In vivo biocompatibility of bacterial cellulose

  • Helenius G
  • Bäckdahl H
  • Bodin A
 et al. 
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Abstract

The biocompatibility of a scaffold for tissue engineered constructs is essential for the outcome. Bacterial cellulose (BC) consists of completely pure cellulose nanofibrils synthesized by Acetobacter xylinum. BC has high mechanical strength and can be shaped into three-dimensional structures. Cellulose-based materials induce negligible foreign body and inflammatory responses and are considered as biocompatible. The in vivo biocompatibility of BC has never been evaluated systematically. Thus, in the development of tissue engineered constructs with a BC scaffold, it is necessary to evaluate the in vivo biocompatibility. BC was implanted subcutaneously in rats for 1, 4, and 12 weeks. The implants were evaluated in aspects of chronic inflammation, foreign body responses, cell ingrowth, and angiogenesis, using histology, immunohistochemistry, and electron microscopy. There were no macroscopic signs of inflammation around the implants. There were no microscopic signs of inflammation either (i.e., a high number of small cells around the implants or the blood vessels). No fibrotic capsule or giant cells were present. Fibroblasts infiltrated BC, which was well integrated into the host tissue, and did not elicit any chronic inflammatory reactions. The biocompatibility of BC is good and the material has potential to be used as a scaffold in tissue engineering.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Bacterial cellulose
  • Biocompatibility
  • Scaffold
  • Tissue engineering
  • in vivo

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Authors

  • Gisela Helenius

  • Henrik Bäckdahl

  • Aase Bodin

  • Ulf Nannmark

  • Paul Gatenholm

  • Bo Risberg

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