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Triethyl orthoformate covalently cross-linked chitosan-(poly vinyl) alcohol based biodegradable scaffolds with heparin-binding ability for promoting neovascularisation

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  • L. Shahzadi
  • M. Yar
  • A. Jamal
  • S.A. Siddiqi
  • A.A. Chaudhry
  • S. Zahid
  • M. Tariq
  • I.U. Rehman
  • S. MacNeil
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/06/2016
Issue number4
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)582-593
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


There is a need to develop pro-angiogenic biomaterials to promote wound healing and to assist in regenerative medicine. To this end, various growth factors have been exploited which have the potential to promote angiogenesis. However, these are generally expensive and labile which limits their effectiveness. An alternative approach is to immobilize heparin onto biocompatible degradable hydrogels. The heparin in turn will then bind endogenous proangiogenic growth factors to induce formation of new blood vessels. In this study, we continue our development of hydrogels for wound healing purposes by exploring covalently cross-linking chitosan and polyvinyl alcohol hydrogels using triethyl orthoformate. Two concentrations of triethyl orthoformate (4 and 16%) were compared for their effects on the structure of hydrogels - their swelling, pore size, and rate of degradation and for their ability to support the growth of cells and for their heparin-binding capacity and their effects on angiogenesis in a chick chorioallantoic membrane assay. Hydrogels formed with 4 or 16% both triethyl orthoformate cross-linker were equally cyto-compatible. Hydrogels formed with 4% triethyl orthoformate absorbed slightly more water than those made with 16% triethyl orthoformate and broke down slightly faster than non-cross-linked hydrogels. When soaked in heparin the hydrogel formed with 16% triethyl orthoformate showed more blood vessel formation in the CAM assay than that formed with 4% triethyl orthoformate. © The Author(s) 2016.