Adsorption Studies of Polysaccharides and Phospholipids Onto Cellulose

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Virginia Tech

Interactions between biomolecules and cellulose films at solid/liquid interfaces was studied by surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy (SPR), quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) and in situ atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements. This dissertation shows the porous character of nanocrystalline cellulose films as the key feature for enhanced adsorption of chemically modified polysaccharides and provides quantitative analysis of polymer supported phospholipid structures as a stable platform for studying membrane-related processes.

Smooth cellulose I films were prepared by spincoating cellulose nanocrystal suspensions onto positively charged self-assembled monolayers on gold. The adsorption of pullulan cinnamate (PC) onto cellulose surfaces increased with increasing degree of cinnamate substitution. The interactions between PCs with higher degree of substitution (DS) and porous nanocrystalline cellulose (NC) films presumably generated looped multilayer PC structures that adsorbed more than twice as much onto NC films than onto regenerated cellulose (RC) films. PC chains not only covered the NC surface but also penetrated into the porous film. The porous features of NC film are responsible for the greater adsorption of polymer chains relative to tightly packed RC films.

Adsorption of phospholipid vesicles onto RC and NC films was also studied. Aggregates of intact vesicle were observed on NC surfaces with high water content ~ 84 % by mass. Phospholipid patches with smooth features were found to assemble onto RC surfaces with a lower degree of hydration ~ 30 % by mass. Vesicle membrane breakage was triggered by a destabilizing agent, LysoPC. The great mass decrease, and changes in dissipation and degree of hydration for phospholipid structures after exposure to LysoPC corresponded to the transformation from vesicles to layered structures. Initial binding of LysoPC micelles to unruptured vesicles was clearly resolved in SPR, whereas the huge mass decrease associated with bound water hides the initial adsorption of LysoPC onto vesicles in QCM-D experiments. The intitial binding of LysoPC micelles onto vesicle membranes lasted for 200 seconds with a maximal increase of 14 % by mass prior to vesicle collapse.

The role of cholesterol in phospholipid interactions with model cellulose surfaces was also considered. Supported vesicle layers over RC surfaces were observed for vesicle membranes containing ≥ 6.3 % by mole cholesterol, whereas phospholipid or phospholipid with lower cholesterol content formed disconnected lipid islands on RC surfaces. Meanwhile, intact vesicles were always observed on NC surfaces for phospholipid/cholesterol blends regardless of the cholesterol content. The intact vesicles on cellulose surfaces were attributed to the ability of cholesterol to accommodate vesicle deformation.

These studies showed the impact of mesoscale structure of cellulose films on adsorbates. It sheds light on the role of the lignin-carbonhydrate-complex in plant cell wall structure and will inform the next generation of biomimetic nanocomposites. The designed polymer supported biomimetic membranes provide a perfect platform to develop intact and ruptured protoplast systems for the study of plant cell wall self-assembly.

Phospholipid Vesicles, Cellulose Film, Atomic Force Microscopy, Surface Plasmon Resonance Spectroscopy, Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation Moni, Polysaccharide