Chaoxi Wu, Hengjie Su, Anastasios Karydis, Kenneth M Anderson, Najib Ghadri, Shunqing Tang, Yifei Wang, and Joel D Bumgar
The use of chitosan based nanofiber membranes in guided bone regeneration (GBR) is limited by its uncontrolled swelling and mechanical instability in aqueous environments. This paper describes the significantly improved stability and properties of surface butyrylated chitosan nanofiber (BCSNF) membranes that greatly enhance their potential in GBR. The BCSNF membranes exhibited an overall degree of substitution of 1.61, an average diameter of 99.3 ± 33.7 nm, and a 75% decrease in swelling with an approximate doubling in suture pull out strengths as compared to unmodified fibers in aqueous environment. In a five week phosphate-buffered saline–lysozyme degradation study, it was found that the remaining mass fraction of BCSNF membranes was 11.5% more than that of unmodified fibers. In vitro, the BCSNF membranes were found to support the adhesion and proliferation of fibroblasts and were cell occulusive. In vivo, the BCSNF membranes were found to significantly improve the regeneration of a rat calvarial critical size defect in a 12 week healing period and showed better barrier function than commercially available collagen membranes with little soft tissue penetration through the membranes. Taken together, these data provide strong scientific evidence for use of BCSNF membranes in GBR applications.