Biological compatibility of a polylactic acid composite reinforced with natural chitosan obtained from shrimp waste
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© 2018 by the authors. The aim of this work is to evaluate the effect of chitosan content (1, 3 and 5 wt %) dispersed in polylactic acid (PLA) on the structure and properties of composites. Also, the hydrolytic degradation, and the cell viability and adhesion of human MG-63 osteoblasts are analyzed to determine the composites' suitability for use in tissue engineering. For the manufacture of the materials, natural chitosan was extracted chemically from shrimp exoskeleton. The composites were fabricated by extrusion, because it is a low-cost process, it is reproducible, and it does not compromise the biocompatibility of the materials. FT-IR and XRD show that the chitosan does not change the polymer structure, and interactions between the composite components are discarded. In vitro degradation tests show that the composites do not induce significant pH changes in phosphate buffer solution due to their low susceptibility to hydrolytic degradation. The adhesion and morphological characteristics of the osteoblasts are evaluated using confocal microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The cell viability is determined by the MTT assay. Osteoblasts adhesion is observed on the surface of PLA and composites. A higher amount of chitosan, higher number of cells with osteoblastic morphology, and mineralized nodules are observed on the composite surface. The highest metabolic activity is evidenced at 21 days. The results suggest that the Polylactic acid/chitosan composites are potentially suitable for use as a biomaterial.