Cationic surfactants as a non-covalent linker for oxidised cellulose nanofibrils and starch-based hydrogels

Zakir Hossain, Vincenzo Calabrese, Marcelo da Silva, Saffron Bryant, Julien Schmitt, Janet L. Scott, Karen Edler

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Rheological properties of hydrogels composed of TEMPO-oxidised cellulose nanofibrils (OCNF)-starch in the presence of cationic surfactants were investigated. The cationic surfactants dodecyltrimethylammonium bromide (DTAB) and cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) were used to trigger gelation of OCNF at around 5 mM surfactant. As OCNF and DTAB/CTAB are oppositely charged, an electrostatic attraction is suggested to explain the gelation mechanism. OCNF (1 wt%) and soluble starch (0.5 and 1 wt%) were blended to prepare hydrogels, where the addition of starch to the OCNF resulted in a higher storage modulus. Starch polymers were suggested to form networks with cellulose nanofibrils. The stiffness and viscosity of OCNF-Starch hydrogels were enhanced further by the addition of cationic surfactants (5 mM of DTAB/CTAB). ζ -potential and amylose-iodine complex analyses were also conducted to confirm surface charge and interaction of OCNF-starch-surfactant in order to provide an in-depth understanding of the surfactant-induced gel networks.
Original languageEnglish
Article number115816
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
Early online date31 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Cationic surfactant
  • Cellulose nanofibrils
  • Rheology
  • Starch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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