Novel functionalized bacterial cellulose-based biomimetic composites

As the primary component of plant cell wall, cellulose is the most abundant biopolymer on earth recognized as the major component of plant biomass and has being utilized in a wide range of industrial purposes such as construction materials, textile, paper, etc. While maintaining the sound environment by sustainable ways of using forest resources, it has also been considered an alternative source of cellulose produced by microorganisms. Application of microbially derived cellulose, bacterial cellulose, as biomedical materials has drawn significant attention in recent years due to its unique nanofibrillar structure with native mechanical property, high water holding capacity, modability and biocompatibility.

Modification of this biocompatible biopolymer has being carried out by biofunctionalization as well as chemical functionalization in order to develop composite scaffolds for potential osteological applications. Natural origin chitin/chitosan (monomer and/or polymer) has being used for this purpose. Because N-acetylglucosamine moiety in chitin/chitosan shares the structural feature also found in glycosaminoglycan (GAGs) of extracellular matrix (ECM) of cartilage and bone, the developed composites can be used for bone and cartilage tissue engineering and regeneration.

The ultimate goal is designing, modifying and characterizing new generation of bacterial cellulose-based composite materials/biomaterials having applications promising for making peoples’ life better not only limited to biomedical fields.