Bacterial Cellulose Nanocomposites Developed by in-situ Fermentation

M. Osorio, D. Restrepo, C. Castro, U. Montoya, R. Zuluaga, P. Gañán
Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, CO

Keywords: bacterial cellulose, nanocomposites, starch, in-situ fabrication

Summary:

Some bacteria such as Gluconacetobacter synthesize cellulose nanofibrills (BC) through the polymerization of glucose and subsequent extrusion outside the cell. In static conditions, the bacteria produce a three-dimensional network, a type of pellicule, which can be used as reinforcing material in polymer matrices. In this research a new methodology to produce cellulose nanocomposite is explored through exploit the bioengineering provided by the bacteria of the genus Gluconacetobacter by in-situ growth in a medium enriched with water-soluble starch. Nanocomposite films produced, after the assembly of the components in static conditions, were obtained after chemical crosslinking, and a good distribution of nanofibrils is obtained. The effect of crosslinking conditions on the mechanical and thermal performance is discussed. Results indicate that the incorporation of cellulose nanofibrils and crosslinking process can improve mechanical and thermal properties, and suggest that these materials are promising candidates in food packing industry.