Bioinspired nanocomposites based on microfibrillated cellulose, xyloglucan and pectin (KTH, Sweden)


The primary plant cell wall is an interesting biological composite mainly composed of cellulose microfibrils, hemicelluloses and pectin. Bioinspired nanocomposites based on these components may be interesting for industrial and biomedical applications. The aim of this work was to prepare cellulose nanocomposites and study the effect of the composition on the mechanical properties. Components include microfibrillated cellulose (MFC), xyloglucan (XG) and pectin. The effect of borate cross-linking was also investigated. The nanocomposites were prepared by mixing the different components to form an aqueous dispersion, which was subsequently vacuum filtrated and dried at room temperature. The ensuing materials were studied and characterized by mechanical tensile tests and scanning electron microscope (SEM). The addition of an amorphous polysaccharide component such as pectin or XG resulted in decreased Young’s modulus and tensile strength of the resulting cellulose nanocomposites when compared to the neat cellulose materials, although significant ductility was preserved. The reason for such reduction in both modulus and strength of the nanocomposites is related to the corresponding decrease in the content of the composite reinforcing agent, i.e., cellulose nanofibers. The results obtained also showed that there was cross-linking mediated by borate between MFC-XG-Pectin, which resulted in a stiffer material than that without borate.

subject category

Bio-based Material Science and Engineering


Silva, NHCS

our authors


Qi Zhou, Lars Berglund

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