Bioinspired Stabilization of Amorphous Calcium Carbonate by Carboxylated Nanocellulose Enables Mechanically Robust, Healable, and Sensing Biocomposites
2023, Wu, Wanlin, Lu, Zhixing, Lu, Canhui, Sun, Xunwen, Ni, Bing, Cölfen, Helmut, Xiong, Rui
Nature builds numerous structurally complex composites with fascinating mechanical robustness and functionalities by harnessing biopolymers and amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC). The key to successfully mimicking these natural designs is efficiently stabilizing ACC, but developing highly efficient, biodegradable, biocompatible, and sustainable stabilizing agents remains a grand challenge since anhydrous ACC is inherently unstable toward crystallization in the wet state. Inspired by the stabilized ACC in crustacean cuticles, we report the efficient stabilization ability of the most abundant biopolymer–cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) for ACC. Through the cooperative stabilizing effect of surface carboxyl groups and a rigid segregated network, the CNFs exhibit long-term stability (more than one month) and achieved a stabilization efficiency of 3.6 and 4.4 times that of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and alginate, respectively, even higher than poly(acrylic acid). The resulting CNF/ACC dispersions can be constructed into transparent composite films with the high strength of 286 MPa and toughness up to 28.5 MJ/m3, which surpass those of the so far reported synthetic biopolymer-calcium carbonate/phosphate composites. The dynamic interfacial interaction between nanocomponents also provides the composite films with good self-healing properties. Owing to their good wet stability, the composite films present high humidity sensitivity for monitoring respiration and finger contact.
Bioinspired Chiral Template Guided Mineralization for Biophotonic Structural Materials
2022-10-08, Xiong, Rui, Wu, Wanlin, Lu, Canhui, Cölfen, Helmut
Nature provides numerous biomineral design inspirations for constructing structural materials with desired functionalities. However, large-scale production of damage-tolerant Bouligand structural materials with biologically comparable photonics remains a longstanding challenge. Here, an efficient and scalable artificial molting strategy, based on self-assembly of cellulose nanocrystals and subsequent mineralization of amorphous calcium carbonate, is developed to produce biomimetic materials with an exceptional combination of mechanical and photonic properties that are usually mutually exclusive in synthetic materials. These biomimetic composites exhibit tunable mechanics from "strong and flexible", which exceeds the benchmark of natural chiral materials, to "stiff and hard", which is comparable to natural and synthetic counterparts. Especially, the biomimetic composites possess ultrahigh stiffness of 2 GPa in their fully water-swollen state-a value well beyond hydrated crab exoskeleton, cartilage, tendon, and stiffest synthetic hydrogels, combined with exceptional strength and resilience. Additionally, these composites are distinguished by the tunable chiral structural color and water-triggered switchable photonics that are absent in most artificial mineralized materials, as well as unique hydroplastic properties. This study opens the door for a scalable synthesis of resilient biophotonic structural materials in practical bulk form.
Self-Assembly of Emissive Nanocellulose/Quantum Dot Nanostructures for Chiral Fluorescent Materials
2019-08-27, Xiong, Rui, Yu, Shengtao, Smith, Marcus J., Zhou, Jing, Krecker, Michelle, Zhang, Lijuan, Nepal, Dhriti, Bunning, Timothy J., Tsukruk, Vladimir V.
Chiral fluorescent materials with fluorescent nanoparticles assembled into a chiral structure represent a grand challenge. Here, we report self-assembled emissive needle-like nanostructures through decorating cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) with carbon quantum dots (CQDs). This assembly is facilitated by the heterogeneous amphiphilic interactions between natural and synthetic components. These emissive nanostructures can self-organize into chiral nematic solid-state materials with enhanced mechanical performance. The chiral CQD/CNC films demonstrate an intense iridescent appearance superimposed with enhanced luminescence that is significantly higher than that for CQD films and other reported CQD/CNC films. A characteristic fluorescent fingerprint signature is observed in the CQD/CNC film, proving the well-defined chiral organization of fluorescent nanostructures. The chiral organization of CQDs enables the solid CQD/CNC film to form a right-hand chiral fluorescence with an asymmetric factor of -0.2. Additionally, we developed chemical 2D printing and soft lithography patterning techniques to fabricate the freestanding chiral fluorescent patterns that combines mechanical intergrity and chiral nematic structure with light diffraction and emission.
