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Biofilm inspired fabrication of functional bacterial cellulose through ex-situ and in-situ approaches

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Mahab Aljannat, Dr Jane Scott, Professor Martyn Dade-Robertson



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2022Bacterial cellulose (BC) has been explored for use in a range of applications including tissue engineering and textiles. BC can be produced from waste streams, but sustainable approaches are needed for functionalisation. To this end, BslA, a B. subtilis biofilm protein was produced recombinantly with and without a cellulose binding module (CBM) and the cell free extract was used to treat BC either ex-situ, through drip coating or in-situ, by incorporating during fermentation. The results showed that ex-situ modified BC increased the hydrophobicity and water contact angle reached 120°. In-situ experiments led to a BC film morphological change and mechanical testing demonstrated that addition of BslA with CBM resulted in a stronger, more elastic material. This study presents a nature inspired approach to functionalise BC using a biofilm hydrophobin, and we demonstrate that recombinant proteins could be effective and sustainable molecules for functionalisation of BC materials.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gilmour KA, Aljannat M, Markwell C, James P, Scott J, Jiang Y, Torun H, Dade-Robertson M, Zhang M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Carbohydrate Polymers

Year: 2023

Volume: 304

Print publication date: 15/03/2023

Online publication date: 22/12/2022

Acceptance date: 17/12/2022

Date deposited: 16/01/2023

ISSN (print): 0144-8617

ISSN (electronic): 1879-1344

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2022.120482


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