NTRODUCTION: In the last decade, much attention has been given to different marine organisms. Squids are a potential source of valuable materials with a vast range of properties and characteristics that may justify their potential application within the biomedical field. The present work is focused on β‐chitin extraction from squid pens of the species Dosidicus Gigas and its further conversion into chitosan. The biomedical potential of the isolated squid chitosan was assessed by processing this polymer as scaffolds for tissue engineering strategies.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Alkali solution was used to deproteinize squid pens and thus isolate β-chitin , which was further converted into chitosan through a deacetylation reaction. The chitosan scaffolds were developed using a freeze-drying methodology, from 3% and 4% chitosan solutions in acetic acid. Chitosan scaffolds were neutralized using two different methods: M1 – NaHO solution; and M2 – ethanol/water and NaHO solution . Morphology, Mechanical properties, degradation and cytotoxicity of squid chitosan scaffolds were assessed and compared with the properties of scaffolds produced with commercial chitosan.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: The morphology of scaffolds revealed a lamellar structure for all produced scaffolds, independent of the origin and concentration of chitosan. The treatment with sodium hydroxide and ethanol caused the formation of larger pores and loose of some lamellar features. The in vitro cell culture study has shown that all chitosan scaffolds exhibited a non- cytotoxic effect over the mouse fibroblast-like cell line, L929 cells.
CONCLUSIONS: The chitosan produced from the endoskeletons of giant squid Dosidicus Gigas has proven to be a valuable alternative to the commercial one when considering its use as biomaterial for different biomedical applications.
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: This work was partially funded by FEDER through INTERREG III A Project Proteus and POCTEP Project IBEROMARE and by FCT (Portugal) through post-doc grants.