Evaluation of tofu as a potential tissue engineering scaffold
Tofu not only is a delicious vegetarian food, but also shows potential biomedical applications for its high protein content and typical porous scaffold structure. Herein, two kinds of porous soybean scaffolds were developed, the first based on the traditional tofu manufacturing processes, the second modified via covalent crosslinking. The morphology, physicochemical properties and biocompatibility in vitro and in vivo were systematically investigated. A similar porous micromorphology was observed in both the tofu scaffolds and crosslinked soybean protein scaffolds. Both scaffolds exhibited good cell proliferation and cellular adherence. No obvious inflammatory response was observed after subcutaneous implantation tests for either material. These results demonstrated that the tofu scaffolds or soybean protein scaffolds fabricated by tofu processing have potential as new food-source biomaterials in tissue engineering applications.