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Keywords:

  • biomaterials;
  • chondrocytes;
  • hydrogels;
  • polysaccharides;
  • rheology

Abstract

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In the field of bioactive biomaterials, multi-biopolymer systems are of particular interest as they represent potential extra cellular matrix (ECM) mimics. Ternary mixtures composed of alginate, hyaluronan, and a lactose-modified chitosan undergo a rheological investigation that reveal the presence of polyanion-polycation supramolecular structures, which dissolve once the third (polyanion) component is added. Two selected ternary mixtures are used for the preparation of calcium–alginate hydrogels and their mechanical performance and stability are found to be strongly influenced by the relative composition in terms of the two non-gelling components. The presence in the mixture of bioactive polysaccharides leads to a notable improvement in the proliferation of primary culture of chondrocytes.