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Special Issue "Emerging Trends in Nanocelluloses"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Nanochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2019)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Theo Van de Ven

Department of Chemistry, McGill University, 3420 University Street, Montreal, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: colloids; nanocellulose; paper making
Guest Editor
Dr. Amir Sheikhi

California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), Center for Minimally Invasive Therapeutics (C-MIT), Department of Bioengineering, University of California-Los Angeles, 570 Westwood Plaza, CNSI 4523, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Soft matter; Colloidal systems; Macromolecules; Hydrogels; Active interfaces; Biomaterials; Nanocelluloses

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recent decades have witnessed a remarkable enthusiasm for taking advantage of natural resources to develop advanced materials that, not only may replace synthetic, often hazardous alternatives, but also provide unique properties, enabling significant technological advances. Among natural materials, cellulose, the most abundant biopolymer in the world, benefitting from unique physicochemical and structural characteristics, has been able to play a key role in a wide range of advanced applications. The immense interest towards cellulose relies on facile nanoengineering of cellulose fibrils, yielding a library of nanocelluloses, namely cellulose nanofibrils (CNF), cellulose nanocrystals (CNC), and hairy CNCs (HCNC), which may be produced in varying sizes (nm to µm), morphologies (e.g., fibrils, needles, spheres), surface features (bare or coated), chemical functionality (neutral, anionic, and cationic), and forms (colloids, hydrogels, aerogels, films, emulsions). To this end, understanding structure-property relationships is inevitable in exploring highly innovative nanocellulose-based solutions to the unmet materials challenges of the 21st century.

This Special Issue focuses on the state-of-the-art aspects of nanocelluloses across the breadth of applied sustainable nanomaterials and nanocomposites with special attention to structure-property relationships, which has enabled the applications of nanocelluloses in environmental remediation, water technology, rheology modification, matrix reinforcement, cargo delivery and biomedical engineering, bioinks for 3D printing, catalysis, energy storage, flexible electronics, sensors and actuators, photonics, food industry, cosmetic and hygiene products, functional emulsions, smart packaging, and other emerging horizons. Authors are welcome to submit their original research and/or review articles.

Prof. Theo van de Ven
Dr. Amir Sheikhi
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. Molecules 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 1800 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

  • Nanocellulose
  • Cellulose nanocrystals
  • Cellulose nanofibrils
  • Nanocomposites
  • Structure-property relationships
  • Coating
  • Hierarchical templating
  • Water, energy, and environment
  • Flexible electronics, sensors, and photonics
  • Nanomedicine

