, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 2513–2528 | Cite as

Simultaneous 3D cell distribution and bioactivity enhancement of bacterial cellulose (BC) scaffold for articular cartilage tissue engineering

  • Jing Wu
  • Na Yin
  • Shiyan ChenEmail author
  • Douglas B. Weibel
  • Huaping WangEmail author
Original Research


Due to its dense nanofibril network and inadequate biocompatibility, virgin bacterial cellulose (BC) has limitations in fulfilling the complex biological requirements of cartilage tissue engineering. To address these limits, we herein demonstrate the synthetic protocol of a BC-based scaffold endowed with several added features. A combinatorial approach was adopted to sequentially conduct surface modification by lotus root starch (LRS), three-dimensional (3D) architecture construction by agarose porogen templating, and hydroxyapitate (HA) deposition on the same BC substrate. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that the target scaffold pBC/LRS-M/HA has a nanoporous hierarchical structure with a pore size of 300–500 μm. In vitro LIVE/DEAD assay further indicated that effective cell growth and successful chondrocytes distribution in 3D were achieved on such scaffold with significantly higher cell viability and total cell numbers after 14 days cultivation. Moreover, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity assay showed significantly higher ALP activity by approximately 50% and 100% increments, respectively, on pBC/LRS-M/HA than the two control scaffolds. These results comprehensively prove that the overall performance of the BC-based scaffold was enhanced in a synergistic manner. The devised protocol is facile, non-toxic and the pore-size is tunable.

Graphical abstract


Biomaterials Tissue engineering Bacterial cellulose Porous architecture Hydroxyapitate 



This work was supported by “the National Natural Science Foundation of China” (Nos. 51573024 and 81370795), “DHU Distinguished Young Professor Program” and “the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities” (No. 2232018D3-35).


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Co-Innovation Center for Textile IndustryDonghua UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of Materials Science and EngineeringDonghua UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Biomedical EngineeringUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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