There is intense interest in developing novel biomaterials which support the invasion and proliferation of living cells for potential applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Decellularization of existing tissues have formed the basis of one major approach to producing 3D scaffolds for such purposes. In this study, we utilize the native hypanthium tissue of apples and a simple preparation methodology to create implantable cellulose scaffolds. To examine biocompatibility, scaffolds were subcutaneously implanted in wild-type, immunocompetent mice (males and females; 6-9 weeks old). Following the implantation, the scaffolds were resected at 1, 4 and 8 weeks and processed for histological analysis (H&E, Masson's Trichrome, anti-CD31 and anti-CD45 antibodies). Histological analysis revealed a characteristic foreign body response to the scaffold 1 week post-implantation. However, the immune response was observed to gradually disappear by 8 weeks post-implantation. By 8 weeks, there was no immune response in the surrounding dermis tissue and active fibroblast migration within the cellulose scaffold was observed. This was concomitant with the deposition of a new collagen extracellular matrix. Furthermore, active blood vessel formation within the scaffold was observed throughout the period of study indicating the pro-angiogenic properties of the native scaffolds. Finally, while the scaffolds retain much of their original shape they do undergo a slow deformation over the 8-week length of the study. Taken together, our results demonstrate that native cellulose scaffolds are biocompatible and exhibit promising potential as a surgical biomaterial
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