In a quest to make more realistic, safer, and personalizable tissue replacement implants, bacterial cellulose nanofibers are being looked on as a viable material. They are naturally biocompatible, biodegradable, withstand heat well, and have physical properties similar to many of our tissues, when composed into larger objects.

Bacterial cellulose nanofibers are produced by aerobic bacteria when it has sufficient supply of oxygen. This is known to happen at the edge between a culture medium and surrounding air, but to really take advantage of this process, researchers at Aalto University in Finland have developed a way for it to suit biomedical needs.

The investigators harnessed the natural growth patterns of bacteria by providing them with oxygen using “superhydrophobic interfaces” that guide the growth of the nanocellulose.

Image Credit:  Bacterial cellulose bio-fabricated in the shape of an ear via superhydrophobized molding. Photo: Luiz G. Greca

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