Tunicates are the only animal group that can synthesize cellulose, likely arising from a horizontal gene transfer of a prokaryotic cellulose synthase gene at the origin of the tunicate lineage.
Our TUNICELL products are made exclusively from the benthic tunicate, Ciona intestinalis, which we cultivate in our aquaculture facilities in the fjords outside of Bergen.
Medical grade means that the material is produced in clean room facilities under cGMP, adheres to current rules and regulations for medical devices in terms of endotoxin levels (< 0.5 ml/ml) and is sterilized.
Customers will need to seek regulatory approval for their intended use or application of TUNICELL. You cannot use the material in humans or animals without regulatory approval.
If you are unsure if you can use TUNICELL for your application, please send us an email at email@example.com. We can provide guidance and help in assessing your experimental needs and find the TUNICELL modification that will be best suited for your application.
TUNICELL is distributed as a 2.5% dispersion in pyrogen free/cell grade water with or without an osmolyte (D-Mannitol) to facilitate osmolarity when mixed with cells.
TUNICELL can be mixed with other polymers and active compounds to facilitate your intended functionality, e.g. mixing with alginate and cross-link with Calcium to make hydrogels, or bioconjugated with fibronectin, collagen or laminin to enhance cell migration.
Tunicate cellulose is composed of 99% glucose, free from impurities such as hemicellulose and lignin. Tunicate cellulose has the highest crystallinity found in nature (89%), and the fibres are longer and thicker with higher aspect ratio (similar to collagen) compared to wood. Ocean TuniCell controls the complete value chain from production of raw material, to extraction of cellulose and further processing into nanocellulose. Our quality control system ensures minimal batch variability and our customers will experience the same high quality of TUNICELL always.
Yes, TUNICELL is a pure hydrogel that contains no active compounds that interact with cells. The researcher has complete control over the composition of the medium, and the hydrogel can be modified to contain adhesion factors or growth factors.
Yes, TUNICELL can be used to grow organoids and spheroids in 3D cultures. Nanocellulose has previously been used for these applications and TUNICELL provides the additional low variability between batches and purity to avoid confounding effects that may influence your cells as they proliferate and differentiate. Publications are pending.
TUNICELL has excellent scaffold properties for 3D reconstruction of organs and tissues. Although TUNICELL is not bioactive, specific activities can be grafted to the fibrils ensuring optimal function of your construct.
Yes, it is possible to do electrospinning with all our TUNICELL products. The unique high mechanical strength due to the length and width of the tunicate nanocellulose fibers allows for the creation of very thin and fine films through electrospinning.
TUNICELL ETC does not crosslink on its own, but both TTC (TEMPO-mediated oxidized) and CTC (carboxymethylated) have some ability to crosslink on their own. To further facilitate hydrogel formation you can mix TUNICELL with other polymers such as alginate and crosslinked with calcium. You may vary the porosity of the hydrogel by changing the ratio between TUNICELL and alginate for optimal functionality. This level of tuning the porosity of a hydrogel is excellent for controlling the release rate of active compounds. An example of this was presented in a recent TERMIS meeting where different ratios of TUNICELL and alginate were mixed and crosslinked to control the rate of hemoglobin release for chronic wound healing applications (Back et al. 2019).