Structural and Electrochemical Properties of Functionalized Nanocellulose Materials and Their Biocompatibility
Sammanfattning: Nanocellulose has received considerable interest during the last decade because it is renewable and biodegradable, and has excellent mechanical properties, nanoscale dimensions and wide functionalization possibilities. It is considered to be a unique and versatile platform on which new functional materials can be based.This thesis focuses on nanocellulose from wood (NFC) and from Cladophora algae (CNC), functionalized with surface charges or coated with the conducting polymer polypyrrole (PPy), aiming to study the influence of synthesis processes on structural and electrochemical properties of such materials and assess their biocompatibility.The most important results of the work demonstrated that 1) CNC was oxidized to the same extent using electrochemical TEMPO-mediated oxidation as with conventional TEMPO processes, which may facilitate easier reuse of the reaction medium; 2) NFC and CNC films with or without surface charges were non-cytotoxic as assessed by indirect in vitro testing. Anionic TEMPO-CNC films promoted fibroblast adhesion and proliferation in direct in vitro cytocompatibility testing, possibly due to its aligned fibril structure; 3) Rinsing of PPy-coated nanocellulose fibrils, which after drying into free-standing porous composites are applicable for energy storage and electrochemically controlled ion extraction, significantly degraded the PPy coating, unless acidic rinsing was employed. Only minor degradation was observed during long-term ambient storage; 4) Variations in the drying method as well as type and amount of nanocellulose offered ways of tailoring the porosities of nanocellulose/PPy composites between 30% and 98%, with increments of ~10%. Supercritical CO2-drying generated composites with the largest specific surface area yet reported for nanocellulose/conducting polymer composites (246 m2/g). The electrochemical oxidation rate was found to be controlled by the composite porosity; 5) In blood compatibility assessments for potential hemodialysis applications, heparinization of CNC/PPy composites was required to obtain thrombogenic properties comparable to commercial hemodialysis membranes. The pro-inflammatory characteristics of non-heparinized and heparinized composites were, to some extent, superior to commercial membranes. The heparin coating did not affect the solute extraction capacity of the composite.The presented results are deemed to be useful for tuning the properties of systems based on the studied materials in e.g. energy storage, ion exchange and biomaterial applications.
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