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
In Situ Production and Application of Cellulose Nanofibers to Improve Recycled Paper Production
Molecules 2019, 24(9), 1800; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24091800
Received: 3 April 2019 / Revised: 26 April 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 9 May 2019
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Abstract
The recycled paper and board industry needs to improve the quality of their products to meet customer demands. The refining process and strength additives are commonly used to increase mechanical properties. Interfiber bonding can also be improved using cellulose nanofibers (CNF). A circular [...] Read more.
The recycled paper and board industry needs to improve the quality of their products to meet customer demands. The refining process and strength additives are commonly used to increase mechanical properties. Interfiber bonding can also be improved using cellulose nanofibers (CNF). A circular economy approach in the industrial implementation of CNF can be addressed through the in situ production of CNF using side cellulose streams of the process as raw material, avoiding transportation costs and reducing industrial wastes. Furthermore, CNF fit for use can be produced for specific industrial applications.This study evaluates the feasibility of using two types of recycled fibers, simulating the broke streams of two paper machines producing newsprint and liner for cartonboard, to produce in situ CNF for direct application on the original pulps, old newsprint (ONP), and old corrugated container (OCC), and to reinforce the final products. The CNF were obtained by 2,2,6,6-tetramethyl-1-piperidinyloxy (TEMPO)-mediated oxidation and homogenization at 600 bar. Handsheets were prepared with disintegrated recycled pulp and different amounts of CNF using a conventional three-component retention system. Results show that 3 wt.% of CNF produced with 10 mmol of NaClO per gram of dry pulp improve tensile index of ONP ~30%. For OCC, the same treatment and CNF dose increase tensile index above 60%. In both cases, CNF cause a deterioration of drainage, but this effect is effectively counteracted by optimising the retention system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Trends in Nanocelluloses)
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessCommunication
Concerted Catalysis by Nanocellulose and Proline in Organocatalytic Michael Additions
Molecules 2019, 24(7), 1231; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24071231
Received: 12 March 2019 / Revised: 23 March 2019 / Accepted: 27 March 2019 / Published: 29 March 2019
PDF Full-text (8417 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) have recently attracted much attention as catalysts in various reactions. Organocatalysts have emerged as sustainable alternatives to metal-based catalysts in green organic synthesis, with concerted systems containing CNFs that are expected to provide next-generation catalysis. Herein, for the first time, [...] Read more.
Cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) have recently attracted much attention as catalysts in various reactions. Organocatalysts have emerged as sustainable alternatives to metal-based catalysts in green organic synthesis, with concerted systems containing CNFs that are expected to provide next-generation catalysis. Herein, for the first time, we report that a representative organocatalyst comprising an unexpected combination of 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine 1-oxyl (TEMPO)-oxidized CNFs and proline shows significantly enhanced catalytic activity in an asymmetric Michael addition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Trends in Nanocelluloses)
Open AccessArticle
Emulsion Stabilization with Functionalized Cellulose Nanoparticles Fabricated Using Deep Eutectic Solvents
Molecules 2018, 23(11), 2765; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23112765
Received: 28 September 2018 / Revised: 18 October 2018 / Accepted: 24 October 2018 / Published: 25 October 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4087 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In this experiment, the influence of the morphology and surface characteristics of cellulosic nanoparticles (i.e., cellulose nanocrystals [CNCs] and cellulose nanofibers [CNFs]) on oil-in-water (o/w) emulsion stabilization was studied using non-modified or functionalized nanoparticles obtained following deep eutectic solvent [...] Read more.
In this experiment, the influence of the morphology and surface characteristics of cellulosic nanoparticles (i.e., cellulose nanocrystals [CNCs] and cellulose nanofibers [CNFs]) on oil-in-water (o/w) emulsion stabilization was studied using non-modified or functionalized nanoparticles obtained following deep eutectic solvent (DES) pre-treatments. The effect of the oil-to-water ratio (5, 10, and 20 wt.-% (weight percent) of oil), the type of nanoparticle, and the concentration of the particles (0.05–0.2 wt.-%) on the oil-droplet size (using laser diffractometry), o/w emulsion stability (via analytical centrifugation), and stabilization mechanisms (using field emission scanning electron microscopy with the model compound—i.e., polymerized styrene in water emulsions) were examined. All the cellulosic nanoparticles studied decreased the oil droplet size in emulsion (sizes varied from 22.5 µm to 8.9 µm, depending on the nanoparticle used). Efficient o/w emulsion stabilization against coalescence and an oil droplet-stabilizing web-like structure were obtained only, however, with surface-functionalized CNFs, which had a moderate hydrophilicity level. CNFs without surface functionalization did not prevent either the coalescence or the creaming of emulsions, probably due to the natural hydrophobicity of the nanoparticles and their instability in water. Moderately hydrophilic CNCs, on the other hand, distributed evenly and displayed good interaction with both dispersion phases. The rigid structure of CNCs meant, however, that voluminous web structures were not formed on the surface of oil droplets; they formed in flat, uniform layers instead. Consequently, emulsion stability was lower with CNCs, when compared with surface-functionalized CNFs. Tunable cellulose nanoparticles can be used in several applications such as in enhanced marine oil response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Trends in Nanocelluloses)
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Open AccessArticle
Morphological, Release and Antibacterial Performances of Amoxicillin-Loaded Cellulose Aerogels
Molecules 2018, 23(8), 2082; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23082082
Received: 27 July 2018 / Revised: 9 August 2018 / Accepted: 14 August 2018 / Published: 20 August 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2977 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cellulose has been widely used in the biomedical field. In this study, novel cellulose aerogels were firstly prepared in a NaOH-based solvent system by a facile casting method. Then amoxicillin was successfully loaded into cellulose aerogels with different loadings. The morphology and structure [...] Read more.
Cellulose has been widely used in the biomedical field. In this study, novel cellulose aerogels were firstly prepared in a NaOH-based solvent system by a facile casting method. Then amoxicillin was successfully loaded into cellulose aerogels with different loadings. The morphology and structure of the cellulose aerogels were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The drug release and antibacterial activities were also evaluated. The drug release results showed that cellulose aerogels have controlled amoxicillin release performance. In vitro antibacterial assay demonstrated that the cellulose aerogels exhibited excellent antibacterial activity with the amoxicillin dose-dependent activity. Therefore, the developed cellulose aerogels display controlled release behavior and efficient antibacterial performance, thus confirming their potential for biomedical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Trends in Nanocelluloses)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Cellulose Nanomaterials—Binding Properties and Applications: A Review
Molecules 2018, 23(10), 2684; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23102684
Received: 18 September 2018 / Revised: 3 October 2018 / Accepted: 13 October 2018 / Published: 18 October 2018
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (5210 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cellulose nanomaterials (CNs) are of increasing interest due to their appealing inherent properties such as bio-degradability, high surface area, light weight, chirality and the ability to form effective hydrogen bonds across the cellulose chains or within other polymeric matrices. Extending CN self-assembly into [...] Read more.
Cellulose nanomaterials (CNs) are of increasing interest due to their appealing inherent properties such as bio-degradability, high surface area, light weight, chirality and the ability to form effective hydrogen bonds across the cellulose chains or within other polymeric matrices. Extending CN self-assembly into multiphase polymer structures has led to useful end-results in a wide spectrum of products and countless innovative applications, for example, as reinforcing agent, emulsion stabilizer, barrier membrane and binder. In the current contribution, after a brief description of salient nanocellulose chemical structure features, its types and production methods, we move to recent advances in CN utilization as an ecofriendly binder in several disparate areas, namely formaldehyde-free hybrid composites and wood-based panels, papermaking/coating processes, and energy storage devices, as well as their potential applications in biomedical fields as a cost-effective and tissue-friendly binder for cartilage regeneration, wound healing and dental repair. The prospects of a wide range of hybrid materials that may be produced via nanocellulose is introduced in light of the unique behavior of cellulose once in nano dimensions. Furthermore, we implement some principles of colloidal and interfacial science to discuss the critical role of cellulose binding in the aforesaid fields. Even though the CN facets covered in this study by no means encompass the great amount of literature available, they may be regarded as the basis for future developments in the binder applications of these highly desirable materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Trends in Nanocelluloses)
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