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Effect of Cellulose Nanowhiskers on Surface Morphology, Mechanical Properties, and Cell Adhesion of Melt-Drawn Polylactic Acid Fibers

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journal contribution
posted on 14.04.2014, 00:00 by Kazi M. Zakir Hossain, Muhammad S. Hasan, Daniel Boyd, Chris D. Rudd, Ifty Ahmed, Wim Thielemans
Polylactic acid (PLA) fibers were produced with an average diameter of 11.2 (±0.9) μm via a melt-drawing process. The surface of the PLA fibers was coated with blends of cellulose nanowhiskers (CNWs) (65 to 95 wt %) and polyvinyl acetate (PVAc). The CNWs bound to the smooth PLA fiber surface imparted roughness, with the degree of roughness depending on the coating blend used. The fiber tensile modulus increased 45% to 7 GPa after coating with 75 wt % CNWs compared with the uncoated PLA fibers, and a significant increase in the fiber moisture absorption properties at different humidity levels was also determined. Cytocompatibility studies using NIH-3T3 mouse fibroblast cells cultured onto CNWs-coated PLA surface revealed improved cell adhesion compared with the PLA control, making this CNW surface treatment applicable for biomedical and tissue engineering applications. Initial studies also showed complete cell coverage within 2 days.