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AUTHOR Kamdem Tamo, Arnaud and Doench, Ingo and Walter, Lukas and Montembault, Alexandra and Sudre, Guillaume and David, Laurent and Morales-Helguera, Aliuska and Selig, Mischa and Rolauffs, Bernd and Bernstein, Anke and Hoenders, Daniel and Walther, Andreas and Osorio-Madrazo, Anayancy
Title Development of Bioinspired Functional Chitosan/Cellulose Nanofiber 3D Hydrogel Constructs by 3D Printing for Application in the Engineering of Mechanically Demanding Tissues [Abstract]
Year 2021
Journal/Proceedings Polymers
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Abstract
Soft tissues are commonly fiber-reinforced hydrogel composite structures, distinguishable from hard tissues by their low mineral and high water content. In this work, we proposed the development of 3D printed hydrogel constructs of the biopolymers chitosan (CHI) and cellulose nanofibers (CNFs), both without any chemical modification, which processing did not incorporate any chemical crosslinking. The unique mechanical properties of native cellulose nanofibers offer new strategies for the design of environmentally friendly high mechanical performance composites. In the here proposed 3D printed bioinspired CNF-filled CHI hydrogel biomaterials, the chitosan serves as a biocompatible matrix promoting cell growth with balanced hydrophilic properties, while the CNFs provide mechanical reinforcement to the CHI-based hydrogel. By means of extrusion-based printing (EBB), the design and development of 3D functional hydrogel scaffolds was achieved by using low concentrations of chitosan (2.0–3.0% (w/v)) and cellulose nanofibers (0.2–0.4% (w/v)). CHI/CNF printed hydrogels with good mechanical performance (Young’s modulus 3.0 MPa, stress at break 1.5 MPa, and strain at break 75%), anisotropic microstructure and suitable biological response, were achieved. The CHI/CNF composition and processing parameters were optimized in terms of 3D printability, resolution, and quality of the constructs (microstructure and mechanical properties), resulting in good cell viability. This work allows expanding the library of the so far used biopolymer compositions for 3D printing of mechanically performant hydrogel constructs, purely based in the natural polymers chitosan and cellulose, offering new perspectives in the engineering of mechanically demanding hydrogel tissues like intervertebral disc (IVD), cartilage, meniscus, among others.
AUTHOR Kamdem Tamo, Arnaud and Doench, Ingo and Morales Helguera, Aliuska and Hoenders, Daniel and Walther, Andreas and Madrazo, Anayancy Osorio
Title Biodegradation of Crystalline Cellulose Nanofibers by Means of Enzyme Immobilized-Alginate Beads and Microparticles [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Polymers
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Abstract
Recent advances in nanocellulose technology have revealed the potential of crystalline cellulose nanofibers to reinforce materials which are useful for tissue engineering, among other functions. However, the low biodegradability of nanocellulose can possess some problems in biomedical applications. In this work, alginate particles with encapsulated enzyme cellulase extracted from Trichoderma reesei were prepared for the biodegradation of crystalline cellulose nanofibers, which carrier system could be incorporated in tissue engineering biomaterials to degrade the crystalline cellulose nanoreinforcement in situ and on-demand during tissue regeneration. Both alginate beads and microparticles were processed by extrusion-dropping and inkjet-based methods, respectively. Processing parameters like the alginate concentration, concentration of ionic crosslinker Ca2+, hardening time, and ionic strength of the medium were varied. The hydrolytic activity of the free and encapsulated enzyme was evaluated for unmodified (CNFs) and TEMPO-oxidized cellulose nanofibers (TOCNFs) in suspension (heterogeneous conditions); in comparison to solubilized cellulose derivatives (homogeneous conditions). The enzymatic activity was evaluated for temperatures between 25–75 °C, pH range from 3.5 to 8.0 and incubation times until 21 d. Encapsulated cellulase in general displayed higher activity compared to the free enzyme over wider temperature and pH ranges and for longer incubation times. A statistical design allowed optimizing the processing parameters for the preparation of enzyme-encapsulated alginate particles presenting the highest enzymatic activity and sphericity. The statistical analysis yielded the optimum particles characteristics and properties by using a formulation of 2% (w/v) alginate, a coagulation bath of 0.2 M CaCl2 and a hardening time of 1 h. In homogeneous conditions the highest catalytic activity was obtained at 55 °C and pH 4.8. These temperature and pH values were considered to study the biodegradation of the crystalline cellulose nanofibers in suspension. The encapsulated cellulase preserved its activity for several weeks over that of the free enzyme, which latter considerably decreased and practically showed deactivation after just 10 d. The alginate microparticles with their high surface area-to-volume ratio effectively allowed the controlled release of the encapsulated enzyme and thereby the sustained hydrolysis of the cellulose nanofibers. The relative activity of cellulase encapsulated in the microparticles leveled-off at around 60% after one day and practically remained at that value for three weeks.
AUTHOR Creusen, Guido and Roshanasan, Ardeshir and Garcia Lopez, Javier and Peneva, Kalina and Walther, Andreas
Title Bottom-up design of model network elastomers and hydrogels from precise star polymers [Abstract]
Year 2019
Journal/Proceedings Polymer Chemistry
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Abstract
We introduce a platform for the simultaneous design of model network hydrogels and bulk elastomers based on well-defined water-soluble star polymers with a low glass transition temperature (Tg). This platform is enabled via the development of a synthetic route to a new family of 4-arm star polymers based on water-soluble poly(triethylene glycol methyl ether acrylate) (p(mTEGA)){,} which after quantitative introduction of functional end-groups can serve as suitable building blocks for model network formation. We first describe in detail the synthesis of highly defined star polymers using light and Cu-wire mediated Cu-based reversible deactivation radical polymerization. The resulting polymers exhibit narrow dispersities and controlled arm length at very high molecular weights{,} and feature a desirable low Tg of −55 °C. Subsequently{,} we elucidate the rational design of the stiffness and elasticity in covalent model network elastomers and hydrogels formed by fast photo-crosslinking for different arm lengths{,} and construct thermally reversible model network hydrogels based on dynamic supramolecular bonds. In addition{,} we describe preliminary 3D-printing applications. This work provides a key alternative to commonly used star-poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) for model hydrogel networks{,} and demonstrates access to new main and side chain chemistries{,} thus chain stiffnesses and entanglement molecular weight{,} and{,} critically{,} enables the simultaneous study of the mechanical behavior of bulk network elastomers and swollen hydrogels with the same network topology. In a wider perspective{,} this work also highlights the need for advancing precision polymer chemistry to allow for an understanding of architectural control for the rational design of functional mechanical network materials.