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Nanomaterials 2017, 7(5), 106;

Improvement of Polylactide Properties through Cellulose Nanocrystals Embedded in Poly(Vinyl Alcohol) Electrospun Nanofibers

Food Packaging Laboratory (Laben-Chile), Department of Science and Food Technology, Faculty of Technology, Center for the Development of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (CEDENNA), Universidad de Santiago de Chile (USACH), Obispo Umaña 050, 9170201 Santiago, Chile
Laboratory of Membrane Separation Processes (LABPROSEM), Engineering Faculty, University of Santiago de Chile (USACH), Obispo Umaña 050, 9170201 Santiago, Chile
Engineering Faculty, Universidad Central de Chile, Santa Isabel 1186, 8330601 Santiago, Chile
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: John H. T. Luong
Received: 9 January 2017 / Revised: 3 May 2017 / Accepted: 5 May 2017 / Published: 11 May 2017
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Electrospun nanofibers of poly (vinyl alcohol) (PV) were obtained to improve dispersion of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) within hydrophobic biopolymeric matrices, such as poly(lactic acid) (PLA). Electrospun nanofibers (PV/CNC)n were successfully obtained with a final concentration of 23% (w/w) of CNC. Morphological, structural and thermal properties of developed CNC and electrospun nanofibers were characterized. X-ray diffraction and thermal analysis revealed that the crystallinity of PV was reduced by the electrospinning process, and the incorporation of CNC increased the thermal stability of biodegradable nanofibers. Interactions between CNC and PV polymer also enhanced the thermal stability of CNC and improved the dispersion of CNC within the PLA matrix. PLA materials with CNC lyophilized were also casted in order to compare the properties with materials based on CNC containing nanofibers. Nanofibers and CNC were incorporated into PLA at three concentrations: 0.5%, 1% and 3% (CNC respect to polymer weight) and nanocomposites were fully characterized. Overall, nanofibers containing CNC positively modified the physical properties of PLA materials, such as the crystallinity degree of PLA which was greatly enhanced. Specifically, materials with 1% nanofiber 1PLA(PV/CNC)n presented highest improvements related to mechanical and barrier properties; elongation at break was enhanced almost four times and the permeation of oxygen was reduced by approximately 30%. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanocomposite; nanocellulose; electrospinning; nanofiber; poly(lactic acid) nanocomposite; nanocellulose; electrospinning; nanofiber; poly(lactic acid)

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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López de Dicastillo, C.; Garrido, L.; Alvarado, N.; Romero, J.; Palma, J.L.; Galotto, M.J. Improvement of Polylactide Properties through Cellulose Nanocrystals Embedded in Poly(Vinyl Alcohol) Electrospun Nanofibers. Nanomaterials 2017, 7, 106.

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