Cellulose Nanofibers for Application in Regenerative Medicine ~ Fabrication of Engineered Tissues by Cell Culture in Thixotropic Gel ~

researcher's name
research field
Biomedical engineering/Biomaterial science and engineering,Polymer chemistry,Nanobioscience,Thin film/Surface and interfacial physical properties,Structural/Functional materials


●  Engineered tissues are useful in regenerative medicine and drug evaluation.
●  3D cell culture is promising for fabricating engineered tissues.
●  Proper shaping of culture scaffold material, that is superior in cell retention and orientation control, is necessary.


●  Cellulose nanofiber (CNF) hydrogel is used for cell culture scaffold (Fig. 1).
●  Prepare coaxial two-layer long fibrous gel with microfluidic device (Fig. 2,3).
●  Cells are embedded in the CNF gel of the core layer and 3D cultured to fabricate long muscle and vascular tissues (Fig. 2,4).


●  CNF is plant-derived, highly biocompatible and superior in cell retention ability (Fig.4).
●  Due to thixotropic property, CNF flows during pressurization in the device and gels at pressure relief after ejection, so it is easy to shape the scaffold into fibers (Fig.3).
●  The CNF molecules themselves are aligned by pressure to orient the cells and induce engineered tissue formation efficiently.


●  Paper industry:  Expansion of the CNF market to the biotech field.
●  Medicinal industry:  Production of regenerative tissues for therapy. 
●  Drug industry:  Utilization of model tissues for drug evaluation.


  • Fig.1. TEMPO-oxidized Cellulose NanoFiber (CNF)
  • Fig.2. Gel fiber scaffold for fabricating engineered tissues.
  • Fig.3. Microfluidic device for producing gel fiber scaffold.
  • Fig.4. Microscopic images showing engineered tissues. (a) Myotubes. (b) Blood vessel.
posted: 2018/11/28