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Chitosan–collagen scaffolds with nano/microfibrous architecture for skin tissue engineering



In this study, a hierarchical nano/microfibrous chitosan/collagen scaffold that approximates structural and functional attributes of native extracellular matrix has been developed for applicability in skin tissue engineering. Scaffolds were produced by electrospinning of chitosan followed by imbibing of collagen solution, freeze-drying, and subsequent cross-linking of two polymers. Scanning electron microscopy showed formation of layered scaffolds with nano/microfibrous architechture. Physicochemical properties of scaffolds including tensile strength, swelling behavior, and biodegradability were found satisfactory for intended application. 3T3 fibroblasts and HaCaT keratinocytes showed good in vitro cellular response on scaffolds thereby indicating the matrices, cytocompatible nature. Scaffolds tested in an ex vivo human skin equivalent wound model, as a preliminary alternative to animal testing, showed keratinocyte migration and wound re-epithelization—a prerequisite for healing and regeneration. Taken together, the herein proposed chitosan/collagen scaffold, shows good potential for skin tissue engineering. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 101A: 3482–3492, 2013.