Biopolymer Technology

At Biopolymer Technology, we are interested in utilizing biopolymers and transforming them into advanced biomacromolecular materials. The main focus is on polysaccharides such as cellulose and hemicelluloses. By altering the molecular structure of polysaccharides enzymatically and chemically, we can control their ability to assemble into solid materials with hierarchical architecture, similar to what one can see in biological systems. The range of potential applications of the new materials prepared in our laboratories stretches from barrier films and coatings, hydrogels, novel fibers, bioadhesives, biocomposites to scaffolds for tissue engineering.
A transparent membrane/film of pure wood-derived cellulose (left); neural cells growing on bacteria-derived nanocellulose surface (center); adipose cells growing inside 3D nanocellulose scaffold (right).
In particular, we are interested in nanocelluose. Three different types of nanocellulose are of interest; bacterial nanocellulose, wood-derived nanocellulose and electrospun cellulose. Nanocellulose produced by bacteria is an emerging biomaterial. It is biocompatible, flexible and can be modified chemically. The nanocellulose network has a very high affinity for water which results in hydrogel-like properties, ideal to host cells. We have used this nanocellulose in several different approaches, including blood vessels and ear auricles. Currently, we are using 3D bioprinting to print living tissue, using a mixture of nanocellulose and living cells.
A cellulose-producing bacteria, Gluconacetobacter Xylius. From the cover of "Bacterial Nanocellulose, Edited by Miguel Gama, Paul Gatenholm and Dieter Klemm, CRC Press 2013.
Biopolymer technology is also a part of Wallenberg Wood Science Center, Here, we aim at creating a new generation of sustainable materials based on wood polymers. A major focus of the projects within WWSC has been to understand the fundamental properties of wood bases polymers, and how these can be utilized when developing tomorrow's materials. These materials may be used in a variety of applications, such as films, wrappings and containers, but may also replace oil-based plastics.

3D bioprinting

 The rapid emerge of 3D bioprinting has great potential as a tool in the field of tissue engineering. This technique can be employed to deposit cells and biocompatible materials to engineer a tissue from the bottom up, thus allowing for more complicated structures to be assembled than can be achieved using conventional techniques. In addition, current 2D cell culture systems are poor disease models and more advanced research models could provide new insights into disease mechanisms and biological processes. We have established 3D Bioprinting Center Väst, available to other research groups interested in 3D bioprinting with living cells. If you are interested to collaborate or use our facilities, please see the document below.

Media coverage

The group has been featured in several articles and TV segments lately.


Recent publications

Baah-Dwomoh, A., A. Rolong, P. Gatenholm and R. V. Davalos (2015). "The feasibility of using irreversible electroporation to introduce pores in bacterial cellulose scaffolds for tissue engineering." Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 99(11): 4785-4794.

Jonsson, M., C. Brackmann, M. Puchades, K. Brattas, A. Ewing, P. Gatenholm and A. Enejder (2015). "Neuronal Networks on Nanocellulose Scaffolds." Tissue Eng Part C Methods 21(11): 1162-1170.

Krontiras, P., P. Gatenholm and D. A. Hagg (2015). "Adipogenic differentiation of stem cells in three-dimensional porous bacterial nanocellulose scaffolds." Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part B-Applied Biomaterials 103(1): 195-203.

Kuzmenko, V., T. Kalogeropoulos, J. Thunberg, S. Johannesson, D. Hagg, P. Enoksson and P. Gatenholm (2016). "Enhanced growth of neural networks on conductive cellulose-derived nanofibrous scaffolds." Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl 58:14-23.

Kuzmenko, V., O. Naboka, H. Staaf, M. Haque, G. Goransson, P. Lundgren, P. Gatenholm and P. Enoksson (2015). "Capacitive effects of nitrogen doping on cellulose-derived carbon nanofibers." Materials Chemistry and Physics 160: 59-65.

Markstedt, K., A. Mantas, I. Tournier, H. Martinez Avila, D. Hagg and P. Gatenholm (2015). "3D Bioprinting Human Chondrocytes with Nanocellulose-Alginate Bioink for Cartilage Tissue Engineering Applications." Biomacromolecules 16(5): 1489-1496.

Martinez Avila, H., E. M. Feldmann, M. M. Pleumeekers, L. Nimeskern, W. Kuo, W. C. de Jong, S. Schwarz, R. Muller, J. Hendriks, N. Rotter, G. J. van Osch, K. S. Stok and P. Gatenholm (2015). "Novel bilayer bacterial nanocellulose scaffold supports neocartilage formation in vitro and in vivo." Biomaterials 44: 122-133.

Sundberg, J., C. Gotherstrom and P. Gatenholm (2015). "Biosynthesis and in vitro evaluation of macroporous mineralized bacterial nanocellulose scaffolds for bone tissue engineering." Biomed Mater Eng 25(1): 39-52.

Sundberg, J., V. Guccini, K. M. O. Hakansson, G. Salazar-Alvarez, G. Toriz and P. Gatenholm (2015). "Controlled molecular reorientation enables strong cellulose fibers regenerated from ionic liquid solutions." Polymer 75: 119-124.

Sundberg, J., G. Toriz and P. Gatenholm (2015). "Effect of xylan content on mechanical properties in regenerated cellulose/xylan blend films from ionic liquid." Cellulose 22(3): 1943-1953.

Thunberg, J., T. Kalogeropoulos, V. Kuzmenko, D. Hagg, S. Johannesson, G. Westman and P. Gatenholm (2015). "In situ synthesis of conductive polypyrrole on electrospun cellulose nanofibers: scaffold for neural tissue engineering." Cellulose 22(3): 1459-1467.

