Development of plant-based biopolymer coatings for 3D cell culture: boron-silica-enriched quince seed mucilage nanocomposites

Yilmaz H. D., Cengiz U., Derkus B., Arslan Y. E.

Biomaterials Science, vol.11, no.15, pp.5320-5336, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 15
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1039/d3bm00170a
  • Journal Name: Biomaterials Science
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, Compendex, EMBASE, INSPEC, MEDLINE, Metadex
  • Page Numbers: pp.5320-5336
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


Spheroid formation with spontaneous aggregation has captured interest in most cell culture studies due to its easy set-up and more reliable results. However, the economic and technical costs of the advanced systems and commercial ultra-low adhesive platforms have pushed researchers into pursuing alternatives. Nowadays, polymeric coatings, including poly-hydroxyethyl methacrylate and agar/agarose, are the commonly used polymers for non-adhesive plate fabrication, yet the costs and working solvent or heat-dependent preparation procedures maintain the need for the development of novel biomaterials. Here, we propose a greener and more economical approach for producing non-adherent surfaces and spheroid formation. For this, a plant waste-based biopolymer from quince fruit (Cydonia oblonga Miller, from Rosaceae family) seeds and boron-silica precursors were introduced. The unique water-holding capacity of quince seed mucilage (Q) was enriched with silanol and borate groups to form bioactive and hydrophilic nanocomposite overlays for spheroid studies. Moreover, 3D gel plates from the nanocomposite material were fabricated and tested in vitro as a proof-of-concept. The surface properties of coatings and the biochemical and mechanical properties of the nanocomposite materials were evaluated in-depth with techniques, and extra hydrophilic coatings were obtained. Three different cell lines were cultured on these nanocomposite surfaces, and spheroid formation with increased cellular viability was recorded on day 3 with a >200 μm spheroid size. Overall, Q-based nanocomposites are believed to be a fantastic alternative for non-adherent surface fabrication due to their low-cost, easy operation, and intrinsic hydration layer forming capacity with biocompatible nature in vitro.