Enzymatic and Chemical Cross-Linking of Bacterial Cellulose/Fish Collagen Composites-A Comparative Study

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Mar 25;22(7):3346. doi: 10.3390/ijms22073346.


This article compares the properties of bacterial cellulose/fish collagen composites (BC/Col) after enzymatic and chemical cross-linking. In our methodology, two transglutaminases are used for enzymatic cross-linking-one recommended for the meat and the other proposed for the fish industry-and pre-oxidated BC (oxBC) is used for chemical cross-linking. The structure of the obtained composites is characterized by scanning electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, X-ray diffraction, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and their functional properties by mechanical and water barrier tests. While polymer chains in uncross-linked BC/Col are intertwined by H-bonds, new covalent bonds in enzymatically cross-linked ones are formed-resulting in increased thermal stability and crystallinity of the material. The C2-C3 bonds cleavage in D-glucose units, due to BC oxidation, cause secondary alcohol groups to vanish in favor of the carbonyl groups' formation, thus reducing the number of H-bonded OHs. Thermal stability and crystallinity of oxBC/Col remain lower than those of BC/Col. The BC/Col formation did not affect tensile strength and water vapor permeability of BC, but enzymatic cross-linking with TGGS improved them significantly.

Keywords: bacterial cellulose; collagen; cross-linking; ex situ modification; structural characteristics.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cellulose / chemistry*
  • Collagen / chemistry*
  • Cross-Linking Reagents / chemistry*
  • Enzymes / chemistry
  • Fishes
  • Gluconacetobacter / chemistry*
  • Hydrogen Bonding
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Permeability
  • Polymers
  • Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Temperature
  • Tensile Strength
  • Thermogravimetry
  • X-Ray Diffraction


  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • Enzymes
  • Polymers
  • Cellulose
  • Collagen