New Publication: Mechanically tunable elastomer and cellulose nanocrystal composites as scaffolds for in vitro cell studies
The Royal Society of Chemistry has accepted a new publication worked on by an interdisciplinary team, including five members of the AMLCI ( Senay Ustunel, Marianne E. Prévôt, Grace A. R. Rohaley, Torsten Hegmann, and Elda Hegmann ).
Considering the range of properties that various materials offer for tissue engineering it has come clear that no one size fits all, as no one material can be fully effective for all types of cell and ensuing tissues. Scaffolds need to address the delicate balance between cell-scaffold interactions and the particular requirements of different cell types. To address the specific needs for the controlled growth of tissues it is imperative to match scaffold stiffness and elasticity to cells and tissues of interest to promote regeneration success. We here report an efficient method for creating scaffolds of tunable elasticity by generating a range of composites based on ε-caprolactone-D,L-lactide-based elastomer with cellulose nanocrystals (CNC). Two specific composites with different Young's modulus (E) values (∼5 MPa and ∼15 MPa) were selected and fully evaluated by tensile tests, Fourier Transform-Infrared (FT-IR), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), contact angle measurements, and X-ray scattering. As a proof of concept this work studies how matching the scaffold's mechanical properties to neuroblastomas and fibroblasts cells affects cell behavior. Specifically, the composite with lower E, by design with less CNC content, is more suitable for neuroblastomas, whereas the one with higher E via higher CNC content is more suited for human dermal fibroblasts. The approach of matching cells with appropriate mechanical environments can provide important insights into fundamental cell behaviors.
Read the full publication here: https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2021/ma/d0ma00676a#!divAbstract