One-pot biosynthesis of polymer–inorganic nanocomposites
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A biological method is demonstrated to fabricate the polymer–inorganic nanocomposites (PINCs) utilizing bacterium as an efficient and versatile biofactory. Gluconacetobacter xylinum that can produce bacterial cellulose is incubated in the culture medium containing titanium or silica precursor. The PINCs can be acquired under the elaborate control of the culturing condition of G. xylinum, in which the formation of inorganic nanoparticles about several tens of nanometers in size synchronizes the fabrication of reticulated bacterial cellulose membrane composed of dense and finely branched nanofibers about 60–120 nm in diameter. The composition and chemical states, morphology, thermal stability of the inorganic nanoparticles, and nanocomposites were extensively characterized. A tentative mechanism for the formation of PINCs is proposed. It is hoped that this study may establish a generic platform toward facile and green synthesis of nanocomposite materials.