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Production of Composite Scaffold Containing Silk Fibroin, Chitosan, and Gelatin for 3D Cell Culture and Bone Tissue Regeneration

Jianqing Li, Qiuke Wang, Yebo Gu, Yu Zhu, Liang Chen, Yunfeng Chen

Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People’s Hospital, Shanghai, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:5311-5320

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.905085

Available online:

Published: 2017-11-08

BACKGROUND: Bone tissue engineering, a powerful tool to treat bone defects, is highly dependent on use of scaffolds. Both silk fibroin (SF) and chitosan (Cs) are biocompatible and actively studied for reconstruction of tissue engineering. Gelatin (Gel) is also widely applied in the biomedical field due to its low antigenicity and physicochemical stability.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: In this study, 4 different types of scaffolds were constructed – SF, SF/Cs, SF/Gel, and SF/Cs/Gel – and we compared their physical and chemical properties as well as biological characterization of these scaffolds to determine the most suitable scaffold for use in bone regeneration. First, these scaffolds were produced via chemical cross-linking method and freeze-drying technique. Next, the characterization of internal structure was studied using scanning electron microscopy and the porosity was evaluated by liquid displacement method. Then, we compared physicochemical properties such as water absorption rate and degradation property. Finally, MC3T3-E1 cells were inoculated on the scaffolds to study the biocompatibility and osteogenesis of the three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds in vitro.
RESULTS: The composite scaffold formed by all 3 components was the best for use in bone regeneration.
CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that the best scaffold among the 4 studied for MC3T3-E1 cells is our SF/Cs/Gel scaffold, suggesting a new choice for bone regeneration that can be used to treat bone defects or fractures in clinical practice.

Keywords: Chitosan, Fibroins, Gelatin, Tissue Engineering, Tissue Scaffolds