Bacterial nanocellulose (BNC) is usually produced as randomly-organized highly pure cellulose nanofibers films. Its high water-holding capacity, porosity, mechanical strength, and biocompatibility make it unique. Ordered structures are found in nature and the properties appearing upon aligning polymers fibers inspire everyone to achieve highly aligned BNC (A-BNC) films. This work takes advantage of natural bacteria biosynthesis in a reproducible and straightforward approach. Bacteria confined and statically incubated biosynthesized BNC nanofibers in a single direction without entanglement.
The obtained film is highly oriented within the total volume confirmed by polarization-resolved second-harmonic generation signal and Small Angle X-ray Scattering. The biosynthesis approach is improved by reusing the bacterial substrates to obtain A-BNC reproducibly and repeatedly. The suitability of A-BNC as cell carriers is confirmed by adhering to and growing fibroblasts in the substrate. Finally, the thermal conductivity is evaluated by two independent approaches, i.e., using the well-known 3ω-method and a recently developed contactless thermoreflectance approach, confirming a thermal conductivity of 1.63 W mK−1 in the direction of the aligned fibers versus 0.3 W mK−1 perpendicularly. The fivefold increase in thermal conductivity of BNC in the alignment direction forecasts the potential of BNC-based devices outperforming some other natural polymer and synthetic materials.
Bioactive materials for therapy and diagnosis
Highly Aligned Bacterial Nanocellulose Films Obtained During Static Biosynthesis in a Reproducible and Straightforward Approach
Nerea Murugarren, Soledad Roig-Sanchez, Irene Antón-Sales, Nanthilde Malandain, Kai Xu, Eduardo Solano, Juan Sebastian Reparaz, Anna Laromaine