A composite biocompatible hydrogel material includes a porous polymer matrix, the polymer matrix including a plurality of pores and providing a Young's modulus of at least 10 GPa. A calcium comprising salt is disposed in at least some of the pores. The porous polymer matrix can comprise cellulose, including bacterial cellulose. The composite can be used as a bone graft material. A method of tissue repair within the body of animals includes the steps of providing a composite biocompatible hydrogel material including a porous polymer matrix, the polymer matrix including a plurality of pores and providing a Young's modulus of at least 10 GPa, and inserting the hydrogel material into cartilage or bone tissue of an animal, wherein the hydrogel material supports cell colonization in vitro for autologous cell seeding.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC05-000R22725 between the United States Department of Energy and UT-Battelle, LLC.