Effects of chitosan on rat knee cartilages

Biomaterials. 1999 Oct;20(20):1937-44. doi: 10.1016/s0142-9612(99)00097-6.


The aim of this work is to study the effects of chitosan on rat knee cartilages. 0.2 ml of 0.1% chitosan solution pH = 6.9 were injected inside rat knees articular cavity. One, three and six weeks after injection, histological and histomorphometric studies were performed on undecalcified samples embedded in polymethylmetacrylate. Results show that after 1 and 6 weeks: (i) chitosan slows significantly (P < 0.005) the decrease in epiphyseal cartilage thicknesses and (ii) increases significantly articular cartilage chondrocyte densities (P < 0.002). However chitosan solution induces a proliferation of fibrous tissue with abundant fibroblasts, fibrocytes and monocytes inside the joint and this proliferation is still present after 6 weeks. This study suggests that chitosan could act on the growth of epiphyseal cartilage and wound healing of articular cartilage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials / pharmacology*
  • Cartilage, Articular / cytology
  • Cartilage, Articular / drug effects*
  • Cartilage, Articular / physiology
  • Chitin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Chitin / pharmacology
  • Chitosan
  • Epiphyses / cytology
  • Epiphyses / drug effects*
  • Epiphyses / physiology
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Joints
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Time Factors


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Chitin
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate
  • Chitosan