Bacterial cellulose films: influence of bacterial strain and drying route on film properties
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Structural properties of bacterial cellulose (BC) depend on the microstructure of the material, which in turn is influenced by the bacterial strain. This paper reports the production of BC thin films from two bacterial strains, gluconacetobacter xylinus (GX) and gluconacetobacter europaeus (GE), and three methods of drying the films; at room temperature, freeze drying and supercritical drying. The porosity, transparency, water absorption capacity (WAC) and mechanical properties of the obtained films are further investigated. We conclude that materials with different properties can be fabricated by selecting the bacterial strain or the drying method. Supercritical drying of films of GE achieved mechanically robust and extremely light films, 0.05 g/mL, with up to 96 % of porosity, and with a WAC up 110 times their dried weight. We determined that materials resulting from GE strain are not much affected by the drying method. On the other hand, GX produced BC films more sensitive to the drying method used. Films are denser, 0.6–0.2 g/mL, with tunable porosity from 60 to 90 % and their maximum WAC is 66 times their dried weight.
KeywordsBacterial cellulose Films Transparent Bacterial strain Water adsorbent
The research leading to these results has received funding from the People Program (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007-2013) under REA grant agreement no 303630 and cofounded by the European Social Fund. Authors acknowledge the funding from Spanish Ministry of Economy MAT 2012-35324, from the Generalitat de Catalunya 2014SGR213, COST Action MP1202, Ramon y Cajal grant RYC-2010-06082 (AL), and Chinese Scholarship Council fellowship (MZ). The group of Dr. Alex Peralvarez for their help in the bacterial culture, Dr. Josep PuigMartí and the group of Prof. David Amabilino for the use of the optical microscope, Prof. Elies Molins and Toni Pons for the use and training in the use of the freeze drier and Dr. Roberto L. Guzman de Villoria for his advices in the mechanical measurements.
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