Novel bilayer bacterial nanocellulose scaffold supports neocartilage formation in vitro and in vivo
Journal article, 2015

Tissue engineering provides a promising alternative therapy to the complex surgical reconstruction of auricular cartilage by using ear-shaped autologous costal cartilage. Bacterial nanocellulose (BNC) is proposed as a promising scaffold material for auricular cartilage reconstruction, as it exhibits excellent biocompatibility and secures tissue integration. Thus, this study evaluates a novel bilayer BNC scaffold for auricular cartilage tissue engineering. Bilayer BNC scaffolds, composed of a dense nanocellulose layer joined with a macroporous composite layer of nanocellulose and alginate, were seeded with human nasoseptal chondrocytes (NC) and cultured invitro for up to 6 weeks. To scale up for clinical translation, bilayer BNC scaffolds were seeded with a low number of freshly isolated (uncultured) human NCs combined with freshly isolated human mononuclear cells (MNC) from bone marrow in alginate and subcutaneously implanted in nude mice for 8 weeks. 3D morphometric analysis showed that bilayer BNC scaffolds have a porosity of 75% and mean pore size of 50±25μm. Furthermore, endotoxin analysis and invitro cytotoxicity testing revealed that the produced bilayer BNC scaffolds were non-pyrogenic (0.15±0.09EU/ml) and non-cytotoxic (cell viability: 97.8±4.7%). This study demonstrates that bilayer BNC scaffolds offer a good mechanical stability and maintain a structural integrity while providing a porous architecture that supports cell ingrowth. Moreover, bilayer BNC scaffolds provide a suitable environment for culture-expanded NCs as well as a combination of freshly isolated NCs and MNCs to form cartilage invitro and invivo as demonstrated by immunohistochemistry, biochemical and biomechanical analyses.

Nasoseptal chondrocytes

Mononuclear cells

Bacterial cellulose


Ear cartilage

Tissue engineering


Hector Martinez Avila

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Polymer Technology

Eva-Maria Feldmann

Universitatsklinikum Ulm

M.M. Pleumeekers

Erasmus University Rotterdam

L. Nimeskern

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETH)

W. Kuo

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETH)

W.C. De Jong

CellCoTec BV

S. Schwarz

Universitatsklinikum Ulm

R. Müller

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETH)

J.A.A. Hendriks

CellCoTec BV

N. Rotter

Universitatsklinikum Ulm

G.J.V.M. Van Osch

Erasmus University Rotterdam

K. S. Stok

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETH)

Paul Gatenholm

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Polymer Technology


0142-9612 (ISSN)

Vol. 44 122-133

Subject Categories

Bio Materials

Biomaterials Science

Medical Materials



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