Synthesis and properties of regenerated cellulose-based hydrogels with high strength and transparency for potential use as an ocular bandage

Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl. 2013 Jul 1;33(5):3069-76. doi: 10.1016/j.msec.2013.03.037. Epub 2013 Apr 1.


Cellulose is a biologically derived material with excellent wound-healing properties. The high strength of cellulose fibers and the ability to synthesize gels with high optical transparency make these materials suitable for ocular applications. In this study, cellulose materials derived from wood pulp, cotton, and bacterial sources were dissolved in lithium chloride/N,N-dimethylacetamide to form regenerated cellulose hydrogels. Material properties of the resulting hydrogels, including water content, optical transparency, and tensile and tear strengths, were evaluated. Synthesis parameters, including activation time, dissolution time, relative humidity, and cellulose concentration, were found to impact the material properties of the resulting hydrogels. Overnight activation time improves the optical transparency of the hydrogels from 77% to 97% at 550 nm, whereas controlling cellulose concentration improves their tear strength by as much as 200%. On the basis of the measured transmittance and strength values of the regenerated hydrogels prepared via the optimized synthesis parameters, Avicel PH 101, Sigma-Aldrich microcrystalline cellulose 435236, and bacterial cellulose types were prioritized for future biocompatibility testing and potential clinical investigation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bandages*
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Calorimetry, Differential Scanning
  • Cellulose / chemistry*
  • Eye Injuries / therapy*
  • Hydrogels*
  • Materials Testing*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Temperature
  • Thermogravimetry


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Hydrogels
  • Cellulose