Generic Method for Designing Self-Standing and Dual Porous 3D Bioscaffolds from Cellulosic Nanomaterials for Tissue Engineering Applications

Karin Stana Kleinschek, Tamilselvan Mohan, Andreja D. Štiglic, Marco Beaumont, Johannes Konnerth, Fazilet Gürer, Damjan Makuc, Uros Maver, Lidija Gradisnik, Janez Plavec, Rupert Kargl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three-dimensional scaffolds (3D) with controlled shape, dual porosity and long-term mechanical and dimensional stability in biofluids are of interest as biotemplates in tissue engineering. Herein, self-standing and lightweight cellulose-based biogenic scaffolds with a spatially structured morphology, macropores and interconnected micropores were fabricated using a combination of direct ink writing 3D printing and freeze-drying techniques. This was achieved by developing a water-based and low-cost bicomponent ink based on commercially available nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) and carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC). Physical cross-linking through dehydrothermal treatment significantly increased the surface hardness, indentation modulus, compression strength, as well as the dimensional stability of the scaffolds in biofluids, in comparison to untreated materials. However, no differences in the spectra of solid state nuclear magnetic resonance or infrared were observed for dehydrothermal treated samples, suggesting that the increase of mechanical properties and dimensional stability is based on the physical cross-linking of functional groups both at the interface between NFC and CMC. The supramolecular structure of the polymers was well-preserved as disclosed by X-ray diffraction measurements. The cross-linked scaffolds showed high proliferation, viability, and attachment of human bone tissue derived osteoblast cells (hFOB). The simple and straightforward avenue proposed here for the design of cellulose-based fibrous inks and dual porous scaffolds from the commercially available materials and without the need of any additional cross-linkers should pave the way for the development of implantable, degradable scaffolds and cell-laden biomaterials for bone tissue regeneration and 3D bioprinting applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1197-1209
Number of pages13
JournalACS Applied Bio Materials
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2020

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science


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