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Nanocellulose-Based Interpenetrating Polymer Network (IPN) Hydrogels for Cartilage Applications

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posted on 2016-10-11, 00:00 authored by Narges Naseri, B. Deepa, Aji P. Mathew, Kristiina Oksman, Lenart Girandon
Double cross-linked interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) hydrogels of sodium alginate and gelatin (SA/G) reinforced with 50 wt % cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) have been prepared via the freeze-drying process. The IPNs were designed to incorporate CNC with carboxyl surface groups as a part of the network contribute to the structural integrity and mechanical stability of the hydrogel. Structural morphology studies of the hydrogels showed a three-dimensional (3D) network of interconnected pores with diameters in the range of 10–192 μm and hierarchical pores with a nanostructured pore wall roughness, which has potential benefits for cell adhesion. Significant improvements in the tensile strength and strain were achieved in 98% RH at 37 °C for CNC cross-linked IPNs. The high porosity of the scaffolds (>93%), high phosphate buffered saline (PBS) uptake, and cytocompatibility toward mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are confirmed and considered beneficial for use as a substitute for cartilage.

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