In vivo biocompatibility of bacterial cellulose
Journal article, 2006

The biocompatibility of a scaffold for tissue engineered constructs is essential for the outcome. Bacterial cellulose (BC) consists of completely pure cellulose nanofibrils synthesized by Acetobacter xylinum. BC has high mechanical strength and can be shaped into three-dimensional structures. Cellulose-based materials induce negligible foreign body and inflammatory responses and are considered as biocompatible. The in vivo biocompatibility of BC has never been evaluated systematically. Thus, in the development of tissue engineered constructs with a BC scaffold, it is necessary to evaluate the in vivo biocompatibility. BC was implanted subcutaneously in rats for 1, 4, and 12 weeks. The implants were evaluated in aspects of chronic inflammation, foreign body responses, cell ingrowth, and angiogenesis, using histology, immunohistochemistry, and electron microscopy. There were no macroscopic signs of inflammation around the implants. There were no microscopic signs of inflammation either (i.e., a high number of small cells around the implants or the blood vessels). No fibrotic capsule or giant cells were present. Fibroblasts infiltrated BC, which was well integrated into the host tissue, and did not elicit any chronic inflammatory reactions. The biocompatibility of BC is good and the material has potential to be used as a scaffold in tissue engineering.


Gluconacetobacter xylinus/chemistry

Foreign-Body Reaction/chemically induced


Cellulose/adverse effects/*pharmacology/therapeutic use

Inflammation/chemically induced

Cell Proliferation/drug effects

Experimental/adverse effects/*standards


Tissue Engineering


Physiologic/drug effects


Materials Testing


Gisela Helenius

University of Gothenburg

Henrik Bäckdahl

University of Gothenburg

Aase Katarina Bodin

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Ulf Nannmark

University of Gothenburg

Paul Gatenholm

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Polymer Technology

Bo Risberg

University of Gothenburg

Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A

1549-3296 (ISSN)

Vol. 76 2 431-8

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