Background: Under certain conditions, the physiological repair of connective tissues might
fail to restore the original structure and function. Optimized engineered connective tissues
(ECTs) with biophysical properties adapted to the target tissue could be used as a substitution
therapy. This study aimed to investigate the effect of ECT enforcement by a complex of
multiwall carbon nanotubes with chitosan (C-MWCNT) to meet in vivo demands.
Materials and Methods: ECTs were constructed from human foreskin fibroblasts (HFF-1)
in collagen type I and enriched with the three different percentages 0.025, 0.05 and 0.1% of
C-MWCNT. Characterization of the physical properties was performed by biomechanical
studies using unidirectional strain.
Results: Supplementation with 0.025% C-MWCNT moderately increased the tissue stiffness,
reflected by Young’s modulus, compared to tissues without C-MWCNT.
Supplementation of ECTs with 0.1% C-MWCNT reduced tissue contraction and increased
the elasticity and the extensibility, reflected by the yield point and ultimate strain, respectively.
Consequently, the ECTs with 0.1% C-MWCNT showed a higher resilience and
toughness as control tissues. Fluorescence tissue imaging demonstrated the longitudinal
alignment of all cells independent of the condition.
Conclusion: Supplementation with C-MWCNT can enhance the biophysical properties of
ECTs, which could be advantageous for applications in connective tissue repair.