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Publications in March 2016 - neuron growth with chitin scaffolds

In March 2016, 289 publications about chitosan and chitosan derivative have been released. Most articles investigated chitosan nanoparticels and polymers, as well as chitosan in pharmaceutical preparations. Majority of chitosan research takes place in China (55 articles), USA (36) and India (21). Development of new scaffold materials for in vitro tissue engineering is an important topic for regenerative medicine. Biomaterial scaffolds need to be biocompatible and cell growth supportive.

Top Journals Publications
Carbohydrate polymers 26
International journal of biological macromolecules 11
Materials Science and Engineering: C 6
Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces 6
Journal of nanoscience and nanotechnology 5

Table: Top 5 journals with chitosan-related articles in March 2016
Source: GoPubMed

Here we present a study regarding the development of a scaffold for neuron growth with chitin by HMC.

Chitin and carbon nanotube composites as biocompatible scaffolds for neuron growth

Singh N., Chen J., Koziol K.K. et al.; Nanoscale, 21; 8(15):8288-99, April 2016. doi: 10.1039/c5nr06595j.

Therapy of nerve injurys is complex and challenging. In neural tissue engineering electrically-conductive bioscaffolds are needed to promote nerve regeneration. In this study researches from the University of Bristol and University of Cambridge investigated a chitin based scaffold. Electrical conductive carbon nanotubes (CNT) were combined with chitin (MW 100 000 Da, purchased from Heppe Medical Chitosan GmbH) followed by oxygen plasma treatment. The developed chitin/CNT scaffolds has been tested regarding electrical conductivity and neuron attachment.


  • Network of carbon nanotubes enables electrical conductivity of chitin/CNT films
  • Oxygen plasma treatment significantly improves adhesion of neuronal cells
  • Plasma-treated chitin/CNT films promote neuronal synapses (determined by PSD-95 staining)

Conclusion: The developed chitin nanotube composite scaffold is biocompatible and electrically-conductive. Therefore, composites could be used for in vitro neural tissue engineering, eventually as implantable electrodes to support neuronal regeneration.


The second study deals with the synthesis of a chitosan copolymer and its potential use as antimicrobial coating for leather.

Synthesis of PEGylated chitosan copolymers as efficiently antimicrobial coatings for leather

Luo Q., Gao H., Peng L. et al. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 133, 43465, 2016. DOI: 10.1002/app.43465

Microbial growth on the surface of leather like in footwear might cause unpleasant smell or even health issues, like infection. The authors conjugated poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG, Mw = 1kDa) to the chitosan (CS, Mw = 8 KDa, DD ≥ 95.0%) backbone. The PEGylated CS was characterized regarding water solubility and antimicrobial activity. Therefore, minimum inhibitory concentration and inhibition zone of coated leather against Gram-negative Escherichia coli and Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus were investigated.


  • Successful synthesis of PEGylated-CS
  • Improved water solubility of chitosan
  • Better antimicrobial property of PEG-Chitosan than pure chitosan

Conclusion: PEGylated-CS coating showed improved antimicrobial activity compared to single CS coating. Adhesion of bacteria to the leather surface is hindered by PEG while CS inhibits cell growth. A substitution degree of 8% shows the best performance.

Free article. Source:

chitosan, scaffold, composite, chitin, nanotubes, antimicrobial

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