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Journal of Analytical Methods in Chemistry
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 808703, 8 pages
Research Article

Chitosan Hydrogels for Chondroitin Sulphate Controlled Release: An Analytical Characterization

Department of Pharmacy, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 27/A, 43124 Parma, Italy

Received 10 November 2014; Revised 11 December 2014; Accepted 15 December 2014; Published 31 December 2014

Academic Editor: Chih-Ching Huang

Copyright © 2014 Annalisa Bianchera 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.


This paper provides an analytical characterization of chitosan scaffolds obtained by freeze-gelation toward the uptake and the controlled release of chondroitin sulphate (CS), as cartilage repair agent, under different pH conditions. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), and liquid chromatography-UV spectrophotometry (LC-UV) techniques were exploited to obtain qualitative and quantitative descriptions of polymer and drug behaviour in the biomaterial. As for morphology, SEM analysis allowed the evaluation of scaffold porosity in terms of pore size and distribution both at the surface (Feret diameter μm) and on the cross section (Feret diameter μm). LC and ATR-FTIR evidenced a pH-dependent CS loading and release behaviour, strongly highlighting the role of electrostatic forces on chitosan/chondroitin sulphate interactions.