Acetylated Nanocellulose for Single-Component Bioinks and Cell Proliferation on 3D-Printed Scaffolds

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Research units

  • University of Helsinki

Abstract

Nanocellulose has been demonstrated as a suitable material for cell culturing, given its similarity to extracellular matrices. Taking advantage of the shear thinning behavior, nanocellulose suits three-dimensional (3D) printing into scaffolds that support cell attachment and proliferation. Here, we propose aqueous suspensions of acetylated nanocellulose of a low degree of substitution for direct ink writing (DIW). This benefits from the heterogeneous acetylation of precursor cellulosic fibers, which eases their deconstruction and confers the characteristics required for extrusion in DIW. Accordingly, the morphology of related 3D-printed architectures and their performance during drying and rewetting as well as interactions with living cells are compared with those produced from typical unmodified and TEMPO-oxidized nanocelluloses. We find that a significantly lower concentration of acetylated nanofibrils is needed to obtain bioinks of similar performance, affording more porous structures. Together with their high surface charge and axial aspect, acetylated nanocellulose produces dimensionally stable monolithic scaffolds that support drying and rewetting, required for packaging and sterilization. Considering their potential uses in cardiac devices, we discuss the interactions of the scaffolds with cardiac myoblast cells. Attachment, proliferation, and viability for 21 days are demonstrated. Overall, the performance of acetylated nanocellulose bioinks opens the possibility for reliable and scale-up fabrication of scaffolds appropriate for studies on cellular processes and for tissue engineering.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalBiomacromolecules
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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