JeNaCell, an Evonik company, focuses on developing and producing high-quality products using biosynthetic cellulose, a nature-inspired material with a bioengineered architecture that is generated by bacteria.
Based in Jena, Germany, the interdisciplinary team of specialists in biochemistry, pharmacy and biotechnology is advancing the applications of this versatile material platform for medical devices, implants, drug delivery, and professional skin care.
The company JeNaCell was originally founded in 2012 as a spin-off from the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena in Germany. In 2017, we launched our first product epicite®, a medical wound dressing based on biosynthetic cellulose for the treatment of burns, surgical and chronic wounds. Evonik acquired JeNaCell in 2021 following prior investment.
THE BENEFITS OF BIOSYNTHETIC CELLULOSE
Cellulose is the main component of plant cell walls, helping plants to remain upright and stiff. It is the most common polysaccharide and organic compound. Cellulose can also be made by bacteria – mainly acetic acid bacteria. Although plant and biosynthetic cellulose have the same chemical structure, cellulose produced by bacteria has a much higher purity than plant cellulose which also contain byproducts like lignin or hemicellulose.
Biosynthetic cellulose typically consists of around five percent cellulose and 95 percent water. The cellulose is built out of glucose monomers and the bacteria biosynthesize the three-dimensional network out of glucose building blocks, forming cellulose fibers. These fibers form a matrix which holds the water inside. This material is very hydrophilic which is why this biomaterial is often referred to as a hydropolymer.
Our unique, fine-structured biosynthetic cellulose brings customers from the medical device, pharma and cosmetic industry the following benefits:
- mechanical stability
- thermal stability up to 300°C
- liquid absorption and retention capacity
- moisture content control
- skin-friendly and soft interface
- control of material properties and form during biosynthesis
OUR MANUFACTURING PROCESS FOR BIOSYNTHETIC CELLULOSE
Our biosynthetic cellulose is manufactured at commercial scale using a globally unique, automated technology that enables continuous production in planar form. This innovative manufacturing process allows us to produce biosynthetic cellulose in large quantities and consistently high quality. Additionally, the process allows for a high variability through tailor-made material properties and freely selectable fleece thicknesses and dimensions.
The production requires only a few components: the bacteria strain, acetic acid bacteria and culture medium, which contains carbon sources like sugar. After cultivation a rigorous purification process occurs to produce a medical device product which is very pure cellulose. Our production process is our value proposition, distinguishing our product from others, and ensuring it is highly controlled and reproducible.
Biosynthetic cellulose from JeNaCell – An Evonik Company is of exceptional quality and shows high stability and structural homogeneity. The production process for our biosynthetic cellulose is certified according to DIN EN ISO13485:2016.