Rheological, microstructural, and in vitro characterization of hybrid chitosan-polylactic acid/hydroxyapatite composites.

Research paper by A B A AB Araújo, A F AF Lemos, J M F JM Ferreira

Indexed on: 04 Apr '08Published on: 04 Apr '08Published in: Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A


In this work, hybrid chitosan/hydroxyapatite composites material were developed and characterized. The polymer matrix was first dissolved in polylactic acid, and then hydroxyapatite (HA) was added as filler material. The effects of the added amounts of a crosslinking agent (genipin) and of the concentrations of lactic acid, and of the presence of HA powder on the evolution of rheological properties were evaluated. A significant decrease of gelation time with increasing amounts of crosslinking agent was observed, the effect being even more pronounced in the presence of HA. The chitosan matrix and the composites with a chitosan/HA weight ratio of 2/5 were characterized using microstructural analysis and in vitro tests. The formation of large pore sizes in the chitosan-based scaffolds was favored by low concentrations of lactic acid and genipin. The in vitro tests in synthetic body fluid revealed an extensive formation of an apatitic layer onto the surface of the chitosan/HA composite scaffolds crosslinked with genipin.