University of Oulu

Thomas, R. T., Del Río de Vicente, J. I., Zhang, K., Karzarjeddi, M., Liimatainen, H., & Oksman, K. (2022a). Size exclusion and affinity-based removal of nanoparticles with electrospun cellulose acetate membranes infused with functionalized cellulose nanocrystals. Materials & Design, 217, 110654.

Size exclusion and affinity-based removal of nanoparticles with electrospun cellulose acetate membranes infused with functionalized cellulose nanocrystals

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Author: Thomas, Reny Thankam1; Del Río de Vicente, José Ignacio1; Zhang, Kaitao2;
Organizations: 1Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Luleå University of Technology, SE-97187 Luleå, Sweden
2Fibre and Particle Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4300, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
3Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto M5S 3BS, Canada
4Wallenberg Wood Science Centre (WWSC): Luleå University of Technology SE-97187, Luleå, Sweden
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-10-03


Membrane filtration and affinity-based adsorption are the two most used strategies in separation technologies. Here, µm-thick multifunctional and sustainable composite membranes of electrospun cellulose acetate (CA) infused with functionalized, anionic, and cationic cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) with enhanced wettability, tensile strength, and excellent retention capacities were designed. CNCs could uniformly impregnate into the three-dimensional CA network to effectively improve its properties. The impregnation of cationic CNCs at 0.5 wt% concentration drastically increased the tensile strength (1669%) while maintaining high permeation flux of 9400 Lm-2h-1 which is remarkable with cellulose modified electrospun membranes. The membranes infused with anionic CNCs exhibited a particle retention efficiency of 96% for 500 nm and 77% for 100 nm latex beads whilst the cationic CNC membranes exhibited a combined particle retention strategy using selectivity and size exclusion with a retention of >81% with 100 nm latex beads and 80% with ∼50 nm silver nanoparticles. We envision that the developed multifunctional membranes can be utilized for affinity-based and size-exclusion filtration to selectively trap bacteria or substances of biological significance.

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Series: Materials & design
ISSN: 0264-1275
ISSN-E: 1873-4197
ISSN-L: 0264-1275
Volume: 217
Pages: 1 - 9
Article number: 110654
DOI: 10.1016/j.matdes.2022.110654
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 221 Nanotechnology
Funding: The authors are grateful for Tandem Forest Value (TFV) grant no. TFV2018-0010 which is funding the collaboration between Sweden and Finland and the postdoctoral fellowship of R T. Thomas, Bio4Energy strategic research program and WWSC. Authors are also grateful for Nicole Stark at US Forest Products Laboratory for kindly providing the CNCs. The authors appreciate the technical support by Dr. Shujie You and extending the UV-Visible and fluorescence spectroscopy facility at LTU by Dr. Isabella Concina. Dr. Linn Berglund, Mr. Bony Thomas, Ms. Farida Yasmin, Ms. Jiayuan Wei and Mr. Mitul Patel are acknowledged for technical support in contact angle, EDS, mechanical testing, electrospinning, and zeta potential respectively.
Dataset Reference: Supplementary data to this article can be found online at
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (