GrowDex is a wood-based hydrogel product, suitable for growing human and animal cells, that mimics real tissues and is easily degradable.

UPM’s pioneering wood-based cellulose nanofibril hydrogel GrowDex is a product used mainly for 3D cell culturing and other biomedical solutions. Sourced from sustainably managed and certified forests in Finland, the product is a more sustainable alternative to animal testing. The gel’s compatibility properties with human cells and tissues enable wide use in biomedical and pharmaceutical research including drug development.

In many cases, GrowDex can be disposed of via normal waste channels, unlike animal-based alternatives that are classified as hazardous waste. Additionally, the gel can be stored at room temperature, unlike perishable animal-based alternatives which require refrigeration.

Why you should care

The cellulose hydrogel GrowDex can be used to replace animal testing by enabling the development of bio-based 3D cell and tissue cultures that can be used in drug tests and models.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Good Health and Well-Being

GrowDex replaces synthetic and animal-derived gels for growing cells in the pharmachemical industry and creates possibilities to better test drugs and treat diseases.

Responsible Consumption and Production

UPM are using wood from sustainably managed and certified forests in Finland to produce new and innovative gels for the pharmaceutical industry.