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Physical characteristics and cell-adhesive properties of in vivo fabricated bacterial cellulose/hyaluronan nanocomposites


BC membranes (pellicles) generated by Gluconacetobacter hansenii (G. hansenii) are promising biomaterials owing to their outstanding biocompatible properties. Recently, specific demands for biomedical applications of BC have increased owing to its excellent mechanical properties. Although many techniques have been developed to improve the biofunctional properties of BC pellicles, such modifications remain limited owing to technical difficulties in the modulation of complex biosynthetic processes. Therefore, we previously developed an in vivo modification technique to produce nanocomposite pellicles composed of BC and HA (in vivo BC/HA), which are directly secreted from genetically engineered G. hansenii. In the present study, the HA extractability and content rate, physical characteristics, and cytocompatibility of in vivo BC/HA have been investigated in comparison to conventional in situ BC/HA and native BC pellicle. The results suggested that HA more strongly adsorbed to the solid BC surface of in vivo BC/HA than that of in situ BC/HA, which possibly affected the dynamic viscoelastic characteristics. In vivo BC/HA exhibited a relatively lower value of 7.5 MPa as storage elastic modulus (E’), whereas in situ BC/HA yielded the highest E’ of 15.6 MPa in comparison to 11.4 MPa as E’of native BC. Although the HA content of in vivo BC/HA (95 μg/g) was indicated lower than in situ BC/HA (300 μg/g), the former showed two times higher ability in human epidermal cell adhesion. These results indicate the great potential of in vivo modification to expand the usefulness of BC-based biomaterials.

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We thank Dr. Satomi Tagawa and staff at the Center for Advanced Instrumental and Educational Supports, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University, for assistance with CLSM observations and quantitative HA assay.


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RT performed all experiments, except for network structure analysis of pellicles, and prepared the paper; HK performed human epidermal cell culture examination and provided assistance for HA extraction and quantitative HA assay; GT performed network structure analysis of pellicles and prepared relevant parts of the paper; KT planned the experiments for biodegradation of nanocomposites, HA extraction, and quantitative HA assay, and assisted with preparing the paper; *TK (corresponding author) researched and planned the entire study and prepared the paper. The manuscript was written with contributions from all authors. All authors have approved the final version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Tetsuo Kondo.

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This study does not include human participants or animal studies.

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All authors (Ryo Takahama, Honami Kato, Go Takayama, Kenji Tajima and Tetsuo Kondo) have approved the manuscript and agreed with submission to Cellulose. The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

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Takahama, R., Kato, H., Takayama, G. et al. Physical characteristics and cell-adhesive properties of in vivo fabricated bacterial cellulose/hyaluronan nanocomposites. Cellulose 29, 3239–3251 (2022).

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