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Biomacromolecules. 2012 May 14;13(5):1323-30. doi: 10.1021/bm300537k. Epub 2012 Apr 18.

Solubilization mechanism and characterization of the structural change of bacterial cellulose in regenerated states through ionic liquid treatment.

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RIKEN Plant Science Center, RIKEN Research Cluster for Innovation, 1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama 235-0045, Japan.


A statistical approach was used to characterize the heterogeneous structures of bacterial cellulose samples pretreated with four kinds of ionic liquids (ILs). The structural heterogeneity of these samples was measured by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy as well as solid-state NMR methods such as cross-polarization magic-angle spinning and dipolar-assisted rotational resonance. The obtained data matrices were then evaluated by principal components analysis. The measured 1-D data clearly revealed the modification of crystalline cellulose; in addition, the statistical approach revealed subtle structural changes that occurred upon pretreatment with different kinds of ILs. To investigate whether such regenerated structural changes occurred because of solubilization, we examined the intermolecular nuclear Overhauser effect between cellulose and an IL. Our results clarify how the nucleophilic imidazole is attacked and suggest that the cation of the IL is associated with the collapse of hydrogen bonds in cellulose.

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