Safety and Efficacy of Chitosan-Dextran Hydrogel in the Middle Ear in an Animal Model

Audiol Neurootol. 2016;21(4):254-260. doi: 10.1159/000447623. Epub 2016 Sep 2.


Objectives: To investigate the efficacy of chitosan-dextran hydrogel (CDH) in preventing postoperative adhesions between the tympanic membrane (TM) and intratympanic structures, and to evaluate its ototoxicity in an animal study.

Methods: In the first step, ototoxicity was evaluated with 7 male albino guinea pigs (GPs) via auditory brainstem responses (ABR) before and 4 weeks after unilateral intratympanic injection of CDH and saline solution contralaterally. In the second step, 12 GPs underwent bilateral ear surgery. The middle ear (ME) mucosa was abraded, and the cavity was filled with CDH on one side and packed with Gelfoam on the contralateral side. A control group of 6 GPs underwent the same procedure except that no material was applied in the ME. The animals were euthanized at the end of the 7th week, and otomicroscopic findings were noted and the temporal bones harvested for the histologic examination. The findings were scored and compared.

Results: There was no statistically significant difference between the pre- and postoperative ABR thresholds. In the otomicroscopic findings, the most prominent difference between the two groups was the presence of retraction of the TM in the Gelfoam group. The histopathologic findings revealed a higher degree of inflammation in the Gelfoam group compared with the CDH group.

Conclusion: This study demonstrated that CDH has no ototoxic effects in GPs. Its use as an ME packing material revealed significantly less TM retraction and inflammatory reaction compared with Gelfoam.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chitosan / pharmacology*
  • Dextrans / pharmacology*
  • Ear Diseases / prevention & control
  • Ear, Middle / drug effects*
  • Ear, Middle / pathology
  • Ear, Middle / surgery
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory, Brain Stem / drug effects*
  • Gelatin Sponge, Absorbable / pharmacology*
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Hydrogel, Polyethylene Glycol Dimethacrylate / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Otologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Tissue Adhesions / prevention & control*
  • Tympanic Membrane / drug effects*
  • Tympanic Membrane / pathology
  • Tympanic Membrane / surgery


  • Dextrans
  • Hydrogel, Polyethylene Glycol Dimethacrylate
  • Chitosan