Immobilization of quaternized polymers on bacterial cellulose by different grafting techniques†
Since the discovery of the extraordinary mechanical properties of pristine bacterial cellulose (BC) few decades ago, its potential applications as a textile material and leather-like material have been realized. Immobilization of suitable polymers on the surface of BC can provide two of the most desirable characteristics in the current scenario: improved mechanical strength and variable hydrophobicity. Here, we report the immobilization of suitable polymers on BC surfaces in convenient ways. Different polymers (phosphonium-based or pyridinium-based), different grafting techniques (graft to or direct graft) and different surfaces (bacterial cellulose (BC) or bacterial cellulose-cotton composites (BCC)) were particularly used for comparison. These polymer-functionalized surfaces were characterized by standard instrumentation techniques. Significant improvements in mechanical properties and hydrophobicity were observed for some of the materials after functionalization with the polymers.