Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Elder, Steven H.

Committee Member

Gilbert, Jerome A.

Committee Member

McLaughlin, Ronald M.

Committee Member

Bumgardner, Joel D.

Committee Member

Wiser, Robin

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Biomedical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Engineering


Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering


Current articular cartilage tissue engineering endeavors, using synthetic polymers as scaffolds, have been somewhat successful. However, the use of these materials has not yielded a satisfactory, functional replacement for articular cartilage. Therefore, this project focuses on an alternative to these materials, chitosan, which is a naturally occurring biopolymer. The first project objective was to fabricate and analyze bulk, porous chitosan scaffolds, based on total porosity, average pore diameter, mechanical integrity, and degradation susceptibility. Secondly, scaffolds were evaluated in terms of their ability to support neochondrogenesis, including assessments of cell attachment and viability, cell morphology, and the biosynthesis of proteoglycan and type-II collagen-rich extracellular matrix. Results indicated that chitosan scaffolds possessing an interconnecting, porous structure could be easily created through a simple freezing and lyophilization process, and these scaffolds did support neochondrogenesis. Results suggest chitosan may be a useful alternative to synthetic polymers for use in cartilage tissue engineering applications.