Special Issue "Bio-Based Materials from Plant Cells: Strategies for Building Functional Bio-Assemblies and Composite Structures "

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomaterials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Nicolas Le Moigne
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Polymers Composites and Hybrids (PCH), IMT Mines Ales, 6 avenue de Clavières, 30319 Alès, CEDEX, France
Interests: (nano)biocomposites; processing; plant cells; polysaccharides; biomass valorization; surfaces & interfaces
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Ingo Burgert
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Institute for Building Materials, ETH Zürich, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
Interests: smart wood materials; bio-inspired wood materials; cellulose composites; hierarchical structure; cell wall analysis
Dr. Johnny Beaugrand
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
INRAE Institut National de La Recherche Agronomique pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement, 75338 Paris, France
Interests: material engineering; fiber-based composites; lignocellulosic cell wall; agricultural plant science

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plant cells are fascinating hierarchical bio-assemblies that are perfectly designed to fulfill a specific role in nature (structural, protection, energy storage, transportation, etc.) and can adapt in an evolutive environment via polymer remodeling. Though plants have been used for several thousands of years to satisfy human needs such as food, textile, mud houses, etc., new uses may arise from the growing interest in the development of bio-based and smart materials in technical and high-performance applications. In this regard, ongoing interdisciplinary research gathering plant biology, biotechnologies, wood science, and polymers and materials science is a driving force to boost ideas and innovations around the efficient use of wood and plant biomass for the development of new bio-based materials with original functionalities.

Making functional materials from plants can be achieved through different strategies:

  1. The use of specific and non-degrading chemical, enzymatic or physical treatments aiming at the deconstruction of plant cells, from tissues to cells and down to the cell wall biopolymer level, and their further reassembly;
  2. The development of micro- and nanotechnological processes aiming at the modification and functionalization of native cell wall structures;
  3. The use of biotechnological routes involving controlled structuration of plant cells (cell wall structure, biochemical composition) in specific growing conditions (e.g., use of 3rd-generation biomass as microalgae) as an eco-friendly alternative to limit energy consuming and polluting biomass treatments.

These different strategies require a thorough knowledge of plant cell biosynthesis and hierarchical structure, and the development of specific protocols and processes such as biomimetic or bio-inspired approaches to build up or utilize supramolecular bio-assemblies or plant-derived composite (micro)(nano)structures. In this regard, the understanding of extraction, modification, and functionalization processes of building blocks (from biopolymers to (micro)(nano)objects and cell tissues) as well as reconstructing routes using self-assembly or process-driven structuration behaviors are key elements for predicting and tuning final material properties (thermomechanical, fire retardancy, optical, stimuli-responsive, shape-memory, magnetic).

In this Research Topic, we welcome mini-reviews, opinions, and original research articles describing current fundamental science and innovative technologies for the controlled and tailored growth, modification, functionalization, and deconstruction/reassembly of plant cells and tissues in view of developing functional bio-based materials from plants. We would particularly like to encourage contributions dealing with non-classical biomass sources and innovative processes for the functionalization, deconstruction of plant cell structures, and reassembly of building blocks.

Dr. Nicolas Le Moigne
Prof. Dr. Ingo Burgert
Dr. Johnny Beaugrand
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 papers will be 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. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2000 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

  • plant cells
  • materials
  • biopolymers
  • functionalization
  • deconstruction and reassembly
  • processes

Published Papers (2 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Article
Preserving the Cellular Tissue Structure of Maize Pith Though Dry Fractionation Processes: A Key Point to Use as Insulating Agro-Materials
Materials 2021, 14(18), 5350; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14185350 - 16 Sep 2021
Viewed by 640
Abstract
Plant biomass has various compositions and structures at different scales (from the component organs to their constitutive tissues) to support its functional properties. Recovering each part of the plant without damaging its structure poses a challenge to preserving its original properties for differential [...] Read more.
Plant biomass has various compositions and structures at different scales (from the component organs to their constitutive tissues) to support its functional properties. Recovering each part of the plant without damaging its structure poses a challenge to preserving its original properties for differential dedicated end uses, and considerably increases its added value. In this work, an original combination of grinding based on shearing stress and separation based on particle size and density was successfully used to sort rind (65% w/w) and pith (35% w/w) from maize stem internodes. More than 97% of the rind was isolated. The pith alveolar structure was well preserved in coarse particles, making them suitable for insulation bio-based composite materials, a promising alternative to conventional nonbiodegradable insulation panels. Boards produced from the dry fractionated pith exhibited thermal conductivities like those produced from hand dissected pith, with values equal to 0.037 W·mK−1 and 0.039 W·mK−1, respectively. In the finest fraction (particle size <1 mm), the pith vascular bundles (around 300–400 µm in diameter) were dissociated from parenchyma cells and successfully isolated using a cutting-edge electrostatic separator. Their structures, which provide the plant structural support, make them potentially valuable for reinforcement in composite materials. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Preparation of Cellulose Nanoparticles from Foliage by Bio-Enzyme Methods
Materials 2021, 14(16), 4557; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14164557 - 13 Aug 2021
Viewed by 405
Abstract
There are vast reserves of foliage in nature, which is an inexhaustible precious resource. In this study, the chemical components of five foliage types (pine needles, black locust tree leaves, bamboo leaves, elm leaves and poplar leaves) were analyzed, including cellulose content, hemicellulose [...] Read more.
There are vast reserves of foliage in nature, which is an inexhaustible precious resource. In this study, the chemical components of five foliage types (pine needles, black locust tree leaves, bamboo leaves, elm leaves and poplar leaves) were analyzed, including cellulose content, hemicellulose content, and lignin content. The bio-enzymatic method was then used to prepare cellulose nanoparticles (CNPs) from these five kinds of leaves, and the prepared CNPs were analyzed using TEM, FTIR, FESEM, and XRD. The results showed that the content of hemicellulose in bamboo leaves was the highest, and the lignin content in the other four leaves was the highest. The cellulose content in the five kinds of foliage was arranged from large to small as pine needles (20.5%), bamboo leaves (19.5%), black locust leaves (18.0%), elm leaves (17.6%), and poplar leaves (15.5%). TEM images showed that the CNPs prepared by the five kinds of foliage reached the nanometer level in width and the micrometer level in length; therefore, the CNPs prepared in this study belonged to cellulose nanofibers (CNFs). The results of FTIR and XRD showed that CNFs prepared by the enzyme treatment exhibited a typical crystalline structure of cellulose II. The degree of crystallinity (DOC) of CNFs prepared from pine needle, poplar leaves, and bamboo leaves are 78.46%, 77.39%, and 81.51%, respectively. FESEM results showed that the CNFs prepared from pine needles, poplar leaves and bamboo leaves by enzymatic method presents a three-dimensional (3D) network structure, and their widths are 31 nm, 36 nm, and 37 nm, respectively. This study provides a meaningful reference for broadening the use of foliage types and improving their added value. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop