Cellulose- and Nanocellulose-Based Gels: Design and Applications

A special issue of Gels (ISSN 2310-2861). This special issue belongs to the section "Gel Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 26 July 2024 | Viewed by 1829

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
DIIN, Department of Industrial Engineering, Università degli Studi di Salerno, 84084 Fisciano, Italy
Interests: agri-food residues; green extraction; nonthermal technology; cellulose; nanocellulose; emulsions; capillary suspensions; edible coatings

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Guest Editor
BioPrEn Group (RNM 940), Chemical Engineering Department, Instituto Químico para la Energía y el Medioambiente (IQUEMA), Faculty of Science, Universidad de Córdoba, 14014 Córdoba, Spain
Interests: lignin; cellulose; oligosaccharides; biorefinery; wood chemistry; lignocellulosic biomass; pulp and paper; biobased materials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Salerno, Via Giovanni Paolo II, 132 84084 Fisciano, Italy
Interests: biorefinery; high-pressure homogenization; biomass valorization; microbial inactivation; nanostructured cellulose; nanoemulsions; nanoparticles; pickering emulsions
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cellulose and nanocellulose, derived from renewable plant sources and natural fibers, have attracted great scientific and industrial interest as versatile and sustainable biomaterials. Cellulose- and nanocellulose-based hydrogels, characterized by a three-dimensional hydrophilic polymer network, are renowned for their nontoxic, biocompatible, and biodegradable nature. These (nano)hydrogels exhibit unique properties, including swelling, softness, and responsiveness to external stimuli, enabling a wide range of applications in multidisciplinary areas including biomedical fields (drug delivery, tissue engineering, and wound healing), healthcare and hygienic products, agriculture (water resources and fertilizer supply), textiles and industrial applications as smart materials (sensors, energy storage devices, energy generators, and actuators), among other applications.

With this Special Issue, we would like to catch the attention of food/material scientists, engineers, and technologists, and invite them to contribute via original research papers, review articles, and short communications, which have the potential to make a substantial impact in the realm of cellulose-based gels. The aims may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Cellulose and nanocellulose innovative isolation processes;
  • Innovative design/development/validation strategies and crosslinking techniques to develop new and sustainable cellulose- and nanocellulose-based gels;
  • Mechanisms governing gelation and 3D network formation of hydrophilic polymer networks;
  • Structural, mechanical, and thermal characterization of gel biomaterials;
  • Multidisciplinary applications in diverse fields such as drug delivery, tissue engineering, food technology, cosmetics, and environmental remediation;
  • Economical/life-cycle assessment analyses to evaluate the sustainability and environmental impact of (nano)cellulose-based gels.

Dr. Annachiara Pirozzi
Dr. Luis Serrano
Prof. Dr. Francesco Donsì
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Gels is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • cellulose
  • nanocellulose
  • cellulose-based gels
  • nanocellulose-based gels
  • colloids
  • nanocomposites
  • gelation mechanism
  • crosslinking methods
  • gel properties
  • emerging applications
  • drug delivery systems
  • tissue engineering
  • food technology
  • cosmetics
  • environmental remediation

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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21 pages, 4217 KiB  
Article
Nanostructured Cellulose-Based Aerogels: Influence of Chemical/Mechanical Cascade Processes on Quality Index for Benchmarking Dye Pollutant Adsorbents in Wastewater Treatment
by Annachiara Pirozzi, Esther Rincón, Eduardo Espinosa, Francesco Donsì and Luis Serrano
Gels 2023, 9(12), 958; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9120958 - 6 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1289
Abstract
(1) Background: Nanostructured cellulose has emerged as an efficient bio-adsorbent aerogel material, offering biocompatibility and renewable sourcing advantages. This study focuses on isolating (ligno)cellulose nanofibers ((L)CNFs) from barley straw and producing aerogels to develop sustainable and highly efficient decontamination systems. (2) Methods: (Ligno)cellulose [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Nanostructured cellulose has emerged as an efficient bio-adsorbent aerogel material, offering biocompatibility and renewable sourcing advantages. This study focuses on isolating (ligno)cellulose nanofibers ((L)CNFs) from barley straw and producing aerogels to develop sustainable and highly efficient decontamination systems. (2) Methods: (Ligno)cellulose pulp has been isolated from barley straw through a pulping process, and was subsequently deconstructed into nanofibers employing various pre-treatment methods (TEMPO-mediated oxidation process or PFI beater mechanical treatment) followed by the high-pressure homogenization (HPH) process. (3) Results: The aerogels made by (L)CNFs, with a higher crystallinity degree, larger aspect ratio, lower shrinkage rate, and higher Young’s modulus than cellulose aerogels, successfully adsorb and remove organic dye pollutants from wastewater. (L)CNF-based aerogels, with a quality index (determined using four characterization parameters) above 70%, exhibited outstanding contaminant removal capacity over 80%. The high specific surface area of nanocellulose isolated using the TEMPO oxidation process significantly enhanced the affinity and interactions between hydroxyl and carboxyl groups of nanofibers and cationic groups of contaminants. The efficacy in adsorbing cationic dyes in wastewater onto the aerogels was verified by the Langmuir adsorption isotherm model. (4) Conclusions: This study offers insights into designing and applying advanced (L)CNF-based aerogels as efficient wastewater decontamination and environmental remediation platforms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellulose- and Nanocellulose-Based Gels: Design and Applications)
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Review

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27 pages, 4319 KiB  
Review
Exploring Applications and Preparation Techniques for Cellulose Hydrogels: A Comprehensive Review
by Yanjin Tang, Zhenxing Fang and Hoo-Jeong Lee
Gels 2024, 10(6), 365; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels10060365 - 25 May 2024
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Abstract
Cellulose hydrogels, formed either through physical or chemical cross-linking into a three-dimensional network from cellulose or its derivatives, are renowned for their exceptional water absorption capacities and biocompatibility. Rising demands for sustainable materials have spurred interest in cellulose hydrogels, attributed to their abundant [...] Read more.
Cellulose hydrogels, formed either through physical or chemical cross-linking into a three-dimensional network from cellulose or its derivatives, are renowned for their exceptional water absorption capacities and biocompatibility. Rising demands for sustainable materials have spurred interest in cellulose hydrogels, attributed to their abundant supply, biodegradability, and non-toxic nature. These properties highlight their extensive potential across various sectors including biomedicine, the food industry, and environmental protection. Cellulose hydrogels are particularly advantageous in applications such as drug delivery, wound dressing, and water treatment. Recent large-scale studies have advanced our understanding of cellulose preparation and its applications. This review delves into the fundamental concepts, preparation techniques, and current applications of cellulose hydrogels in diverse fields. It also discusses the latest advances in nano-lignin-based hydrogels, providing a comprehensive overview of this promising material and offering insights and guidance for future research and development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellulose- and Nanocellulose-Based Gels: Design and Applications)
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