Dinesh K. Patela,1, Keya Gangulya,1, Sayan Deb Duttaa, Tejal V. Patilb, Ki-Taek Lima,b
aDepartment of Biosystems Engineering, Institute of Forest Science, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 24341, Republic of Korea
bInterdisciplinary Program in Smart Agriculture, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 24341, Republic of Korea
Corresponding author: Ki-Taek Lim
Nanocellulose application has been increasing owing to its appealing physicochemical properties. Monitoring of the crystallinity, surface topography, and reactivity of this high-aspect-ratio nanomaterial is crucial for efficient tissue engineering. Controlling macrophage polarization phenotype remains a challenge in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Herein, we monitored the effects of shape-regulated (rod and spherical) nanocellulose on the macrophage modulatory potential of RAW 246.7 cells in vitro. Spherical nanocellulose (s-NC) exhibited higher thermal stability and biocompatibility than rod nanocellulose. Macrophage polarization was profoundly affected by nanocellulose topography and incubation period. M2 polarization was observed in vitro after 1 day of treatment with s-NC, followed by M1 polarization after treatment for longer periods. Transcriptome analysis similarly revealed that M1 polarization was dominant after 1 day h of incubation with both nanocellulose types. These findings demonstrate that macrophage polarization can be controlled by selecting suitable nanocellulose shape and incubation time for desired applications.