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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2012, Article ID 401084, 6 pages
Research Article

In Vitro Biocompatibility and Osteoblast Differentiation of an Injectable Chitosan/Nano-Hydroxyapatite/Collagen Scaffold

1Department of Ultrasonic Diagnosis, Zhujiang Hospital of Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510282, China
2School of Geosciences and Info-Physics, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China
3Key Laboratory for Biomechanics and Mechanobiology of Ministry of Education, School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China
4Department of Orthopedics, Zhujiang Hospital of Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510282, China
5State Key Laboratory of New Ceramic and Fine Processing, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

Received 28 February 2012; Accepted 3 April 2012

Academic Editor: Shuming Zhang

Copyright © 2012 Yan Chen 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.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the in vitro cell biocompatibility of an in situ forming composite consisting of chitosan (CS), nano-hydroxyapatite and collagen (nHAC), which has a complex hierarchical structure similar to natural bone. MC3T3-E1 mouse calvarial preosteoblasts were cultured on the surface of the injectable CS/nHAC and CS scaffold. The proliferations of seeded MC3T3-E1 were investigated for 10 days. Cytotoxicity, cell proliferation, and cell expression of osteogenic markers such as alkaline phosphatase (ALP), type 1 collagen (COL-1), RUNX-2, and osteocalcin (OCN) were examined by biochemical assay and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Cell viability and total cellularity (measured by dsDNA) were similar between the two scaffold groups. However, ALP, COL-1, OCN, and RUNX-2 production were significantly greater when osteoblasts were cultured on CS/nHAC scaffolds. The increase in osteogenic markers production on CS/nHAC scaffolds indicated that these scaffolds were superior to chitosan-only scaffolds in facilitating osteoblast mineralization. These results demonstrate the potential of the CS/nHAC scaffolds to be used in bone tissue engineering.