Our tunicate nanocellulose, TUNICELL, is produced from a sustainable, low-trophic marine resource, the tunicate Ciona intestinalis. Tunicates are the only animals that can synthesize cellulose, likely arising from the horizontal transfer of a prokaryotic cellulose synthase gene at the origin of the tunicate lineage.
Based on over 20 years of research, our team has developed the complete value chain from farming tunicates, to harvesting, processing, cellulose extraction and further refining of the tunicate cellulose to cellulose nanofibrils with tuneable properties.
The tunicates are harvested annually on the west coast of Norway, and during processing, different compartments are separated into components with individual commercial trajectories. Using our unique and specialized extraction protocol, one of these compartments, the animal “tunic”, yields tunicate cellulose that is of superior quality and purity, compared to cellulose isolated from plant-based sources. We further process this tunicate cellulose in our state-of-the-art cleanroom facilities to produce ultrapure medical grade cellulose nanofibrils, TUNICELL, according to ISO standards towards cGMP accreditation.
The physical characteristics and purity of TUNICELL make it an excellent scaffolding material in the emergent field of tissue and organ regeneration. Ocean TuniCell is currently supplying the market with an enzymatically pretreated medical grade TUNICELL product (TUNICELL ETC), TEMPO-mediated oxidized medical grade TUNICELL product (TUNICELL TTC), and carboxymethylated medical grade TUNICELL product (TUNICELL CTC). All products can be supplied with or without an osmolyte (4.6% D-Mannitol).