3D Printing of Cellulase-Laden Cellulose Nanofiber/Chitosan Hydrogel Composites

Read the full article here: Materials 15, 6039 (2022).

Arnaud Kamdem Tamo 1,2,3 , Tuan Anh Tran 1,2,3, Ingo Doench 1,2,3, Shaghayegh Jahangir 1,2,3, Aastha Lall 1,2,3,† , Laurent David 4 , Carlos Peniche-Covas 5 , Andreas Walther 6 and Anayancy Osorio-Madrazo 1,2,3,*

3D Printing of Cellulase-Laden Cellulose Nanofiber/Chitosan Hydrogel Composites: Towards Tissue Engineering Functional Biomaterials with Enzyme-Mediated Biodegradation

The 3D printing of a multifunctional hydrogel biomaterial with bioactivity for tissue engineering, good mechanical properties and a biodegradability mediated by free and encapsulated cellulase was proposed. Bioinks of cellulase-laden and cellulose nanofiber filled chitosan viscous suspensions were used to 3D print enzymatic biodegradable and biocompatible cellulose nanofiber (CNF) reinforced chitosan (CHI) hydrogels. The study of the kinetics of CNF enzymatic degradation was studied in situ in fibroblast cell culture. To preserve enzyme stability as well as to guarantee its sustained release, the cellulase was preliminarily encapsulated in chitosan–caseinate nanoparticles, which were further incorporated in the CNF/CHI viscous suspension before the 3D printing of the ink. The incorporation of the enzyme within the CHI/CNF hydrogel contributed to control the decrease of the CNF mechanical reinforcement in the long term while keeping the cell growth-promoting property of chitosan. The hydrolysis kinetics of cellulose in the 3D printed scaffolds showed a slow but sustained degradation of the CNFs with enzyme, with approximately 65% and 55% relative activities still obtained after 14 days of incubation for the encapsulated and free enzyme, respectively. The 3D printed composite hydrogels showed excellent cytocompatibility supporting fibroblast cell attachment, proliferation and growth. Ultimately, the concomitant cell growth and biodegradation of CNFs within the 3D printed CHI/CNF scaffolds highlights the remarkable potential of CHI/CNF composites in the design of tissue models for the development of 3D constructs with tailored in vitro/in vivo degradability for biomedical applications.

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