Review Article

Opportunities of Bacterial Cellulose to Treat Epithelial Tissues

Author(s): Irene Anton-Sales, Uwe Beekmann, Anna Laromaine*, Anna Roig* and Dana Kralisch

Volume 20, Issue 8, 2019

Page: [808 - 822] Pages: 15

DOI: 10.2174/1389450120666181129092144

open access plus


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.

Keywords: Biomaterials, bacterial cellulose, epithelial tissues, wound dressing, cell carrier, drug delivery, epithelial regeneration.

Graphical Abstract
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