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Default Conformations and Intermolecular Interactions in Cellulose/Silk Fibroin Blend Films: A Solid-State NMR Perspective.

Conformations and Intermolecular Interactions in Cellulose/Silk Fibroin Blend Films: A Solid-State NMR Perspective.

Related Articles Conformations and Intermolecular Interactions in Cellulose/Silk Fibroin Blend Films: A Solid-State NMR Perspective.

J Phys Chem B. 2017 06 29;121(25):6108-6116

Authors: Tian D, Li T, Zhang R, Wu Q, Chen T, Sun P, Ramamoorthy A

Abstract
Fabricating materials with excellent mechanical performance from the natural renewable and degradable biopolymers has drawn significant attention in recent decades due to the environmental concerns and energy crisis. As two of the most promising substitutes of synthetic polymers, silk fibroin (SF), and cellulose, have been widely used in the field of textile, biomedicine, biotechnology, etc. Particularly, the cellulose/SF blend film exhibits better strength and toughness than that of regenerated cellulose film. Herein, this study is aimed to understand the molecular origin of the enhanced mechanical properties for the cellulose/SF blend film, using solid-state NMR as a main tool to investigate the conformational changes, intermolecular interactions between cellulose and SF and the water organization. It is found that the content of the ?-sheet structure is increased in the cellulose/SF blend film with respect to the regenerated SF film, accompanied by the reduction of the content of random coil structures. In addition, the strong hydrogen bonding interaction between the SF and cellulose is clearly elucidated by the two-dimensional (2D) 1H-13C heteronuclear correlation (HETCOR) NMR experiments, demonstrating that the SF and cellulose are miscible at the molecular level. Moreover, it is also found that the -NH groups of SF prefer to form hydrogen bonds with the hydroxyl groups bonded to carbons C2 and C3 of cellulose, while the hydroxyl groups bonded to carbon C6 and the ether oxygen are less favorable for hydrogen bonding interactions with the -NH groups of SF. Interestingly, bound water is found to be present in the air-dried cellulose/SF blend film, which is predominantly associated with the cellulose backbones as determined by 2D 1H-13C wide-line-separation (WISE) experiments with spin diffusion. This clearly reveals the presence of nanoheterogeneity in the cellulose/SF blend film, although cellulose and SF are miscible at a molecular level. Without doubt, these in-depth atomic-level structural information could help reveal the molecular origin of the enhanced mechanical properties of the blend film, and thus to establish the structure-property relationship, which could further provide guidance for the fabrication of high performance biopolymer-based materials.


PMID: 28481526 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]



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