Anisotropic polyvinyl alcohol—Bacterial cellulose nanocomposite for biomedical applications

Authors

  • Leonardo E. Millon,

    1. Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5B9
    2. Fordham Center for Biomedical Engineering, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5B9
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  • Ganesh Guhados,

    1. Fordham Center for Biomedical Engineering, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5B9
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  • Wankei Wan

    Corresponding author
    1. Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5B9
    2. Fordham Center for Biomedical Engineering, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5B9
    • Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5B9
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Abstract

Compliance mismatch between the synthetic graft and the surrounding native tissue has been reported as a major factor in ultimate failure of the currently used cardiovascular graft replacements. Thus, developing biomaterials that display close mechanical properties as the tissue it is replacing is an important objective in biomedical devices design. Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) is a biocompatible hydrogel with characteristics desired for biomedical applications. It can be crosslinked by a low temperature thermal cycling process. By using a novel thermal processing method under an applied strain and with the addition of a small amount of bacterial cellulose (BC) nanofibers, an anisotropic PVA-BC nanocomposite was created. The stress–strain tensile properties of porcine aorta were closely matched in both the circumferential and the axial directions by one type of anisotropic PVA-BC nanocomposite (10% PVA with 0.3% BC at 75% initial strain and cycle 2) within physiological range, with improved resistance to further stretch beyond physiological strains. The PVA-BC nanocomposite gives a broad range of mechanical properties, including anisotropy, by controlling material and processing parameters. PVA-BC nanocomposites with controlled degree of anisotropy that closely match the mechanical properties of the soft tissue it might replace, ranging from cardiovascular to other connective tissues, can be created. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater 2008

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