Biocompatible, sustainable coatings based on photo-crosslinkable cellulose derivatives


Materials derived from renewable resources have great potential to replace fossil-based plastics in biomedical applications. In this study, the synthesis of cellulose-based photoresists by esterification with methacrylic acid anhydride and sorbic acid was investigated. These resists polymerize under UV irradiation in the range λ=254 nm to 365 nm, with or even without the use of an additional photoinitiator concerning the sorbic acid derivative. Usability for biomedical applications was demonstrated by investigating the adhesion and viability of a fibrosarcoma cell line (HT-1080). Compared to polystyrene, the material widely used for cell culture dishes, cell adhesion to the biomaterials tested was even stronger, as assessed by a centrifugation assay. This is all the more remarkable since chemical surface modification of cellulose with methacrylate and sorbic acid allows direct attachment of HT-1080 cells without the addition of protein modifiers or ligands. Furthermore, cells on both biomaterials show similar cell viability, not significantly different from polystyrene, indicating no significant impairment or enhancement. This will allow the future use of these cellulose derivatives as support structures for scaffolds or as self-supporting coatings also for cell culture, based solely on renewable and sustainable resources.