Márcia A. Rebelo, Marco V. Chaud, Victor M. Balcão, Marta M. D. C. Vila, Norberto Aranha, Valquíria M. H. Yoshida, Thaís F. Alves and José M. De Oliveira Jr*


Scaffolds are porous three-dimensional supports, designed to mimic the extracellular environment and remain temporarily integrated into the host tissue while stimulating, at the molecular level, specific cellular responses to each type of body tissues. The major goal of the research work entertained herein was to study the microstructure of scaffolds made from chitosan (Ch), blends of chitosan and sodium alginate (Ch/NaAlg), blends of chitosan, sodium alginate and calcium chloride (Ch/NaAlg/CaCl2) and blends of chitosan, sodium alginate and hydroxyapatite (Ch/NaAlg/HA). Scaffolds possessing ideal physicochemical properties facilitate cell proliferation and greatly increase the rate of recovery of a damaged organ tissue. Using μCT three-dimensional images of the scaffolds, it was observed that all scaffolds had a porosity in the range 64%-92%, a radius of maximum pore occurrence in the range 95μm-260μm and a permeability in the range 1×10-10-18×10-10 m2. From the results obtained, the scaffolds based on Ch, Ch/NaAlg and Ch/NaAlg/CaCl2 would be most appropriate both for the growth of osteoid and for bone tissue regeneration, while the scaffold made with a blend of Ch/NaAlg/HA, by possessing larger pores size, might be used as a support for fibrovascular tissue.

Keywords: tissue regeneration, chitosan scaffolds, computed tomography, porosity, permeability.

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