Polysaccharides in High-Performance Nanostructured Materials

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Synthesis, Interfaces and Nanostructures".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2021) | Viewed by 7988

Special Issue Editors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Polysaccharides are widely available polymers from agricultural and marine sources. Some of them can be produced by sustainable biotechnologies involving selected microorganisms. Unexploited waste material represented from fishery by-products and plant biomass are estimated to amount to around 300 million tons per year, and only 20% is used to produce almost exclusively energy. This is a very important source of polysaccharides, and its better exploitation could contribute to limit the impact of both fossil resources depletion and environmental pollution. The biodegradability and compatibility of polysaccharides with body and skin give them an intrinsic safety, and thus the possibility to be used in several fields: from food packaging to cosmetics, from personal care/sanitary products to biomedical ones. Nano-structured versions of fibrous polysaccharides such as cellulose and chitin are currently being produced by interesting new methodologies, making it possible to exploit interesting high performances correlated to their nano-dimensions, also considering suitable modification technologies or the combination of these nano-fibers with other nanostructured materials such as nano-lignin, inorganic nanomaterials, or specific functional molecules. The preparation and testing of such nano-structured materials is a current frontier in research. Polysaccharides are also used in biobased materials and nanocomposites with enhanced performances thanks to the improved interfacial areas and functional properties. In this case, the capacity of testing the material properties up to the nano-scale is fundamental in order to clarify the correlations between their chemical structures, morphologies, and final properties. Their processability thanks to new or hyphenated technologies such as extrusion, molding, electrospinning, and 3D printing—including coating technologies exploiting nano-technology—is also fundamental for enhancing their high performances.

This Special Issue aims to gather research and review papers to increase the knowledge and use of polysaccharides and their derived compounds in nano-structured materials, finding new ways to produce innovative, sustainable, and smart products for use in several applications.

Prof. Dr. Pierfrancesco Morganti
Prof. Dr. Maria-Beatrice Coltelli
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • polysaccharides
  • oligosaccharides
  • Polymers
  • nanofibers
  • nanomaterials
  • 3D printing
  • hyphenated technologies
  • Nanolignin
  • nanotechnologies

