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Probing adhesion between nanoscale cellulose fibres using AFM lateral force spectroscopy: the effect of hemicelluloses on hydrogen bonding

Dolan, Grace K.; Cartwright, Ben; Bonilla, Mauricio R.; Gidley, Michael J.; Stokes, Jason R.; Yakubov, Gleb E.


Grace K. Dolan

Ben Cartwright

Mauricio R. Bonilla

Michael J. Gidley

Jason R. Stokes

Gleb E. Yakubov


Project Leader


Inter-fibre adhesion is a key contributing factor to the mechanical response and functionality of cellulose-based biomaterials. ‘Dip-and-Drag’ lateral force atomic force microscopy technique is used here to evaluate the influence of arabinoxylan and xyloglucan on interactions between nanoscale cellulose fibres within a hydrated network of bacterial cellulose. A cohesive zone model of the detachment event between two nano-fibres is used to interpret the experimental data and evaluate inter-fibre adhesion energy. The presence of xyloglucan or arabinoxylan is found to increase the adhesive energy by a factor of 4.3 and 1.3, respectively, which is consistent with these two hemicellulose polysaccharides having different specificity of hydrogen bonding with cellulose. Importantly, xyloglucan’s ability to strengthen adhesion between cellulose nano-fibres supports emergent models of the primary plant cell walls (Park & Cosgrove, 2012b), which suggest that xyloglucan chains confined within cellulose-cellulose junctions play a key role in cell wall’s mechanical response.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 15, 2019
Journal Carbohydrate Polymers
Electronic ISSN 1879-1344
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 208
Pages 97-107
Keywords Cellulose; Nanoscale; Adhesion; Hemicellulose; Atomic force microscopy; Hydrogen bonding
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This file is under embargo until Dec 18, 2019 due to copyright restrictions.

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