|Current development stage||For medical device: TRL2 – Research ideas and protocols are developed|
|Collaboration Opportunity||Sponsored Research with an option to License Research Results|
A biocompatible nanocellulose hydrogel expressing tunable mechanical properties that is modified to replace tendons, ligaments and vascular tissue.
To date, traditional methods for replacing tendons, ligaments and vascular tissue include autografts (using the patient’s own tissues) and allografts (donor tissues) are still widely employed. However, these approaches are inherently limited by several factors which include donor site morbidity, limited availability, size mismatch, risk of disease transmission and immune rejection. Therefore, there is growing interest in developing alternatives that can overcome the limitations of these approaches, the development of a biocompatible hydrogel could address these challenges.
Our researchers have developed a hydrogel that is strengthened with cellulose-derived nanoparticles that are strong, flexible, and express biocompatibility with binding and proliferation of fibroblast and endothelial cells which enhances its potential for tissue regeneration and repair.
- Excellent mechanical performance- While many reported hydrogel systems lack the mechanical characteristics to withstand the demand of biological tissues, this system proves to be highly resilient, tough, and elastic.
- Mechanically tunable system- Fabrication methods can be adjusted to comply with various mechanical demands of different tissues.
- Biocompatibility- The system proves to be highly biocompatible, enabling cell growth without the necessity of introducing cell adhesion motifs (such as RGD).
- Moldability- While current solutions rely on a pre-made biological tissue, this system is able to be fabricated by various methods, envisioning tailor-made and highly reproducible tissue replacements.
- Chemically versatile- The application of cellulose and the chosen fabrication chemistry can be broadened to include other cellulosed-based materials and other polymers.
Hydrogels are fabricated based on graft polymerization on to cellulose-derived nanoparticles to fabricate hydrogels that display high resilience (~92%), high tensile strength (~0.5 MPa), and toughness (~1.9 MJ/m3). Moreover, the samples proved to be biocompatible when seeded with green fluorescent protein (GFP)-transfected mouse fibroblasts (3T3s), showing a significant increase in cell viability and proliferation compared to samples comprised of polymer alone.
A: Overview of the biocompatible nature of the fabricated hydrogel. By integrating cellulose-derived nanoparticles (Modified) a significant increase in growth and proliferation of fibroblast and endothelial mammalian cells is observed.
B: Overview of the hydrogel system expressing its load-baring and stretchable capabilities.
The researchers are interested in identifying a commercial entity to sponsor R&D at the university and then license the intellectual property generated.
Patents and Publications
Provisional Patent Submitted : Yissum Ref # 7035
Publication DOI: Nanomaterials 2023, 13(5), 853; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13050853