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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 8639898, 25 pages
Review Article

Versatility of Chitosan-Based Biomaterials and Their Use as Scaffolds for Tissue Regeneration

1Faculty of Pharmacy, Dentistry and Nursing, Federal University of Ceará, Rua Alexandre Baraúna, No. 949, Rodolfo Teófilo, 60430-160 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil
2Department of Chemical Engineering, Federal University of Ceará, Campus do Pici, Bloco 709, Pici, 60455-760 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil
3Drug Research and Development Center, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Federal University of Ceará, Rua Coronel Nunes de Melo, No. 1000, Rodolfo Teófilo, 60430-275 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil

Correspondence should be addressed to Vilma Lima

Received 23 December 2016; Revised 10 March 2017; Accepted 3 April 2017; Published 16 April 2017

Academic Editor: Ying Yang

Copyright © 2017 José Carlos Viana Ribeiro 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.


Chitosan is a naturally occurring polysaccharide obtained from chitin, present in abundance in the exoskeletons of crustaceans and insects. It has aroused great interest as a biomaterial for tissue engineering on account of its biocompatibility and biodegradation and its affinity for biomolecules. A significant number of research groups have investigated the application of chitosan as scaffolds for tissue regeneration. However, there is a wide variability in terms of physicochemical characteristics of chitosan used in some studies and its combinations with other biomaterials, making it difficult to compare results and standardize its properties. The current systematic review of literature on the use of chitosan for tissue regeneration consisted of a study of 478 articles in the PubMed database, which resulted, after applying inclusion criteria, in the selection of 61 catalogued, critically analysed works. The results demonstrated the effectiveness of chitosan-based biomaterials in 93.4% of the studies reviewed, whether or not combined with cells and growth factors, in the regeneration of various types of tissues in animals. However, the absence of clinical studies in humans, the inadequate experimental designs, and the lack of information concerning chitosan’s characteristics limit the reproducibility and relevance of studies and the clinical applicability of chitosan.