Cellulose: A multifaceted biopolymer
Ul Rehman, W.
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Cellulose is a common natural polymer with a wide range of industrial, medical, bio fuel, agricultural, textile and paper applications. It exhibits various levels of structural organizations, from individual glucose chains through microfibrils, macrofibrils to cellulose fibers. The synthesizing machinery of cellulose consists of a six subunit plasmamembrane protein complex, cellulose synthase, organized into a rosette structure. Plant cellulose synthases possess additional plant specific motifs that are absent in bacteria. Among the different solvent systems developed for cellulose dissolution, ionic liquids stand at the forefront. Microorganism mediated energy release from cellulose facilitates its use in fuel cells as a source of energy. The nanocomposites of cellulose have revolutionized the medical field and are being chiefly used in tissue engineering, ligament engineering and wound healing. The chemical structure of cellulose make it suitable to form hydrogels which are used in tissue engineering, cartilage modelling, bone implantation, cell culture scaffolds, enhanced drug delivery, heavy metal absorbance, and in retaining soil water and efficient fertilizer release for agricultural efficiency. Besides, cellulose based ethanol production help to reduce the pressure on conventional sources of energy. This chapter focuses on cellulose structure, its synthesizing machinery, trafficking, genes and proteins involved, solubility and solvent systems, its derivatives, composites, hydrogels, fuel cells, ethanol production and degradation. ? 2016 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Natural Polymers: Derivatives, Blends and Composites, Volume I
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