Chitosan is under investigation as biodegradable scaffolding material for tissue engineering. Crosslinked chitosan alone cannot form a self-supporting scaffold hence it needs reinforcement. The group reported fabrication of chitosan scaffolds reinforced by exfoliated and non-exfoliated bentonite and compared their properties. Scaffolds were fabricated by freeze-drying technique. Bentonite was exfoliated by allowing it to swell in water for a certain time interval. XRD profile showed that swelling reduced the crystallinity of bentonite. Both types of bentonite dispersed well in the chitosan matrix and imparted structural stability to the scaffolds. Scaffolds had interconnected pores, apparent porosity of scaffold with exfoliated bentonite was higher than of scaffold with unexfoliated bentonite. The scaffolds swelled almost 35% in 3 days without losing the structural integrity. The scaffolds could be compressed to 50% of their original height. Compression modulus of scaffold with exfoliated bentonite was higher than that of unexfoliated bentonite scaffold.
Soma Chakraborty, Cristine Joy M. Pimentel, (2020), Bentonite Reinforced Chitosan Scaffold: Effect of Bentonite Exfoliation on Scaffold Properties. Philippine Journal of Science, 149, 1115-1121.