineeringis the construction of a scaffold which functions asphysical support to guide cell differentiation, prolifer-ation, and formation of an extracellular matrix1, 2. Theideal scaffold should provide excellent biocompati-bility, controllable biodegradability, and appropriatemechanical strength1, 3, 4. In addition, it should becapable of absorbing body fluids for the delivery ofcell nutrients while retaining its shape and structure5.

    Currently, a number of natural and synthetic mate-rials are being used as tissue scaffolds. Collagen typeI is one of the natural polymers that is one of the mostpromising materials for tissue engineering because itis biocompatible and biodegradable69. However, its

    fast degradation and low mechanical strength limit theuse of this material. Several methods have been triedto optimize its biodegradation rate and the mechanicalproperties. These include blending of collagen withother natural polymers1012 and/or introducing otherchemical agents to the collagen1317. Glutaraldehydeis used as the common crosslinking agent. How-ever, the glutaraldehyde cytotoxicity necessitates theseeking of alternative agents18, 19. Recently the de-velopment of a promising thermosensitive hydrogelprepared from mixtures of -glycerol phosphate salt(GP) and chitosan for application in cartilage tissueengineering has been reported2022. This led to ourinterest in developing GP/collagen/chitosan blendedfilms for the application to skin tissue engineering.

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  • 248 ScienceAsia 35 (2009)

    3/10

    Figure 1 (Viyoch J)

    205 kDa 214 kDa, chain

    100 kDa 50 kDa

    129 kDa, 1chain 110 kDa, 2chain

    25 kDa

    10 kDa Dye front

    A B C D

    Fig. 1 SDS-PAGE protein patterns of collagen type Iisolated from bovine tendon. Lane A represents proteinbands of marker at different molecular weight, and lanes Bto D represent protein bands of collagen type I from differentisolation batches.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS

    Isolation of bovine collagen type I

    Collagen type I was isolated using a described pro-cedure3. Briefly, after removing the fat and muscleimpurities, the bovine tendon was cut into small piecesand digested with 0.25% trypsin (analytical grade,GIBCO-BRL) solution at 37 C for 24 h. The pieces oftendon were removed and incubated with 0.5 M aceticacid (analytical grade, VWR International) at 4 C for48 h. The swollen tendon was agitated and the colla-gen solution was centrifuged to separate the insolubleparts. The supernatant was collected and precipitatedby addition of 5% NaCl (analytical grade, VWRInternational) solution. The precipitated collagen wasdialysed with deionized water for 72 h and thenlyophilized. SDS-PAGE revealed the purification ofthe isolated collagen with distinct polypeptide bandsof molecular weight 110 and 129 kDa correspondingto the two 1 chains and the 2 chains, respectively(Fig. 1).

    Preparation of the -glycerolphosphate/collagen/chitosan film blends

    The total amount of the polymer used was fixed at3% w/v. The weight ratios of collagen and chitosan(molecular weight of 100 000 and more than 90%degree of deacetylation, Aqua Premier, Chonburi,Thailand) were 8:2 or 7:3. To prepare the film blend,type I collagen and chitosan were separately dissolvedin 0.5 M acetic acid solution. After complete dissolu-tion the collagen solution was mixed with the chitosansolution for 30 min. Then the aqueous solution of -glycerol phosphate disodium salt pentahydrate (GP,

    analytical grade, Fluka) in an amount of 0.51.5%of the total polymer weight (calculated from nonhy-drated GP) was added to the solution. The pH of thecasting solution was 5.56. The casting solutions werestirred at room temperature for 30 min before beingpoured on a clear dry glass Petri dish in a dust-freeatmosphere, and allowed to dry at room temperature.The dried scaffold film was peeled off from the Petridish, placed in a plastic sheet, vacuum sealed, andkept at room temperature for further evaluation. Thethickness of all prepared films was controlled to be inthe range of 60 10 m.

    Surface morphology

    After drying of the selected film, its morphologyof the top and side surfaces was observed using ascanning electron microscope (SEM, Model 1455VP,LEO Electron Microscopy, Cambridge). All the testedfilms were coated with an ultra-thin gold layer andtheir surface morphologies were observed at a mag-nification of 370 000.

    Mechanical properties

    A tensometer (Model 3342, Instron, Bucking-hamshire, UK) was used for measuring the tensilestrength and elongation until break of the preparedscaffold. The tested scaffold film was cut into rect-angular (5 mm 40 mm) pieces. The thickness of anindividual film was the average value of four separatemeasurements taken along the middle of the 40 mmsection using a micrometer (Mitutoyo Asia Pacific PteLtd). The cross-sectional area of the tested patchwas calculated by multiplying the mean thickness bythe gauge width. To measure the elongation, thefilm was clamped between two grips provided witha 100-N load cell before being pulled at the rate of12.5 mm/min. Three determinations were performedfor each sample. The atmosphere of the experimentalroom was 23 2 C with 4070% relative humidity.

    Swellability

    Circularly cut scaffold samples were used to obtainthe initial thickness (T0) and diameter (D0). Thesamples were then incubated in phosphate bufferedsaline (PBS, pH 7.4) at 37 C under full immersionof the film. The scaffold size was measured hourlyto obtain the swelling rate, the final thickness (Tt),and diameter (Dt). The swelling degree was cal-culated from 100(Dt/D0)2(Tt/T0). The study wasperformed in triplicate.

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  • ScienceAsia 35 (2009) 249

    Enzymatic degradation

    The study method followed that of the previous stud-ies with modification23, 24. Briefly, the scaffold sam-ples were incubated at 37 C in 10 ml PBS solution(pH 7.4) containing collagenase at the concentrationof 200 U/5 g of collagen. All supernatants wereremoved after incubation times of 2, 4, 6, 16, 24,48, and 168 h. The collected supernatants werehydrolysed with 6 M hydrochloric acid at 120 C for12 h. The concentration of hydroxyproline (HyP)was then measured with an UV spectrophotometer(Cary 1 E, Varian Inc., Palo Alto) at a wavelength of202 nm. The amount of released HyP at each time wascalculated as a percentage of the initial amount of HyPin the scaffold.

    Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR)

    The infrared spectra (wavenumber 4000600 cm1)of GP and the films of collagen, chitosan, chi-tosan/collagen, and GP/chitosan/collagen blends wererecorded by FT-IR spectrometry (Model GX series,Perkin Elmer). The sample was mixed with potassiumbromide powder and compresse