Chitosan-based scaffolds for the support of smooth muscle constructs in intestinal tissue engineering

Elie Zakhem, Shreya Raghavan, Robert R. Gilmont, Khalil N. Bitar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Intestinal tissue engineering is an emerging field due to a growing demand for intestinal lengthening and replacement procedures secondary to massive resections of the bowel. Here, we demonstrate the potential use of a chitosan/collagen scaffold as a 3D matrix to support the bioengineered circular muscle constructs maintain their physiological functionality. We investigated the biocompatibility of chitosan by growing rabbit colonic circular smooth muscle cells (RCSMCs) on chitosan-coated plates. The cells maintained their spindle-like morphology and preserved their smooth muscle phenotypic markers. We manufactured tubular scaffolds with central openings composed of chitosan and collagen in a 1:1 ratio. Concentrically aligned 3D circular muscle constructs were bioengineered using fibrin-based hydrogel seeded with RCSMCs. The constructs were placed around the scaffold for 2 weeks, after which they were taken off and tested for their physiological functionality. The muscle constructs contracted in response to acetylcholine (Ach) and potassium chloride (KCl) and they relaxed in response to vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP). These results demonstrate that chitosan is a biomaterial possibly suitable for intestinal tissue engineering applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4810-4817
Number of pages8
Issue number19
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Chitosan
  • Concentric
  • Force generation
  • Rabbit circular smooth muscle (RCSM) constructs
  • Scaffold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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