Immunological aspects of nanocellulose
Cellulose is the most abundant natural polymer in the world. Nanoscale forms of cellulose, including cellulose nanofibers (CNF), cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) and bacterial nanocellulose (BC), are very attractive in industry, medicine and pharmacy. Biomedical applications of nanocellulose in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and controlled drug delivery are the most promising. Nanocellulose is considered a biocompatible nanomaterial and relatively safe for biomedical applications. However, more studies are needed to prove this hypothesis, especially those related to chronic exposure to nanocellulose. Besides toxicity, the response of the immune system is of particular importance in this sense. This paper provides a comprehensive and critical review of the current-state knowledge of the impact of nanocellulose on the immune system, especially on macrophages and dendritic cells (DC), as the central immunoregulatory cells, which has not been addressed in the literature sufficiently. Nanocellulose, especially CNC, can induce the inflammatory response upon the internalization by macrophages, but this reaction may be significantly modulated by introducing different functional groups on their surface. Our original results showed that nanocellulose has a potent immunotolerogenic potential. Native CNF potentiated the capacity of DC to induce conventional Tregs. When carboxyl groups were introduced on the CNF surface, the tolerogenic potential of DC was shifted towards the induction of regulatory CD8+ T cells, whereas the introduction of phosphonates on CNF surface potentiated DCs’ capacity to induce both regulatory CD8+ T cells and Type 1 regulatory (Tr-1) cells. These results are extremely important when considering the application of nanocellulose in vivo, especially for tissue regeneration and wound healing.
Nanocellulose biocompatibility macrophages inflammation dendritic cells immune tolerance