chapter  16
18 Pages

Nano-Cellulose Reinforced Chitosan Nanocomposites for Packaging and Biomedical Applications

From the view of sustainable development, the new materials associated with renewable source, low toxicity, high performance and environmental biodegradability

after disposal are enormously explored. The concerns over new materials from renewable resource have recently increased because of the economic consequences of depleting petroleum resources, the demands from industrialists and customer for high performance lightweight low-cost materials and the environmental regulations.1,2 From biomass, polymers can be obtained as native biopolymers, raw materials for monomers and bio-engineered biopolymers. Polysaccharides such as cellulose, starch, chitosan/chitin, etc. are the abundantly available biopolymers on the planet earth. They are replacing the materials for many industrial applications where synthetic polymers have been materials of choice, traditionally. As the native biopolymers are not conventionally processable, research efforts have been focused on the processing and meeting the requirements of particular applications. For packaging, the polymeric materials must exhibit flexibility, transparency, water and gas barrier properties, biodegradability (after disposal) antimicrobial, thermal and mechanical properties whereas surface adhesion (hydrophilicity), biocompatibility, biodegradability and dimensional stability.