Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Winter 12-2017


The number of novel materials for use in biomedical implantation is expanding rapidly, increasing the success rates of implant procedures. Nanocellulose is being assessed as a sustainable and biocompatible material, offering an alternative to conventional polymer or metal designs with the appropriate structure for potential tissue integration. In this research, the capacity of cellulose nanofibers to serve as biomedical implants is assessed through examination of immune responses of transgenic zebrafish, utilizing bright field and confocal fluorescence microscopy. Methods for creating microincisions for the implantation of dense cellulose nanofiber shards in the zebrafish model were explored, and a surgical protocol was developed, along with an apparatus to aid with the procedure. Experiments suggest that nanocellulose implants induce slightly more neutrophil migration to the wound site than the injury itself, although more data are required to prove statistical significance. Integration of the nanocellulose implants also appeared to occur, although low implant retention rate rendered these experiments inconclusive.