Cellulose Based Biomaterials: Benefits and Challenges

  • Faiza Sharif
  • Nawshad MuhammadEmail author
  • Tahera Zafar


Cellulose is amongst the most inexhaustible natural source of polymers available on the globe. It is present in trees, plants, fruits, barks and leaves in the form of key structural element of the cell wall of plant tissues. It contains lignin and hemicellulose as additional products when isolated, which need to be removed to obtain nanofibrous cellulose. It has numerous applications in paper, leather, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, food and packaging. Bacterial cellulose on the other hand is a micro fibrous membrane made by bacteria in low pH conditions at air liquid interphase. Bacterial cellulose (BC) is endowed with distinctive properties, for instance, ability to retain water, ability to mould, high rate of crystallinity, high tensile strength. These striking physical characteristics arise from its distinctive nanostructure, which consists of a three-dimensional network made of linear b-1, 4-glucan chains bonded together by hydrogen interactions. This structure is organized as twining ribbons made of microfibrillar bundles. These properties make BC an exceptional biomaterial which can be use in various ways in biomedical field. Although highly beneficial for biomedical applications cellulose does present some drawbacks. Basically, nanofibers of plant-based cellulose is isolated by acid hydrolysis and mechanical defibrillation, both processes have their own challenges similarly bacterial cellulose is naturally synthesized by bacteria which is a slow process and may make it difficult to commercially viable for biomedical application.


Cellulose Bacterial cellulose Cellulose based biomaterials Biomedical cellulose 



This work supported Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Biomedical Materials (IRCBM) COMSATS University Islamabad, Lahore Campus, Pakistan and NRPU research project 4146.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Biomedical MaterialsCOMSATS University Islamabad, Lahore CampusLahorePakistan
  2. 2.Department of Science of Dental Materialsde‘Montmorency College of DentistryLahorePakistan

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