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Applied Bionics and Biomechanics
Volume 2 (2005), Issue 1, Pages 9-16

Characterization of Chitosan Films for Tissue Engineering Applications

A. Ghanem1 and M. Katalinich2

1Department of Chemical Engineering, Dalhousie University, P.O. Box 1000, Halifax NS, Canada B3J 2X4
2Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Maine, Orono, ME, USA

Copyright © 2005 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Chitosan (β-(l,4)-2-amino-2-deoxy-D-glucose) is a naturally occurring, abundant biopolymer with desirable biomedical material properties of biodegradability, low toxicity, and good biocompatibility. These properties indicate that chitosan may be suitable as a surface for mammalian cell growth and tissue engineering. The attachment and growth of NIH-3T3 fibroblasts on chitosan films and controls was measured. Chitosan films of 0.5, 1.5, and 3.0% (w/v) support the attachment and proliferation of NIH-3T3 fibroblasts at rates slightly lower than polystyrene controls. The film tensile properties, surface roughness, and surface free energies indicate that the film-formation technique gives films with reproducible physical and chemical properties. Our results indicate that UV–IR treatment of chitosan films can change the water in air (WIA) contact angle and surface free energy (SFE) of the films, and can potentially be used to optimize the attachment and spreading of fibroblasts on these films. The ability of these chitosan films to support cell attachment and growth indicates their potential use as biomedical surfaces. This research may result in the development of biodegradable tissue-engineering matrices.