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Cellulose Nanocrystal–Fibrin Nanocomposite Hydrogels Promoting Myotube Formation

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posted on 24.05.2021, 05:29 by Kun Wang, Gervaise Mosser, Bernard Haye, Niki Baccile, Patrick Le Griel, Petra Pernot, Bernard Cathala, Léa Trichet, Thibaud Coradin
Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) have been widely studied as fillers to form reinforced nanocomposites with a wide range of applications, including the biomedical field. Here, we evaluated the possibility to combine them with fibrinogen and obtain fibrin hydrogels with improved mechanical stability as potential cellular scaffolds. In diluted conditions at a neutral pH, it was evidenced that fibrinogen could adsorb on CNCs in a two-step process, favoring their alignment under flow. Composite hydrogels could be prepared from concentrated fibrinogen solutions and nanocrystals in amounts up to 0.3 wt %. CNCs induced a significant modification of the initial fibrin fibrillogenesis and final fibrin network structure, and storage moduli of all nanocomposites were larger than those of pure fibrin hydrogels. Moreover, optimal conditions were found that promoted muscle cell differentiation and formation of long myotubes. These results provide original insights into the interactions of CNCs with proteins with key physiological functions and offer new perspectives for the design of injectable fibrin-based formulations.

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