Structural, mechanical and swelling characteristics of 3D scaffolds from chitosan-agarose blends.

Affiliation

Advanced Materials Research Group, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, UK; Physics Department, Faculty of Science, Mansoura University, Egypt. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

This study aimed to explore the correlation between mechanical and structural properties of chitosan-agarose blend (Ch-Agrs) scaffolds. Porosity of Ch-Agrs scaffolds was constant at 93%, whilst pore sizes varied between 150 and 550 μm. Pore sizes of the blend scaffolds (150-300 μm) were significantly smaller than for either agarose or chitosan scaffolds alone (ca. 500 μm). Ch50-Agrs50 blend scaffold showed the highest compressive modulus and strength values (4.5 ± 0.4 and 0.35 ± 0.03 MPa) due to reduction in the pore size. The presence of agarose improved the stability of the blends in aqueous media. The increase in compressive properties and residual weight after the TGA test, combined with the reduction in the swelling percentage of the blend scaffolds suggested an interaction between chitosan and agarose via hydrogen bonding which was confirmed using FTIR analysis. All wet blend scaffolds exhibited instant recovery after full compression. This study shows the potential of Ch-Agrs scaffolds for repairing soft tissue.

Keywords

Agarose,Blend scaffolds,Chitosan,Compressive properties,Pore size,Recovery,