A novel injectable chitosan/polyglutamate polyelectrolyte complex hydrogel with hydroxyapatite for soft-tissue augmentation

Dian Yu Ji, Tzong Fu Kuo, Hong Da Wu, Jen Chang Yang, Shang Yang Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)


This study demonstrated a chitosan (CS)/polyglutamate (PG) polyelectrolyte complex (PEC) hydrogel combined with spherical hydroxyapatite (HAp) particles as an injectable dermal filler for soft-tissue augmentation. The CS/PG PEC hydrogel with oppositely charged ionic cross-linking, a high gel content, and low degradation rate was introduced as a carrier to achieve high shape and volume stability. An MTT assay indicated that the CS/PG PEC had satisfactory cell biocompatibility. This PEC/HAp hydrogel showed good structural integrity in a PBS solution for up to 60 days. Clinical manageability was indexed by an injection force measurement through sterile 27-gauge needles using a texture analyzer. In an animal study, 0.2 mL of the PEC and PEC/hydroxyapatite (HAp) were implanted within the dorsal dermis of a swine ear. Injected tissue areas were biopsied 2 weeks, and 2 and 6 months after the injection. According to the histomorphometric results, the PEC and PEC/HAp groups showed percentages of retention of the maximum height of the cross-section of about 44% and 73% at 6 months. New collagen was observed in the central position indicating a possible collagenesis effect. These results suggest that this PEC/HAp system can be used as an alternative for soft-tissue augmentation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1123-1130
Number of pages8
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2012



  • Chitosan
  • Dermal filler
  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Polyelectrolyte complex
  • Polyglutamate
  • Soft-tissue augmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Medicine(all)

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