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Open AccessArticle

Direct Cryo Writing of Aerogels via 3D Printing of Aligned Cellulose Nanocrystals Inspired by the Plant Cell Wall

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Department of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture, Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 76100, Israel
2
Casali Center of Applied Chemistry, Institute of Chemistry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91904, Israel
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Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition, Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 76100, Israel
4
RISE, Stockholm 114 28, Sweden
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Colloids Interfaces 2019, 3(2), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/colloids3020046
Received: 20 February 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 19 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Colloids and Interfaces in Printing Technology)
Aerogel objects inspired by plant cell wall components and structures were fabricated using extrusion-based 3D printing at cryogenic temperatures. The printing process combines 3D printing with the alignment of rod-shaped nanoparticles through the freeze-casting of aqueous inks. We have named this method direct cryo writing (DCW) as it encompasses in a single processing step traditional directional freeze casting and the spatial fidelity of 3D printing. DCW is demonstrated with inks that are composed of an aqueous mixture of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and xyloglucan (XG), which are the major building blocks of plant cell walls. Rapid fixation of the inks is achieved through tailored rheological properties and controlled directional freezing. Morphological evaluation revealed the role of ice crystal growth in the alignment of CNCs and XG. The structure of the aerogels changed from organized and tubular to disordered and flakey pores with an increase in XG content. The internal structure of the printed objects mimics the structure of various wood species and can therefore be used to create wood-like structures via additive manufacturing technologies using only renewable wood-based materials. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanocellulose; 3D printing; aerogels; ice templating; biomimetics nanocellulose; 3D printing; aerogels; ice templating; biomimetics
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Kam, D.; Chasnitsky, M.; Nowogrodski, C.; Braslavsky, I.; Abitbol, T.; Magdassi, S.; Shoseyov, O. Direct Cryo Writing of Aerogels via 3D Printing of Aligned Cellulose Nanocrystals Inspired by the Plant Cell Wall. Colloids Interfaces 2019, 3, 46.

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