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Open AccessArticle

Blending Gelatin and Cellulose Nanofibrils: Biocomposites with Tunable Degradability and Mechanical Behavior

1
Institute of Science and Technology for Ceramics-National Research Council (CNR), 48018 Faenza, Italy
2
RISE PFI, NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway
3
Department of Chemical Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(6), 1219; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10061219
Received: 11 May 2020 / Revised: 15 June 2020 / Accepted: 18 June 2020 / Published: 22 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocelluloses: Synthesis, Modification and Applications)
Many studies show how biomaterial properties like stiffness, mechanical stimulation and surface topography can influence cellular functions and direct stem cell differentiation. In this work, two different natural materials, gelatin (Gel) and cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs), were combined to design suitable 3D porous biocomposites for soft-tissue engineering. Gel was selected for its well-assessed high biomimicry that it shares with collagen, from which it derives, while the CNFs were chosen as structural reinforcement because of their exceptional mechanical properties and biocompatibility. Three different compositions of Gel and CNFs, i.e., with weight ratios of 75:25, 50:50 and 25:75, were studied. The biocomposites were morphologically characterized and their total- and macro- porosity assessed, proving their suitability for cell colonization. In general, the pores were larger and more isotropic in the biocomposites compared to the pure materials. The influence of freeze-casting and dehydrothermal treatment (DHT) on mechanical properties, the absorption ability and the shape retention were evaluated. Higher content of CNFs gave higher swelling, and this was attributed to the pore structure. Cross-linking between CNFs and Gel using DHT was confirmed. The Young’s modulus increased significantly by adding the CNFs to Gel with a linear relationship with respect to the CNF amounts. Finally, the biocomposites were characterized in vitro by testing cell colonization and growth through a quantitative cell viability analysis performed by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Additionally, the cell viability analysis was performed by the means of a Live/Dead test with Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). All the biocomposites had higher cytocompatibility compared to the pure materials, Gel and CNFs. View Full-Text
Keywords: soft-tissue; polymer blends; nanocellulose; gelatin; cell-tissue interaction soft-tissue; polymer blends; nanocellulose; gelatin; cell-tissue interaction
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MDPI and ACS Style

Campodoni, E.; Montanari, M.; Dozio, S.M.; Heggset, E.B.; Panseri, S.; Montesi, M.; Tampieri, A.; Syverud, K.; Sandri, M. Blending Gelatin and Cellulose Nanofibrils: Biocomposites with Tunable Degradability and Mechanical Behavior. Nanomaterials 2020, 10, 1219. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10061219

AMA Style

Campodoni E, Montanari M, Dozio SM, Heggset EB, Panseri S, Montesi M, Tampieri A, Syverud K, Sandri M. Blending Gelatin and Cellulose Nanofibrils: Biocomposites with Tunable Degradability and Mechanical Behavior. Nanomaterials. 2020; 10(6):1219. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10061219

Chicago/Turabian Style

Campodoni, Elisabetta; Montanari, Margherita; Dozio, Samuele M.; Heggset, Ellinor B.; Panseri, Silvia; Montesi, Monica; Tampieri, Anna; Syverud, Kristin; Sandri, Monica. 2020. "Blending Gelatin and Cellulose Nanofibrils: Biocomposites with Tunable Degradability and Mechanical Behavior" Nanomaterials 10, no. 6: 1219. https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10061219

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