Swollen three-dimensional nanocellulose films and their resultant aerogels were prepared as scaffolds towards tissue engineering application. The nanocellulose hydrogels with various swelling degree (up to 500 times) and the resultant aerogels with desired porosity (porosity up to 99.7% and specific surface area up to 308 m2/g) were prepared by tuning the nanocellulose charge density, the swelling media conditions, and the material processing approach. Representative cell-based assays were applied to assess the material biocompatibility and efficacy of the human extracellular matrix (ECM)-mimicking nanocellulose scaffolds. The effects of charge density and porosity of the scaffolds on the biological tests were investigated for the first time. The results reveal that the nanocellulose scaffolds could promote the survival and proliferation of tumor cells, and enhance the transfection of exogenous DNA into the cells. These results suggest the usefulness of the nanocellulose-based matrices in supporting crucial cellular processes during cell growth and proliferation.
- Cell culture
- Tissue engineering