Table of Contents
International Journal of Carbohydrate Chemistry
Volume 2011, Article ID 303708, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/303708
Review Article

Chitosan-Based Macromolecular Biomaterials for the Regeneration of Chondroskeletal and Nerve Tissue

1Institute for Composite and Biomedical Materials (IMCB), Research Unit of Pisa, Italian National Research Council (CNR), Largo Lucio Lazzarino, 56122 Pisa, Italy
2Department of Chemical Engineering, Industrial Chemistry and Materials Science (DICCISM), University of Pisa, Largo Lucio Lazzarino, 56122 Pisa, Italy

Received 1 February 2011; Revised 26 April 2011; Accepted 21 June 2011

Academic Editor: Alejandro Sosnik

Copyright © 2011 Giulio D. Guerra et al. 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.

Abstract

The use of materials, containing the biocompatible and bioresorbable biopolymer poly( )-2-amino-2-deoxy- -D-glucan, containing some N-acetyl-glucosamine units (chitosan, CHI) and/or its derivatives, to fabricate devices for the regeneration of bone, cartilage and nerve tissue, was reviewed. The CHI-containing devices, to be used for bone and cartilage regeneration and healing, were tested mainly for in vitro cell adhesion and proliferation and for insertion into animals; only the use of CHI in dental surgery has reached the clinical application. Regarding the nerve tissue, only a surgical repair of a 35 mm-long nerve defect in the median nerve of the right arm at elbow level with an artificial nerve graft, comprising an outer microporous conduit of CHI and internal oriented filaments of poly(glycolic acid), was reported. As a consequence, although many positive results have been obtained, much work must still be made, especially for the passage from the experimentation of the CHI-based devices, in vitro and in animals, to their clinical application.