Characterization of the in vivo host response to a bi-labeled chitosan-dextran based hydrogel for postsurgical adhesion prevention

J Biomed Mater Res A. 2015 Aug;103(8):2611-20. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.35395. Epub 2014 Dec 31.


In developing a chitosan/dextran-based (CD) hydrogel as an adhesion prevention postsurgical aid, the in vivo biodegradation rate, biodistribution, and inflammatory response are important parameters to the biomedical device design. Herein, for the first time, a CD hydrogel was prepared by mixing aqueous solutions of a near infrared (NIR) labeled succinylated chitosan (SC) and tritiated [(3) H] oxidized dextran (DA). The biodegradation and biodistribution of the NIR/[(3) H]-CD hydrogel was tracked noninvasively using NIR fluorescence imaging, and by liquid scintillation counting (LSC) of organs/tissues after subcutaneous injection in BALB/c mice. The inflammatory response was assessed by measuring serum cytokine levels using a Bio-plex assay and by histological examination of injection site tissue. Fluorescence imaging showed the hydrogel to degrade in under a week. LSC revealed the hydrogel to reside mainly at the injection site, and excreted primarily via the urine within the first 48 h. The CD hydrogel showed a mild inflammatory response as cytokine levels were comparable to saline injected controls. Histological examination of injection site tissue confirmed the cytokine results. In summary, the CD hydrogel's in vivo biodegradation rate, biodistribution, and inflammatory response was determined. Our results indicate that the CD hydrogel has an appropriate biocompatibility after s.c. administration.

Keywords: chitosan; dextran aldehyde; fluorescence; hydrogel; in vivo biodegradation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chitosan*
  • Dextrans*
  • Hydrogels*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Tissue Adhesions / prevention & control*


  • Dextrans
  • Hydrogels
  • Chitosan