The future prospects of microbial cellulose in biomedical applications

Biomacromolecules. 2007 Jan;8(1):1-12. doi: 10.1021/bm060620d.


Microbial cellulose has proven to be a remarkably versatile biomaterial and can be used in wide variety of applied scientific endeavors, such as paper products, electronics, acoustics, and biomedical devices. In fact, biomedical devices recently have gained a significant amount of attention because of an increased interest in tissue-engineered products for both wound care and the regeneration of damaged or diseased organs. Due to its unique nanostructure and properties, microbial cellulose is a natural candidate for numerous medical and tissue-engineered applications. For example, a microbial cellulose membrane has been successfully used as a wound-healing device for severely damaged skin and as a small-diameter blood vessel replacement. The nonwoven ribbons of microbial cellulose microfibrils closely resemble the structure of native extracellular matrices, suggesting that it could function as a scaffold for the production of many tissue-engineered constructs. In addition, microbial cellulose membranes, having a unique nanostructure, could have many other uses in wound healing and regenerative medicine, such as guided tissue regeneration (GTR), periodontal treatments, or as a replacement for dura mater (a membrane that surrounds brain tissue). In effect, microbial cellulose could function as a scaffold material for the regeneration of a wide variety of tissues, showing that it could eventually become an excellent platform technology for medicine. If microbial cellulose can be successfully mass produced, it will eventually become a vital biomaterial and will be used in the creation of a wide variety of medical devices and consumer products.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetobacter
  • Animals
  • Bandages, Hydrocolloid
  • Biophysics / methods
  • Cellulose / chemistry*
  • Fermentation
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Macromolecular Substances / chemistry*
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Regeneration
  • Tissue Engineering / methods
  • Wound Healing


  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Polymers
  • Cellulose