Protein Adsorption Tailors the Surface Energies and Compatibility between Polylactide and Cellulose Nanofibrils

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Researchers

Research units

  • North Carolina State University
  • Auburn University

Abstract

The state of dispersion and the interactions between a polymer and a filler in a nanocomposite crucially define its properties and performance. The affinity of polylactide (PLA) with vegetable and animal proteins (casein, gelatin, soy protein isolate, and hydrolysate) is investigated and their role as eco-friendly dispersants and compatibilizers of cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) is elucidated. The affinity of the proteins with PLA is determined by using sensograms acquired by electroacoustic (quartz crystal microgravimetry) and optical (surface plasmon resonance) techniques. The surface energy of PLA increases upon protein adsorption while the opposite effect is observed for CNF, under identical experimental conditions. A significant improvement in the thermodynamic work of adhesion for PLA/CNF systems is predicted by application of the denatured proteins at low concentrations (∼20% and ∼15% enhancement with soy protein and casein at pH 3 and pH 8, respectively). We offer a robust method to screen denatured proteins and to tailor the wettability and material compatibility in the synthesis of bionanocomposites based on CNF and PLA.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1426-1433
Number of pages8
JournalBiomacromolecules
Volume18
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

ID: 13438003