Multifunctional Stimuli-Responsive Cellulose Nanocrystals via Dual Surface Modification with Genetically Engineered Elastin-Like Polypeptides and Poly(acrylic acid)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Jani Markus Malho
  • Jérémie Brand
  • Gilles Pecastaings
  • Janne Ruokolainen

  • André Gröschel
  • Gilles Sèbe
  • Elisabeth Garanger
  • Sébastien Lecommandoux

Research units

  • Université de Bordeaux
  • University of Duisburg-Essen


Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) are promising candidates for a myriad of applications; however, successful utilization of CNCs requires balanced and multifunctional properties, which require ever more applied concepts for supramolecular tailoring. We present here a facile and straightforward route to generate dual functional CNCs using poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) and biosynthetic elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs). We utilize thiol-maleimide chemistry and SI-ATRP to harvest the temperature responsiveness of ELPs and pH sensitivity of PAA to confer multifunctionality to CNCs. Cryo-TEM and light microscopy are used to exhibit reversible temperature response, while atomic force microscopy (AFM) provides detailed information on the particle morphology. The approach is tunable and allows variation of the modifying molecules, inspiring supramolecular engineering beyond the currently presented motifs. The surge of genetically engineered peptides adds further possibilities for future exploitation of the potential of cellulose nanomaterials.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)646-650
Number of pages5
JournalACS Macro Letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

ID: 26393433