Bacterial cellulose/collagen composite: Characterization and first evaluation of cytocompatibility



The novel bacterial cellulose (BC)/collagen composites were prepared by immersing wet BC pellicle excreted by Acetobacter xylinum in collagen solution followed by freeze-drying process. The product looks like a foam structure. The morphology of BC/collagen composite was examined by scanning electron microscope (SEM) and compared with pristine BC. SEM images showed that collagen molecules was not only coated on the BC fibrils surface but also could penetrate inside BC and hydrogen bond interactions were formed between BC and collagen. The prepared BC/collagen composite was also characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and mechanical test. With the incorporation of collagen in the BC, no changes happened in the crystal structure but the thermal stability was improved. Tensile test results indicate that the Young's Modulus and tensile strength have a big increase while the elongation at break has a slight decrease. The cytocompatibility of composite was preliminarily evaluated by cell adhesion studies. The tests were carried out using 3T3 fibroblast cells. The cells incubated with BC/collagen scaffolds for 48 h were capable of forming cell adhesion and proliferation. It showed much better cytocompatibility than pure BC. So, the prepared BC/collagen scaffolds are bioactive and may be suitable for cell adhesion/attachment suggesting that these scaffolds can be used for wound dressing or tissue-engineering scaffolds. Therefore, these results suggest that these novel BC/collagen scaffolds may have the potential to be sued for some biomedical applications. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011