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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 456834, 8 pages
Research Article

Nanofibrillated Cellulose and Copper Nanoparticles Embedded in Polyvinyl Alcohol Films for Antimicrobial Applications

1Division of Forestry and Natural Resources, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
2Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA

Received 26 December 2014; Revised 30 March 2015; Accepted 15 April 2015

Academic Editor: Lei Zhao

Copyright © 2015 Tuhua Zhong et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Our long-term goal is to develop a hybrid cellulose-copper nanoparticle material as a functional nanofiller to be incorporated in thermoplastic resins for efficiently improving their antimicrobial properties. In this study, copper nanoparticles were first synthesized through chemical reduction of cupric ions on TEMPO nanofibrillated cellulose (TNFC) template using borohydride as a copper reducing agent. The resulting hybrid material was embedded into a polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) matrix using a solvent casting method. The morphology of TNFC-copper nanoparticles was analyzed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM); spherical copper nanoparticles with average size of 9.2 ± 2.0 nm were determined. Thermogravimetric analysis and antimicrobial performance of the films were evaluated. Slight variations in thermal properties between the nanocomposite films and PVA resin were observed. Antimicrobial analysis demonstrated that one-week exposure of nonpathogenic Escherichia coli DH5α to the nanocomposite films results in up to 5-log microbial reduction.