Natural biomacromolecules such as structural proteins and polysaccharides are composed of the basic building blocks of life: amino acids and carbohydrates. Understanding their molecular structure, self-assembly and interaction in solvents such as ionic liquids (ILs) is critical for unleashing a flora of new materials, revolutionizing the way we fabricate multi-structural and multi-functional systems with tunable physicochemical properties. Ionic liquids are superior to organic solvents because they do not produce unwanted by-products and are considered green substitutes because of their reusability. In addition, they will significantly improve the miscibility of biopolymers with other materials while maintaining the mechanical properties of the biopolymer in the final product. Understanding and controlling the physicochemical properties of biopolymers in ionic liquids matrices will be crucial for progress leading to the ability to fabricate robust multi-level structural 1D fiber materials. It will also help to predict the relationship between fiber conformation and protein secondary structures or carbohydrate crystallinity, thus creating potential applications for cell growth signaling, ionic conductivity, liquid diffusion and thermal conductivity, and several applications in biomedicine and environmental science. This will also enable the regeneration of biopolymer composite fiber materials with useful functionalities and customizable options critical for additive manufacturing. The specific capabilities of these fiber materials have been shown to vary based on their fabrication methods including electrospinning and post-treatments. This review serves to provide basic knowledge of these commonly utilized protein and polysaccharide biopolymers and their fiber fabrication methods from various ionic liquids, as well as the effect of post-treatments on these fiber materials and their applications in biomedical and pharmaceutical research, wound healing, environmental filters and sustainable and green chemistry research.
Gough, Christopher R.; Rivera-Galletti, Ashley; Cowan, Darrel A.; Salas-de la Cruz, David; Hu, Xiao. 2020. "Protein and Polysaccharide-Based Fiber Materials Generated from Ionic Liquids: A Review" Molecules 25, no. 15: 3362. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25153362
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.