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Preparation of Chitin Nanofiber-Reinforced Xanthan Gum Hydrogels

Kawano, Akito, Sato, Koki, Yamamoto, Kazuya, Kadokawa, Jun-ichi
Journal of polymers and the environment 2019 v.27 no.4 pp. 671-677
bicarbonates, carbon dioxide, chitin, dispersions, electrostatic interactions, freeze drying, hydrogels, nanofibers, scanning electron microscopy, ultrasonic treatment, xanthan gum
In this study, chitin was nanofibrillated, cationized, and then used as a reinforcing agent for xanthan gum hydrogels. Amidinated chitin nanofibers (CNFs), which were prepared by partial deacetylation of the nanofibrillated chitin and the subsequent reaction of the generated amino groups with N,N-dimethylacetamide dimethyl acetal, were converted into an amidinium chitin bicarbonate with nanofiber morphology by CO₂ gas bubbling and ultrasonic treatments in water. Xanthan gum hydrogels, which were prepared by exchange of disperse media from xantham gum ion gels with 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride, were then soaked in the resulting cationic CNF aqueous dispersions with different degrees of substitution (DSs) of amidinium groups to progress composition, giving rise to the CNF-reinforced xanthan gum hydrogels. The presence of CNFs in the hydrogels was confirmed by SEM measurement of the lyophilized samples. The amounts of CNFs in the hydrogels increased with increasing the DS values. The compression testing of the hydrogels suggested the reinforcing effect of CNFs, which were induced by electrostatic interaction owing to anionic nature of xanthan gum.