Why to choose our nanofibrillar cellulose hydrogels as your bioinks for 3D bioprinting applications? 


1. Taking your research results to the clinics

Nanofibrillar cellulose hydrogels are a great “blank canvas” to start your own bioink formulation development or to take our standard biomaterials for translating your research results to the clinics. Our nanocellulose based bioinks are based on animal-free materials and you can stay completely animal-free if your clinical development or applications require it.  

2. Optimal printability and stability for your application

Our bioinks are shear thinning hydrogels that allow continuous flow and printability during bioprinting. Once the bioprinting is completed, the bioinks instantly become semi-solid hydrogels and structurally stable, so your cells will remain evenly distributed in the 3D bioprinted structure. You can see, how our materials work in bioprinting applications from this link

3. Our biomaterials ensure the viability of your cells during and after bioprinting

Our high quality nanofibrillar cellulose bioinks ensure that your cells feel at home during and after bioprinting. Our wide customer base has 3D cell cultured various kinds of cells in our nanocellulose based hydrogels ranging from cell lines to primary cells and stem cells. The fiber dimensions of our nanocellulose biomaterials mimic the fibril network of collagen. We conduct extensive testing, including sterility, endotoxin and pH levels, cell viability and viscosity, to ensure consistent quality and cell culture performance from batch-to-batch. 

4. Structural stability to form advanced tissue structures

During bioprinting, our nanocellulose based bioinks protect the cells from shear forces and provide the optimal environment for 3D cell growth immediately after printing. You can print our biomaterials into different shapes, structures, and layers without worrying about temperature control. You can tune the bioink’s viscosity simply by diluting the gels or by mixing them to other biomaterials to match the bioink stiffness for your cell type. 

5. Mix and match to form your own bioink formulation 

From our standard bioinks shipped in ready-to-use cartridges to your own formula development, we supply you with our high quality nanofibrillar cellulose. You can build your own bioink by mixing desired growth factors, proteins and other biomaterials to our nanocellulose hydrogels to optimize the 3D cell culture and 3D bioprinting conditions for your cells. 



Bioprinting with nanofibrillar cellulose bioink

Watch the following video to see an example of how nanofibrillar cellulose bioink, GrowInk™, functions in 3D bioprinting applications.


Why you should partner with us? We are the biomaterial company


We can deliver nanocellulose based biomaterials for your needs in the different development steps you are taking

Our nanofibrillar cellulose hydrogels are designed and manufacture for the most demanding 3D cell culture and 3D bioprinting applications with cell performance as our top priority. We offer our nanocellulose hydrogels in different grades ranging from research grades to clinical grades and we can support you with required documentation throughout your development process. 


We are a well-established forest industry corporation with 20+ years experience developing nanocellulose based biomaterials for life science and clinical use 

UPM-Kymmene Corporation is a well-known global forest industry corporation with global operations and a long history in innovation around natural cellulose-based materials.

When choosing UPM Biomedicals nanocellulose based biomaterials, you choose the industry standard for animal-free and clinically compatible biomaterials. We have expertise in building strong partnerships with the industry leading biotech and pharma companies to bridge the gap between research and clinical use of our biomaterials.

Our expertise ranges from using nanocellulose in advanced 3D cell culture, 3D bioprinting, drug and cell therapy related applications. Our wide portfolio of Intellectual property rights (IPR) will ensure that you and your customers can work and develop new innovative ways of using our biomaterials.


We offer you the highest quality wood-based nanocellulose biomaterials 

We maintain and regulate strict manufacturing standards and conduct extensive testing, including sterility, endotoxin and pH levels, cell viability and viscosity, to ensure consistent batch-to-batch quality.

Our products are manufactured according to ISO13485 standardization, and we have performed extensive biocompatibility studies according to ISO10993 standard including cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, skin sensitization and skin irritation to support the use of our biomaterials in advanced life science and clinical applications.


What makes an optimal bioink? 

1. Printability and structural stability 

For optimal printability, the bioink must show ideal viscoelastic properties that allow printing of desired structures with cells embedded inside of the bioink. Optimally, the bioink should be shear thinning (pseudoplastic flow behavior) to ensure easy and precise printing results.


Our nanocellulose hydrogels are shear-thinning in nature, which means that the bioink’s viscosity decreases with increasing shear rate. The shear rate is caused, once a bioink is bioprinted and the bioink is passing through the bioprinter nozzle. When the bioink is passing through the print head, the viscosity of the bioink decreases due to the rearrangement of the nanofibrillar cellulose fibers that align under shear force (the hydrogel flows under pressure). Once the bioink has passed through the bioprinting nozzle, the nanofibrillar cellulose fibers form a mesh-kind structure in rest and the nanocellulose based bioink becomes a solid-like gel. Besides nanofibrillar cellulose hydrogels, some other common shear thinning materials are polymer melts, yoghurt, and ketchup.


Nanocellulose based bioinks can be bioprinted into different structures. If further structural integrity is desired, it is possible to crosslink the nanocellulose based bioinks (anionically charged or bioinks containing e.g. alginate) to further improve the structures integrity and mechanical stiffness. Different cross-linking methods, for example, UV crosslinking, or ionic cross-linking, can be used. 


2. Cell viability 

One of the most important properties of a hydrogel used as bioink is to support cell viability by surrounding the soft cell aggregates to an optimal cell culture environment. Cells require a cell specific culture medium for optimal growth, but everything starts with the used bioink and its biocompatibility.

An optimal bioink material has to be tested biocompatible through cytotoxicity testing and the material should be also limited on the amount of endotoxins it contains. In addition to biocompatibility, the mechanical properties, such as viscosity (or the stiffness of the cell culture environment) has a major impact on cell proliferation and differentiation. 

  1. The viscosity of our nanocellulose based bioinks can be tuned by simply diluting the bioinks, for example with culture medium. We strictly test the mechanical properties of our hydrogels to ensure that the properties (e.g. viscosity) do not change between our bioink batches.
  2. Endotoxins are considered to be the most potent microbial pyrogens responsible for triggering the immune system causing severe infection and inflammation. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the endotoxin amount should be limited in medical devices (no more than 0.5 endotoxin units (EU)/ml or 20 EU/device). Our biomaterials are manufactured according to the highest standards and we use our nanofibrillated cellulose as part of our CE-marked wound dressing FibDex®.
  3. Cytotoxicity is tested to determine the biological response of mammalian cells in vitro. Our nanocellulose hydrogel has been tested according to the international standard ISO 10993–5:2009 (Biological evaluation of medical devices–Part 5: Tests for in vitro cytotoxicity) and proved to be non-toxic for the cells.

3. Support of forming tissue

The vision of 3D bioprinting is to apply the technology to make complex cell-laden constructs that can be used for testing cell differentiation and tissue development with the aim in the future to be implanted or used in humans. There are therefore requirements for good mechanical properties to provide structural integrity. This becomes critical when the architecture of the printed constructs has to satisfy oxygen and nutrient transport into the cells in the construct. In our nanofibrillar cellulose hydrogels oxygen and nutrients are able to diffuse through the gels.


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