Usingin situnanocellulose-coating technology based on dynamic bacterial cultures for upgrading conventional biomedical materials and reinforcing nanocellulose hydrogels

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Bacterial nanocellulose (BNC) is a microbial nanofibrillar hydrogel with many potential applications. Its use is largely restricted by insufficient strength when in a highly swollen state and by inefficient production using static cultivation. In this study, an in situ nanocellulose-coating technology created a fabric-frame reinforced nanocomposite of BNC hydrogel with superior strength but retained BNC native attributes. By using the proposed technology, production time could be reduced from 10 to 3 days to obtain a desirable hydrogel sheet with approximately the same thickness. This novel technology is easier to scale up and is more suitable for industrial-scale manufacture. The mechanical properties (tensile strength, suture retention strength) and gel characteristics (water holding, absorption and wicking ability) of the fabric-reinforced BNC hydrogel were investigated and compared with those of ordinary BNC hydrogel sheets. The results reveal that the fabric-reinforced BNC hydrogel was equivalent with regard to gel characteristics, and exhibited a qualitative improvement with regard to its mechanical properties. For more advanced applications, coating technology via dynamic bacterial cultures could be used to upgrade conventional biomedical fabrics, i.e. medical cotton gauze or other mesh materials, with nanocellulose. © 2016 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 32:1077–1084, 2016

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