PURPOSE: The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate whether blending two kinds of biomaterials, chitosan and polycaprolactone (PCL), can be used as scaffold and carrier for growth and differentiation of corneal endothelial cells (CECs).
METHODS: A transparent, biocompatible carrier with cultured CECs on scaffold would be a perfect replacement graft. In the initial part of experiment, for essential and biocompatible test, chitosan and PCL were evaluated respectively and blended in various proportions by coating. In the later part of this study, for evaluation of potential application, homogenous solutions of 25%, 50%, and 75% PCL compositions were attempted to structure blend membranes.
RESULTS: Chitosan, PCL 25, PCL 50, and PCL 75 blends could maintain transparency of culturing substrata. BCECs were found to be reached confluence successfully after 7 days on PCL 25, PCL 50, and PCL 75. The expression of tight junction and extracellular matrix protein were observed as well. Alternatively, only PCL 25 could make blend membrane with enough strength during preparation for carrier in culture. On this blend membrane, the growth pattern and phenotype of BCECs could be observed well.
CONCLUSIONS: A ratio of 75:25 (chitosan:PCL) blends showed enough mechanical properties as well as suitable support for cellular activity in cultivating BCECs. Thus, a novel methodology of biodegradable carrier from chitosan and PCL has potential to be a good replacement scaffold for raising CECs for clinical transplantation.
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