Chitin Nanofibers: Preparations, Modifications, and Applications


Chitin nanofibers of 10–20 nm width and high aspect ratio were prepared using a series of chemical treatments followed by mechanical grinding treatment from exoskeletons of crabs and prawns and cell wall of mushrooms. The nanofibers obtained are uniform and have both linear and network structures. Mechanical treatment under acidic (pH 3–4) conditions facilitated nano-fibrillation. The cationization of amino groups on the fiber surface of chitin improved fibrillation by electrostatic repulsion. Nanofiber surface was modified by acetylation for increasing applications of nanofibers. The sheet of neat chitin nanofibers was opaque; however, it became transparent by blending nanofibers with different types of acrylic resins due to nano-sized structure of fibers. Young’s moduli and the tensile strengths increased significantly, while thermal expansion of acrylic resins decreased as a result of reinforcement of resins with chitin nanofibers. Chitin nanofiber showed chiral separation ability as well. Chitin nanofiber membrane transported the D-isomer of glutamic acid, phenylalanine, and lysine from the corresponding racemic amino acid mixtures faster than L-isomer. From the viewpoint of medical applications, chitin nanofibers improved clinical symptoms and suppressed ulcerative colitis in dextran sulfate sodium-induced mouse model of acute ulcerative colitis.

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Chitin Nanofibers: Preparations, Modifications, and Applications
Book Title
Handbook of Polymer Nanocomposites. Processing, Performance and Application
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  • Jitendra K. Pandey Send Email (1)
  • Hitoshi Takagi Send Email (2)
  • Antonio Norio Nakagaito Send Email (3)
  • Hyun-Joong Kim Send Email (4)
  • Editor Affiliation
  • 1 University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES), Dehradun, India
  • 2 Advanced Materials Division, Institute of Technology and Science, The University of Tokushima, Tokushima, Japan
  • 3 Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokushima, Tokushima, Japan
  • 4 College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South Korea)
  • Authors
  • Shinsuke Ifuku Send Email (5)
  • Author Affiliation
  • 5 Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Engineering, Tottori University, 4-101 Koyama-cho Minami, Tottori, 680-8552, Japan
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