Vascular grafts made of synthetic polymers perform poorly in cardiac and peripheral bypass applications. In these applications, chitosan-based materials can be produced and shaped to provide a novel scaffold for vascular tissue engineering. The goal of this study was to evaluate in vitro the mechanical properties of a novel chitosan formulation to assess its potential for this scaffold. Two chitosan-based hydrogel tubes were produced by modulating chitosan concentration. Based on the standard ISO 7198:1998, the hydrogel tubes were characterized in vitro in terms of suture retention strength, tensile strength, compliance, and burst pressure. By increasing chitosan concentration, suture retention value increased to reach 1.1 N; average burst strength and elastic moduli also increased significantly. The compliance seemed to exhibit a low value for chitosan tubes of high concentration. By modulating chitosan concentration, we produced scaffolds with suitable mechanical properties to be implanted in vivo and withstand physiological blood pressures.
Keywords: Chitosan; Hydrogels; In vitro; Mechanical properties; Vascular graft development.