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Curr Drug Targets. 2019;20(8):808-822. doi: 10.2174/1389450120666181129092144.

Opportunities of Bacterial Cellulose to Treat Epithelial Tissues.

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Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), 08193 Bellaterra, Catalunya, Spain.
Institute of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, 07743 Jena, Germany.
JeNaCell GmbH, 07743 Jena, Germany.


In this mini-review, we highlight the potential of the biopolymer bacterial cellulose to treat damaged epithelial tissues. Epithelial tissues are cell sheets that delimitate both the external body surfaces and the internal cavities and organs. Epithelia serve as physical protection to underlying organs, regulate the diffusion of molecules and ions, secrete substances and filtrate body fluids, among other vital functions. Because of their continuous exposure to environmental stressors, damage to epithelial tissues is highly prevalent. Here, we first compare the properties of bacterial cellulose to the current gold standard, collagen, and then we examine the use of bacterial cellulose patches to heal specific epithelial tissues; the outer skin, the ocular surface, the oral mucosa and other epithelial surfaces. Special emphasis is made on the dermis since, to date, this is the most widespread medical use of bacterial cellulose. It is important to note that some epithelial tissues represent only the outermost layer of more complex structures such as the skin or the cornea. In these situations, depending on the penetration of the lesion, bacterial cellulose might also be involved in the regeneration of, for instance, inner connective tissue.


Biomaterials; bacterial cellulose; cell carrier; drug delivery; epithelial regeneration; epithelial tissues; wound dressing.

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