Chitin agglomerated scaffolds were produced and functionalized using the green chemistry principles and 5
clean technologies. Such combination enabled the functionalization of chitin microparticles prepared
through dissolution of the polymer in ionic liquids, followed by of the application of a sol-gel method.
Finally, the 3D constructs were moulded and dried using a supercritical assisted agglomeration method.
Structural and morphological characterization is presented using scanning electronic microscopy (SEM)
and micro-computed tomography (µ-CT). An evaluationof the bioactive behavior of the matrices was 10
made by immersing them in simulated body fluid (SBF) for up to 21 days. The potential of such matrices
as drug delivery systems was evaluated after the incorporation of dexamethasone into the matrices during
drying in supercritical assisted agglomeration. The findings suggested that the morphological features
such as porosity, interconnectivity and pore size distribution of the matrices can be tunned by changing
particle size, chitin concentration and the pressure applied during moulding. Chitin microspheres were 15
modified by siloxane and silanol groups, providing a bioactive behavior; the apatite formation was shown
to be dependent on the amount and arrangement of silanol groups. Furthermore, in vitro drug release studies showed that dexamethasone was sustainably released. All findings suggest that this strategy isa
feasible and advantageous process to obtain chitin-based 3D structures with both functional and structural
characteristics that make then suitable for regenerative medicine applications.