Oxidation of γ-irradiated microbial cellulose results in bioresorbable, highly conformable biomaterial



Conformability to tissues and adequate mechanical strength are clinically useful properties of resorbable biomaterials used in soft tissue repair. Microbially derived cellulose is attractive as a high strength, highly conformable, and biocompatible material for tissue repair, but is not naturally resorbable. Here we show that controlled oxidation of microbial cellulose sheets that have been pre-irradiated with γ-radiation results in a resorbable and fully conformable membrane that can be rapidly rehydrated in aqueous fluids. In vitro studies showed that degradation of the resorbable membranes occurs in two major phases: (1) initial rapid degradation of about 70–80% of the entire sample followed by (2) slower degradation of an additional 5–10% which eventually levels off leaving a small amount of nonresorbable material. In vivo, prototype materials showed marked degradation at all time points, with the most rapid degradation occurring in the first 2–4 weeks. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2014, 131, 39995.