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Materials 2013, 6(5), 1956-1966; doi:10.3390/ma6051956

Production and Characterization of a New Bacterial Cellulose/Poly(Vinyl Alcohol) Nanocomposite

Institute of Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Centre of Biological Engineering, University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 February 2013 / Revised: 23 April 2013 / Accepted: 6 May 2013 / Published: 10 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Cellulosic Materials)
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Bacterial cellulose (BC) is characterized for its high water holding capacity, high crystallinity, an ultrafine fiber network and high tensile strength. This work demonstrates the production of a new interpenetrated polymer network nanocomposite obtained through the incorporation of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) on the BC matrix and evaluates the effect of oven drying on the morphological, mechanical and mass transfer properties of the composite membranes. Both the addition of PVA and oven drying induce the appearance of larger pores (circa 1–3 µm in average diameter) in dried BC/PVA membranes. Both types of treatments also affect the permeability of the composite, as assessed by the diffusion coefficients of polyethylene glycol (PEG) molecules (900, 8,000, 35,000 and 100,000 Da) across the membranes. Finally, the Young’s modulus of dry pristine BC decreases following PVA incorporation, resulting in a change from 3.5 GPa to 1 GPa and a five-fold loss in tensile strength.
Keywords: bacterial cellulose; poly(vinyl alcohol); mechanical strength; diffusivity bacterial cellulose; poly(vinyl alcohol); mechanical strength; diffusivity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Leitão, A.F.; Silva, J.P.; Dourado, F.; Gama, M. Production and Characterization of a New Bacterial Cellulose/Poly(Vinyl Alcohol) Nanocomposite. Materials 2013, 6, 1956-1966.

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