Nanocellulose/PEGDA aerogel scaffolds with tunable modulus prepared by stereolithography for three-dimensional cell culture

Aimin Tang, Jing Li, Jiao Li, Shan Zhao, Wangyu Liu, Tingting Liu, Jufang Wang, Yingyao Liu
Journal of Biomaterials Science. Polymer Edition 2019 April 2, : 1-17
Three-dimensional (3D) porous scaffolds made of biopolymers have attracted significant attention in tissue engineering applications. In this study, cellulose-nanofibers/polyethylene glycol diacrylate (CNFs/PEGDA) mixture, a novelty 3D material, was prepared by physical mixing the CNFs with a waterborne photopolymerizable acrylic resin (PEGDA). Then the CNFs/PEGDA mixture was used to fabricate 3D cytocompatibility CNFs/PEGDA hydrogel scaffold by stereolithograph(SLA)process. The CNFs/PEGDA hydrogels were shaped by SLA, and then the aerogel scaffolds were prepared by the freeze-drying of hydrogels. The results showed that the CNFs/PEGDA mixtures with different CNFs contents are all transparent, homogeneous and with obvious shear-thinning property. The SLA fabricated CNFs/PEGDA aerogel scaffolds possess high and tunable compressive modulus and high porosity of approximately 90%. It is found that CNFs in the composite scaffolds played a significant role in structural shape integrity, porous structure and mechanical strength. In addition, the NIH 3T3 cells tightly adhere on the CNFs/PEGDA materials and spread on the scaffolds with good differentiation and viability. These results have revealed a superior method to prepare tissue engineering scaffolds which possesses suitable mechanical strength and biocompatibility for 3D cell cultivation.

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