Nanomaterials, Vol. 11, Pages 2322: Bacterial Nanocellulose as a Scaffold for In Vitro Cell Migration Assay

Research paper by Milena Ugrin, Jelena Dinic, Sanja Jeremic, Sandra Dragicevic, Bojana Banovic Djeri, Aleksandra Nikolic

Indexed on: 15 Sep '21Published on: 07 Sep '21Published in: Nanomaterials (Basel, Switzerland)


Bacterial nanocellulose (BNC) stands out among polymers as a promising biomaterial due to its mechanical strength, hydrophilicity, biocompatibility, biodegradability, low toxicity and renewability. The use of scaffolds based on BNC for 3D cell culture has been previously demonstrated. The study exploited excellent properties of the BNC to develop an efficient and low-cost in vitro cell migration assay. The BNC scaffold was introduced into a cell culture 24 h after the SW480 cells were seeded, and cells were allowed to enter the scaffold within the next 24–48 h. The cells were stained with different fluorophores either before or after the introduction of the scaffold in the culture. Untreated cells were observed to enter the BNC scaffold in significant numbers, form clusters and retain a high viability after 48 h. To validate the assay’s usability for drug development, the treatments of SW480 cells were performed using aspirin, an agent known to reduce the migratory potential of this cell line in culture. This study demonstrates the application of BNC as a scaffold for cell migration testing as a low-cost alternative to commercial assays based on the Boyden chamber principle. The assay could be further developed for routine use in cancer research and anticancer drug development.