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

23 pages, 4937 KiB  
Article
Chitin Nanofibril-Nanolignin Complexes as Carriers of Functional Molecules for Skin Contact Applications
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(8), 1295; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12081295 - 11 Apr 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2007
Abstract
Chitin nanofibrils (CN) and nanolignin (NL) were used to embed active molecules, such as vitamin E, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, lutein, nicotinamide and glycyrrhetinic acid (derived from licorice), in the design of antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nanostructured chitin nanofibrils–nanolignin (CN-NL) complexes for skin contact [...] Read more.
Chitin nanofibrils (CN) and nanolignin (NL) were used to embed active molecules, such as vitamin E, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, lutein, nicotinamide and glycyrrhetinic acid (derived from licorice), in the design of antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nanostructured chitin nanofibrils–nanolignin (CN-NL) complexes for skin contact products, thus forming CN-NL/M complexes, where M indicates the embedded functional molecule. Nano-silver was also embedded in CN-NL complexes or on chitin nanofibrils to exploit its well-known antimicrobial activity. A powdery product suitable for application was finally obtained by spray-drying the complexes co-formulated with poly(ethylene glycol). The structure and morphology of the complexes was studied using infrared spectroscopy and field emission scanning electron microscopy, while their thermal stability was investigated via thermo-gravimetry. The latter provided criteria for evaluating the suitability of the obtained complexes for subsequent demanding industrial processing, such as, for instance, incorporation into bio-based thermoplastic polymers through conventional melt extrusion. In vitro tests were carried out at different concentrations to assess skin compatibility. The obtained results provided a physical–chemical, morphological and cytocompatibility knowledge platform for the correct selection and further development of such nanomaterials, allowing them to be applied in different products. In particular, chitin nanofibrils and the CN-NL complex containing glycyrrhetinic acid can combine excellent thermal stability and skin compatibility to provide a nanostructured system potentially suitable for industrial applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polysaccharides in High-Performance Nanostructured Materials)
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14 pages, 10821 KiB  
Article
Surfactant-Mediated Co-Existence of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Networks and Cellulose Nanocrystal Mesophases
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(11), 3059; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11113059 - 13 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1596
Abstract
Hybrids comprising cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and percolated networks of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) may serve for the casting of hybrid materials with improved optical, mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties. However, CNC-dispersed SWNTs are depleted from the chiral nematic (N*) phase and [...] Read more.
Hybrids comprising cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and percolated networks of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) may serve for the casting of hybrid materials with improved optical, mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties. However, CNC-dispersed SWNTs are depleted from the chiral nematic (N*) phase and enrich the isotropic phase. Herein, we report that SWNTs dispersed by non-ionic surfactant or triblock copolymers are incorporated within the surfactant-mediated CNC mesophases. Small-angle X-ray measurements indicate that the nanostructure of the hybrid phases is only slightly modified by the presence of the surfactants, and the chiral nature of the N* phase is preserved. Cryo-TEM and Raman spectroscopy show that SWNTs networks with typical mesh size from hundreds of nanometers to microns are distributed equally between the two phases. We suggest that the adsorption of the surfactants or polymers mediates the interfacial interaction between the CNCs and SWNTs, enhancing the formation of co-existing meso-structures in the hybrid phases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polysaccharides in High-Performance Nanostructured Materials)
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14 pages, 7475 KiB  
Article
Rheological and Tribological Properties of Nanocellulose-Based Ecolubricants
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(11), 2987; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11112987 - 06 Nov 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1675
Abstract
Based on the response surface methodology, a rheological and tribological study carried out on eco-friendly lubricants is described. Such ecolubricants consisted of fibrillated or crystalline nanocellulose in vegetable oil (castor oil, high oleic sunflower oil or their mixtures). Cellulose nanoparticles showed noticeable friction-reducing [...] Read more.
Based on the response surface methodology, a rheological and tribological study carried out on eco-friendly lubricants is described. Such ecolubricants consisted of fibrillated or crystalline nanocellulose in vegetable oil (castor oil, high oleic sunflower oil or their mixtures). Cellulose nanoparticles showed noticeable friction-reducing and anti-wear properties within the boundary and mixed lubrication regimes, which were found to be dependent on nanocellulose concentration, base oil composition and applied normal force. In general, both types of nanocellulose performed equally well. An excellent tribological performance, with large wear scar diameter reductions, was achieved with 3.3 wt.% (or higher) nanocellulose dispersions in castor oil-rich mixtures. The observed behavior was explained on the basis of enhanced viscosity of castor oil-rich suspensions and the preferential action of the most polar components, nanocellulose and ricinoleic acid, in the vicinity of the contact surfaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polysaccharides in High-Performance Nanostructured Materials)
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11 pages, 2755 KiB  
Article
Fabrication and Characterization of Waste Wood Cellulose Fiber/Graphene Nanoplatelet Carbon Papers for Application as Electromagnetic Interference Shielding Materials
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(11), 2878; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11112878 - 28 Oct 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1693
Abstract
Waste wood contains large amounts of cellulose fibers that have outstanding mechanical properties. These fibers can be recycled and converted into highly valuable materials of waste wood. In this study, waste wood cellulose fiber/graphene nanoplatelet (WWCF/GnP) papers were prepared according to the WWCF [...] Read more.
Waste wood contains large amounts of cellulose fibers that have outstanding mechanical properties. These fibers can be recycled and converted into highly valuable materials of waste wood. In this study, waste wood cellulose fiber/graphene nanoplatelet (WWCF/GnP) papers were prepared according to the WWCF and GnP contents. Subsequently, the WWCF/GnP papers were varyingly carbonized for their application as electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding materials such as state-of-the-art electronic equipment malfunction prevention, chip-level microsystem, and micro intersystem noise suppression/reduction. The increase in the GnP content and carbonization temperature enhanced electrical conductivity, thereby generating a greater EMI shielding effectiveness (EMI SE) in the high-frequency X-band. Additionally, the thickness of the WWCF/GnP carbon papers improved the electrical conductivity and EMI SE values. The electrical conductivity of the WWCF/GnP-15 carbon paper obtained at carbonization temperature of 1300 °C was approximately 5.86 S/m, leading to an EMI SE value of 43 decibels (dB) at 10.5 GHz for one sheet. Furthermore, overlapping of the three sheets increased the electrical conductivity to 7.02 S/m, leading to an EMI SE value of 72.5 dB at 10.5 GHz. Thus, we isolated WWCFs, without completely removing contaminants, for recycling and converting them into highly valuable EMI shielding materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polysaccharides in High-Performance Nanostructured Materials)
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