Organized mineralized cellulose nanostructures for biomedical applications
2023, Feng, Yanhuizhi, Cölfen, Helmut, Xiong, Rui
Cellulose is the most abundant naturally-occurring polymer, and possesses a one-dimensional (1D) anisotropic crystalline nanostructure with outstanding mechanical robustness, biocompatibility, renewability and rich surface chemistry in the form of nanocellulose in nature. Such features make cellulose an ideal bio-template for directing the bio-inspired mineralization of inorganic components into hierarchical nanostructures that are promising in biomedical applications. In this review, we will summarize the chemistry and nanostructure characteristics of cellulose and discuss how these favorable characteristics regulate the bio-inspired mineralization process for manufacturing the desired nanostructured bio-composites. We will focus on uncovering the design and manipulation principles of local chemical compositions/constituents and structural arrangement, distribution, dimensions, nanoconfinement and alignment of bio-inspired mineralization over multiple length-scales. In the end, we will underline how these cellulose biomineralized composites benefit biomedical applications. It is expected that this deep understanding of design and fabrication principles will enable construction of outstanding structural and functional cellulose/inorganic composites for more challenging biomedical applications.
Biopolymeric photonic structures : design, fabrication, and emerging applications
2020, Xiong, Rui, Luan, Jingyi, Kang, Saewon, Ye, Chunhong, Singamaneni, Srikanth, Tsukruk, Vladimir V.
Biological photonic structures can precisely control light propagation, scattering, and emission via hierarchical structures and diverse chemistry, enabling biophotonic applications for transparency, camouflaging, protection, mimicking and signaling. Corresponding natural polymers are promising building blocks for constructing synthetic multifunctional photonic structures owing to their renewability, biocompatibility, mechanical robustness, ambient processing conditions, and diverse surface chemistry. In this review, we provide a summary of the light phenomena in biophotonic structures found in nature, the selection of corresponding biopolymers for synthetic photonic structures, the fabrication strategies for flexible photonics, and corresponding emerging photonic-related applications. We introduce various photonic structures, including multi-layered, opal, and chiral structures, as well as photonic networks in contrast to traditionally considered light absorption and structural photonics. Next, we summarize the bottom-up and top-down fabrication approaches and physical properties of organized biopolymers and highlight the advantages of biopolymers as building blocks for realizing unique bioenabled photonic structures. Furthermore, we consider the integration of synthetic optically active nanocomponents into organized hierarchical biopolymer frameworks for added optical functionalities, such as enhanced iridescence and chiral photoluminescence. Finally, we present an outlook on current trends in biophotonic materials design and fabrication, including current issues, critical needs, as well as promising emerging photonic applications.
A Bioinspired Gelatin–Amorphous Calcium Phosphate Coating on Titanium Implant for Bone Regeneration
2023, Feng, Yanhuizhi, Wu, Di, Knaus, Jennifer, Keßler, Sascha, Ni, Bing, Chen, Zongkun, Avaro, Johnathan, Xiong, Rui, Cölfen, Helmut, Wang, Zuolin
Biocompatible and bio-active coatings can enhance and accelerate osseointegration via chemical binding onto substrates. Amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP) has been shown as a precursor to achieve mineralization in vertebrates and invertebrates under the control of biological macromolecules. This work presents a simple bioinspired Gelatin-CaPO4 (Gel-CaP) composite coating on titanium surfaces to improve osseointegration. The covalently bound Gel-CaP composite is characterized as an ACP-Gel compound via SEM, FT-IR, XRD, and HR-TEM. The amorphous compound coating exhibited a nanometer range thickness and improved elastic modulus, good wettability, and nanometric roughness. The amount of grafted carboxyl groups and theoretical thickness of the coatings are also investigated. More importantly, MC3T3 cells, an osteoblast cell line, show excellent cell proliferation and adhesion on the Gel-CaP coating. The level of osteogenic genes is considerably upregulated on Ti with Gel-CaP coatings compared to uncoated Ti, demonstrating that Gel-CaP coatings possess a unique osteogenic ability. To conclude, this work offers a new perspective on functional, bioactive titanium coatings, and Gel-CaP composites can be a low-cost and promising candidate in bone regeneration.
Integration of Optical Surface Structures with Chiral Nanocellulose for Enhanced Chiroptical Properties
2020-01, Xiong, Rui, Yu, Shengtao, Kang, Saewon, Adstedt, Katarina M., Nepal, Dhriti, Bunning, Timothy J., Tsukruk, Vladimir V.
The integration of chiral organization with photonic structures found in many living creatures enables unique chiral photonic structures with a combination of selective light reflection, light propagation, and circular dichroism. Inspired by these natural integrated nanostructures, hierarchical chiroptical systems that combine imprinted surface optical structures with the natural chiral organization of cellulose nanocrystals are fabricated. Different periodic photonic surface structures with rich diffraction phenomena, including various optical gratings and microlenses, are replicated into nanocellulose film surfaces over large areas. The resulting films with embedded optical elements exhibit vivid, controllable structural coloration combined with highly asymmetric broadband circular dichroism and a microfocusing capability not typically found in traditional photonic bioderived materials without compromising their mechanical strength. The strategy of imprinting surface optical structures onto chiral biomaterials facilitates a range of prospective photonic applications, including stereoscopic displays, polarization encoding, chiral polarizers, and colorimetric chiral biosensing.