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Open AccessArticle

Cellulose Nanofiber-Reinforced Chitosan Hydrogel Composites for Intervertebral Disc Tissue Repair

Institute of Microsystems Engineering IMTEK, Laboratory for Sensors, University of Freiburg, 79110 Freiburg, Germany
Freiburg Materials Research Center FMF, University of Freiburg, 79104 Freiburg, Germany
Ingénierie des Matériaux Polymères (IMP), CNRS UMR 5223, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Université de Lyon, 69622 Villeurbanne CEDEX, France
Interaction Cells Environment (ICE), VetAgro Sup, Université de Lyon, 69280 Marcy l’Etoile, France
Department of Dermatology and Venerology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20246 Hamburg, Germany
Max-Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Biomaterials Department, Science Park Golm, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
Center of Biomaterials, University of Havana, 10600 Havana, Cuba
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biomimetics 2019, 4(1), 19;
Received: 24 December 2018 / Revised: 10 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 20 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitin- and Chitosan-Based Composite Materials)
The development of non-cellularized composites of chitosan (CHI) hydrogels, filled with cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) of the type nanofibrillated cellulose, was proposed for the repair and regeneration of the intervertebral disc (IVD) annulus fibrosus (AF) tissue. With the achievement of CNF-filled CHI hydrogels, biomaterial-based implants were designed to restore damaged/degenerated discs. The structural, mechanical and biological properties of the developed hydrogel composites were investigated. The neutralization of weakly acidic aqueous CNF/CHI viscous suspensions in NaOH yielded composites of physical hydrogels in which the cellulose nanofibers reinforced the CHI matrix, as investigated by means of microtensile testing under controlled humidity. We assessed the suitability of the achieved biomaterials for intervertebral disc tissue engineering in ex vivo experiments using spine pig models. Cellulose nanofiber-filled chitosan hydrogels can be used as implants in AF tissue defects to restore IVD biomechanics and constitute contention patches against disc nucleus protrusion while serving as support for IVD regeneration. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrogel biomaterial; chitosan; cellulose nanofibers; intervertebral disc; tissue engineering hydrogel biomaterial; chitosan; cellulose nanofibers; intervertebral disc; tissue engineering
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Doench, I.; Ahn Tran, T.; David, L.; Montembault, A.; Viguier, E.; Gorzelanny, C.; Sudre, G.; Cachon, T.; Louback-Mohamed, M.; Horbelt, N.; Peniche-Covas, C.; Osorio-Madrazo, A. Cellulose Nanofiber-Reinforced Chitosan Hydrogel Composites for Intervertebral Disc Tissue Repair. Biomimetics 2019, 4, 19.

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