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Degradation properties and metabolic activity of alginate and chitosan polyelectrolytes for drug delivery and tissue engineering applications

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Polysaccharides are long monosaccharide units which are emerging as promising materials for tissue engineering and drug delivery applications due to their biocompatibility, mostly good availability and tailorable properties, by to the wide possibility to modify chemical composition, structure—i.e., linear chain or branching—and polymer source (animals, plants, microorganisms). For their peculiar behaviour as polyelectrolites, polysaccharides have been applied in various forms, such as injectable hydrogels or porous and fibrous scaffolds—alone or in combination with other natural or synthetic polymers—to design bioinspired platforms for the regeneration of different tissues (i.e., blood vessels, myocardium, heart valves, bone, articular and tracheal cartilage, intervertebral discs, menisci, skin, liver, skeletal muscle, neural tissue, urinary bladder) as well as for encapsulation and controlled delivery of drugs for pharmaceutical devices. In this paper, we focus on the pH sensitive response and degradation behaviour of negative (i.e., alginate) and positive (i.e., chitosan) charged polysaccharides in order to discuss the differences in terms of metabolic activity of polyelectrolytes with different ionic strength for their use in drug delivery and tissue engineering area.

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Most cited references 300

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Author and article information

[] Institute of Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials, National Research Council of Italy, Mostra d’Oltremare, Pad.20, V.le J.F. Kennedy 54, Naples, Italy
Author notes
Vincenzo Guarino,
AIMS Materials Science
AIMS Materials Science
AIMS Press
23 November 2015
: 2
: 4
: 497-502


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