chapter  16
25 Pages

Bionanocrystals in Tissue Engineering Strategies: Tools for Reinforcement, Nanopatterning, and/or Nanostructuring of Polymeric Scaffolds and Hydrogels

WithRui M. A. Domingues, Rui L. Reis, Manuela E. Gomes

Following the advent of nanotechnology and the growing interest dedicated to the exploration of the many properties attributed to nanoparticles, bionanocrystals derived from natural polysaccharides have also attracted great attention owing to their distinct biocompatibility and biodegradability along with their wide availability and attractiveness as renewable biomasses. Among this class of bionanoparticles, cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and chitin 414nanocrystals (ChNCs) (the two most abundant natural polymers on earth) have emerged in the development of a wide range of applications in the field of materials science, and in recent years also in tissue engineering (TE) and regenerative medicine. In these chapter we get an overview of the latest advances in the use of these outstanding natural building blocks in the development of functional nanostructured biomaterials for potential TE applications and highlight their main properties to be explored within the field.