SCIENTIFIC HIGHLIGHTS

Spherical and hollow bacterial cellulose structures; a novel material to promote long-term stemness of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESC)

Taking advantage of hydrophobic surfaces and in a single step, we produced 3D hollow cellulose structures. We also showed that bacterial cellulose promotes the long-term maintenance of stemness in mouse embryonic stem cell

Cellulose, one of the most abundant biopolymer on earth, emerges as a green, sustainable and natural material for many industrial applications. Especially interesting is the biosynthesized cellulose produced by organisms which represent a suitable alternative to manufacture biodegradable and renewable materials with low energy consumption.

Production of 3D freestanding structures with control in shape and made of biocompatible polymers entails high complexity; however these structures show great potential in tissue engineering, as soft 3D cell scaffolds or as drug delivery systems. The Soft Matter publication presents an in situ single-step process to produce self-standing 3D-BC structures with controllable wall thickness, size and geometry made of bacterial cellulose (BC). Hollow spheres and convex domes could be easily obtained by tuning the hydrophobicity of the surfaces and interestingly, mouse embryonic stem cells (mESC) could be cultivated inside. Moreover, volume of the inoculum and time of culture further define the resulting 3D-BC structures.

The ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces manuscript reports the first time on the use of bacterial cellulose films to inhibit the differentiation of mESC for many days improving the cultivation of mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF)-free in comparison to the MEF-supported conventional culture. Stem cells possess unique properties, such as the ability to self-renew and the potential to differentiate into a various cell types. These make them highly valuable in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. This work also shows that the culture of mESCs on these flexible, free-standing BC membranes enable the quick and facile manipulation and transfer of stem cells between culture dishes, both of which significantly facilitate the use of stem cells in routine culture and various applications.

Authors:
Anna Laromaine,1  Tina Tronser,2  Ivana Pini,2  Sebastià Parets,1  Pavel A. Levkin,2,3  Anna Roig1

Affiliations:
 1Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), Spain 
2Institute of Toxicology and Genetics, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany
3Institute of Organic Chemistry, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany

Publication:
Bacterial Cellulose Promotes Long-Term Stemness of mESC
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 10, 19, 16260-16269 (2018)
DOI: 10.1021/acsami.8b01992

Free-standing three-dimensional hollow bacterial cellulose structures with controlled geometry via patterned superhydrophobic-hydrophilic surfaces
Soft Matter14, 3955-3962 (2018)
DOI: 10.1039/c8sm00112j

Figure:
A) Image indicating the hydrophobic-hydrophilic surfaces to grow of bacterial cellulose.3D structures
B) 3D reconstruction of confocal images (overlay) showing mESC growing within the structure after two days of culture. Scale bar 100 μm. Red color: Safranin O, BC sphere; yellow color: GFP, mESC Oct4-eGFP.
C) Three-dimensional reconstruction of confocal images of mESC Oct4-eGFP (green) cultured on BC (red) indicating the no-differentiation of the stem cells and maintenance of the stemness.

 

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