Korean J Androl.  2001 Apr;19(1):41-48.

Reconstruction of Cavernosal Smooth Muscle Structure Using Porous Chitosan-based Biodegradable Scaffolds

  • 1Department of Urology, Chonnam National University Medical School, Kwangju, Korea.
  • 2Department of Microbiology, Chonnam National University Medical School, Kwangju, Korea. hclee@chonnam.ac.kr
  • 3Department of Dermatology, Chonnam National University Medical School, Kwangju, Korea.
  • 4Department of Anatomy, Chonnam National University Medical School, Kwangju, Korea.
  • 5Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Chonnam National University Medical School, Kwangju, Korea.
  • 6College of Agriculture and Life Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.


A variety of biodegradable polymers have been utilized to fabricate matrices for engineering genitourinary tissues, Chitosan is a biosynthetic polysaccharide that is the deacetylated derivative of chitin. The aims were to investigate the characteristics of the newly developed porous chitosan-based biodegradable scaffolds and to reconstruct cavernosal smooth muscle structure in vivo.
To study the cytotoxicity of the newly developed scaffolds, cultured L929 murine fibroblasts were stained with PKH-26 and then cultured on culture plate or loaded in chitosan/hyaluronic acid polymers. For in vivo study, human corpus cavernosal smooth muscle cells were seeded on the scaffolds at concentration of 20*106 cells per cm3 .A total of 24 polymer scaffolds were implanted subcutaneously with cells in one side and without cells in the other side, respectively, in 12 athymic mice, Mice were scarificed 7, 14, 28 days after implantation, respectively. H-E stain and monoclonal anti-alpha smooth muscle actin stain were performed.
Scanning electron micrographs of chitosan and 0.03% hyaluronic acid based scaffolds showed sheet-like porous structure. The cell division numbers of L929 murine fibroblasts sere significantly increased in scaffolds by chitosan/hyaluronic acid compared with chitosan alone, Histologically the retrieved polymers seeded with cavernosal smooth muscle cells showed organized smooth muscle structure 28 days after implantation. immunohistochemical analysis confirmed the smooth muscle phenotype.
These results show that porous chitosan-based biodegradable scaffolds are new biomaterials for the reconstruction of cavernosal smooth muscle structure. However, further studies are needed to make cavernosal sinusoidal structure using this new scaffolds.


Tissue engineering; Penis; Smooth muscle cell
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