A preliminary study on the development and characterisation of enzymatically grafted P(3HB)-ethyl cellulose based novel composites
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In the present study, a novel enzyme-based grafting of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) [P(3HB)] onto the ethyl cellulose (EC) as a backbone polymer was developed under a mild and ecofriendly environment and laccase was used as a grafting tool. The resulting composites were characterised using various instrumental and imaging techniques. The high intensity of the 3,358 cm−1 band in the FTIR spectra showed an increase of hydrogen–bonding interactions between P(3HB) and EC at that distinct wavelength region. The morphology was examined by scanning electron microscopy, which showed the well dispersed P(3HB) in the backbone polymer of EC. X-ray diffraction pattern for P(3HB) showed distinct peaks at 2-theta values of 28°, 32°, 34°, 39°, 46°, 57°, 64°, 78° and 84°. In comparison with those of neat P(3HB), the degree of crystallinity for P(3HB)-g-EC decreased. The tensile strength, elongations at break and Young’s modulus of P(3HB)-g-EC reached the highest levels in comparison to the film prepared with pure P(3HB) only, which was too brittle to measure any of the above said characteristics. Results obtained in the present study suggest P(3HB)-g-EC as a potential candidate for various biotechnological applications, such as tissue engineering and packaging.
KeywordsGreen biotechnology P(3HB) Cellulose Enzymatic grafting Characterisation
This study was supported by the Cavendish Research Scholarship provided by the University of Westminster, London, UK. On providing the support and laboratory facilities for the material characterisation and SEM analysis of the composite films, Drs. Jonathan C. Knowles, George Georgiou and Nicola Mordan (Division of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, UCL Eastman Dental Institute, 256 Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8LD, UK) are thankfully acknowledged.