Arabinoglucuronoxylan and Arabinoxylan Adsorption onto Regenerated Cellulose Films
Cellulose and hemicelluloses have attracted increasing interest as renewable biopolymers because of their abundance. Furthermore, the recognition of biomass as a sustainable and renewable source of biofuels has driven research into the assembly and disassembly of polymers within plant cell walls. Cellulose thin films are useful in the study of interactions between cellulose and hemicelluloses, and quartz crystal microbalances with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D), surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) are widely used to investigate polymer adsorption/desorption at liquid/solid interfaces.
In this study, smooth trimethylsilyl cellulose (TMSC) films were spincoated onto gold QCM-D sensors and hydrolyzed into ultrathin cellulose films upon exposure to aqueous HCl vapor. The adsorption of arabinoglucuronoxylan (AGX) and arabinoxylan (AX) onto these cellulose surfaces was studied. The effects of structure, molar mass and ionic strength of the solution were considered. Increasing ionic strength increased AGX and AX adsorption onto cellulose. While AGX showed greater adsorption onto cellulose than AX by QCM-D, the trend was reversed in SPR experiments. The combination of QCM-D and SPR data showed a greater amount of water was trapped within the AX films. Both adsorbed AGX and AX films were subsequently visualized by AFM. Images from AFM showed AGX and AX adsorbed as aggregates from water, while AGX and AX adsorbed from CaCl2 yielded smaller xylan particles with more numerous globular structures on the cellulose surfaces. Images from AFM of xylan films on bare gold surfaces also showed layers of uniform aggregates that were consistent with AX and AGX aggregation in solution.