Fabrication and characterization of chitosan nerve conduits with microtubular architectures

Qiang Ao, Aijun Wang, Wenling Cao, Chang Zhao, Yandao Gong, Nanming Zhao, Xiufang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Porous multi-channel chitosan conduits were fabricated using a novel phase-separation technique with an axial temperature gradient. First, porous chitosan tubes were made with a mold that was composed of two concentric polytetrafiuoroethylene tubes. Then 1%-3% (w/v) chitosan solution was injected into the chitosan tube while the two ends of the tube were closed with steel rods. Then the outside of the tube was wrapped with a layer of thermal insulating material to reduce the heat transfer through the outside, and the tubes were placed in a freezer. The resulting phase separation then occurred in the presence of an axial temperature gradient. The porosity, microtubule diameter, and orientation were controlled by adjusting the polymer concentration and temperature gradient. After the preparation course, no poisonous substances remained on the conduits. The mechanical properties, swelling, and biodegradability of the chitosan conduits were investigated, and a scanning electron microscope was used to observe the tubular morphology and growth of neuroblastoma cells (N2A, mouse) in the conduits. The results demonstrate that the multi-channel chitosan conduits have suitable mechanical strength, swelling, degradation properties, and nerve cell affinity, so they hold promise for use as neural tissue engineering scaffolds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-438
Number of pages4
JournalTsinghua Science and Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Chitosan
  • Nerve conduits
  • Phase separation
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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