Tanaka, M.L., Vest, N., Ferguson, C.M., and Gatenholm, P. (2014). Comparison of Biomechanical Properties of Native Menisci and Bacterial Cellulose Implant. International Journal of Polymeric Materials and Polymeric Biomaterials 63, 891-897.

Stepan, A.M., Ansari, F., Berglund, L., and Gatenholm, P. (2014). Nanofibrillated cellulose reinforced acetylated arabinoxylan films. Composites Science and Technology 98, 72-78.

Rodriguez, K., Sundberg, J., Gatenholm, P., and Renneckar, S. (2014). Electrospun nanofibrous cellulose scaffolds with controlled microarchitecture. Carbohydrate polymers 100, 143-149.

 Ammonium chloride promoted synthesis of carbon nanofibers from electrospun cellulose acetate. Carbon 67, 694-703.

Kuzmenko, V., Hagg, D., Toriz, G., and Gatenholm, P. (2014). In situ forming spruce xylan-based hydrogel for cell immobilization. Carbohydrate polymers 102, 862-868. 

Kiemle, S.N., Zhang, X., Esker, A.R., Toriz, G., Gatenholm, P., and Cosgrove, D.J. (2014). Role of (1,3)(1,4)-beta-Glucan in Cell Walls: Interaction with Cellulose. Biomacromolecules 15, 1727-1736.

Innala, M., Riebe, I., Kuzmenko, V., Sundberg, J., Gatenholm, P., Hanse, E., and Johannesson, S. (2014). 3D Culturing and differentiation of SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells on bacterial nanocellulose scaffolds. Artificial cells, nanomedicine, and biotechnology 42, 302-308

Egues, I., Stepan, A.M., Eceiza, A., Toriz, G., Gatenholm, P., and Labidi, J. (2014). Corncob arabinoxylan for new materials. Carbohydrate polymers 102, 12-20.

Dubrovina, L., Naboka, O., Ogenko, V., Gatenholm, P., and Enoksson, P. (2014). One-pot synthesis of carbon nanotubes from renewable resource: cellulose acetate. Journal of Materials Science 49, 1144-1149.

Bosmans, T.J., Stepan, A.M., Toriz, G., Renneckar, S., Karabulut, E., Wagberg, L., and Gatenholm, P. (2014). Assembly of Debranched Xylan from Solution and on Nanocellulosic Surfaces. Biomacromolecules 15,924-930.

Avila, H.M., Schwarz, S., Feldmann, E.M., Mantas, A., von Bomhard, A., Gatenholm, P., and Rotter, N. (2014). Biocompatibility evaluation of densified bacterial nanocellulose hydrogel as an implant material for auricular cartilage regeneration. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 98, 7423-7435.

Zhang, Y.J., Li, J.B., Lindstrom, M.E., Stepan, A., and Gatenholm, P. (2013). Spruce glucomannan: Preparation, structural characteristics and basic film forming ability. Nordic Pulp & Paper Research Journal 28, 323-330.

Thorvaldsson, A., Silva-Correia, J., Oliveira, J.M., Reis, R.L., Gatenholm, P., and Walkenstrom, P. (2013). Development of Nanofiber-Reinforced Hydrogel Scaffolds for Nucleus Pulposus Regeneration by a Combination of Electrospinning and Spraying Technique. Journal of Applied Polymer Science 128, 1158-1163.

Sundberg, J., Toriz, G., and Gatenholm, P. (2013). Moisture induced plasticity of amorphous cellulose films from ionic liquid. Polymer 54, 6555-6560.

Stepan, A.M., King, A.W.T., Kakko, T., Toriz, G., Kilpelainen, I., and Gatenholm, P. (2013). Fast and highly efficient acetylation of xylans in ionic liquid systems. Cellulose 20, 2813-2824.

Stepan, A.M., Anasontzis, G.E., Matama, T., Cavaco-Paulo, A., Olsson, L., and Gatenholm, P. (2013). Lipases efficiently stearate and cutinases acetylate the surface of arabinoxylan films. Journal of biotechnology 167,16-23.

Stenhamre, H., Thorvaldsson, A., Enochson, L., Walkenstrom, P., Lindahl, A., Brittberg, M., and Gatenholm, P. (2013). Nanosized fibers' effect on adult human articular chondrocytes behavior. Materials Science & Engineering C-Materials for Biological Applications 33, 1539-1545.

Rolong, A., Gatenholm, P., Rodriguez, K., and Davalos, R.V. (2013). Electrical manipulation of bacteria to control nanocellulose architecture for biomedical applications. Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society 245.

Nimeskern, L., Martinez Avila, H., Sundberg, J., Gatenholm, P., Muller, R., and Stok, K.S. (2013). Mechanical evaluation of bacterial nanocellulose as an implant material for ear cartilage replacement. Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials 22, 12-21

Kuzmenko, V., Samfors, S., Hagg, D., and Gatenholm, P. (2013). Universal method for protein bioconjugation with nanocellulose scaffolds for increased cell adhesion. Materials Science & Engineering C-Materials for Biological Applications 33, 4599-4607.

Hardelin, L., Perzon, E., Hagstrom, B., Walkenstrom, P., and Gatenholm, P. (2013). Influence of molecular weight and rheological behavior on electrospinning cellulose nanofibers from ionic liquids. Journal of Applied Polymer Science 130, 2303-2310.

Feldmann, E.M., Sundberg, J.F., Bobbili, B., Schwarz, S., Gatenholm, P., and Rotter, N. (2013). Description of a novel approach to engineer cartilage with porous bacterial nanocellulose for reconstruction of a human auricle. Journal of biomaterials applications 28, 626-640

Esker, A.R., Ni, Y., Escalante, A., Toriz, G., and Gatenholm, P. (2013). Cellulose surface modification by natural polysaccharides. Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society 245.

Published: Fri 14 Dec 2012. Modified: Thu 17 Dec 2015