The Impact of Cross-linking Mode on the Physical and Antimicrobial Properties of a Chitosan/Bacterial Cellulose Composite
The bacteriostatic performance of a chitosan film is closely related to its ionic and physical properties, which are significantly influenced by the mode of cross-linking. In the current work, chitosan with or without bacterial cellulose was cross-linked with borate, tripolyphosphate, or the mixture of borate and tripolyphosphate, and the composite films were obtained by a casting of dispersion. Mechanical measurements indicated that different modes of cross-linking led to varying degrees of film strength and elongation increases, while the films treated with the borate and tripolyphosphate mixture showed the best performance. Meanwhile, changes in the fractured sectional images showed a densified texture induced by cross-linkers, especially for the borate and tripolyphosphate mixture. Measurements of Fourier transform infrared showed the enhanced interaction between the matrix polymers treated by borate, confirmed by a slight increase in the glass transitional temperature and a higher surface hydrophobicity. However, the reduced antimicrobial efficiency of composite films against E. coli, B. cinerea, and S. cerevisiae was obtained in cross-linked films compared with chitosan/bacterial cellulose films, indicating that the impact on the antimicrobial function of chitosan is a noteworthy issue for cross-linking.