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Cellulose nanoanemone: an asymmetric form of nanocellulose


Nanocellulose with increasing attention in basic research and for use in advanced materials is usually considered to have a symmetrical nanofibril, nanorod or fibrillated nanofiber shape, regardless of the asymmetric effects owing to the presence of one reducing end. The production of asymmetrical nanocellulose would considerably extend its usefulness in new applications. Here, we propose an asymmetric form of cellulose nanofibrils having a shape that changed from a thick nanobarrel at one end to a thinner cylinder with a few flourishes towards the reducing end. The “cellulose nanoanemone” fibrils, named after sea anemone, were fabricated by aqueous counter collision of bacterial cellulose pellicle cultured under dissolved oxygen conditions. The characteristics of the “cellulose nanoanemone” fibrils were determined both in the dry and the in situ water-dispersed states by selective staining of the fibrillated ends in a single nanofibril by using confocal laser scanning microscopy, together with their unique thixotropic behavior.

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The authors thank Ms. Emiko Hirata, an undergraduate student at Kyushu University, for her helpful contribution to the experiments. Center for Advanced Instrumental and Educational Supports, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University, is acknowledged for assistance in observation using confocal laser scanning microscopy (Leica SP8). This research was supported partly by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (No.16H04956), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).


This research was supported partly by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (No.16H04956), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).

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Hikari Utsunomita performed the entire experiments and prepared the paper; Yutaro Tsujita performed the AFM examinations and assisted preparation of the paper; Tetsuo Kondo (corresponding author) researched and planned the entire study and prepared the paper.

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Correspondence to Tetsuo Kondo.

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All the authors (Hikari Utsunomita, Yutaro Tsujita and Tetsuo Kondo) have approved the manuscript and agree with submission to Cellulose. The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

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Utsunomiya, H., Tsujita, Y. & Kondo, T. Cellulose nanoanemone: an asymmetric form of nanocellulose. Cellulose 29, 2899–2916 (2022).

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