Utilization of flax (Linum usitatissimum) cellulose nanocrystals as reinforcing material for chitosan films

Muhammad Mujtaba, Asier M. Salaberria, María A. Andres, Murat Kaya, Ayse Gunyakti, Jalel Labidi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Citations (Scopus)


Use of plastic based packaging tools is causing both health and economic problems. To overcome this situation, researchers are focusing on the use of different biomaterials such as chitosan and cellulose. The current study was conducted to check the effect of flax (Linum usitatissimum) cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) on mechanical and barrier properties of chitosan-based films. CNC was incorporated in different concentrations (5, 10, 20 and 30%). CNC was isolated from flax fiber using acid hydrolysis method. Tensile strength (TS) and young modulus (YM) values increased with the increase of CNC concentration. Chitosan film with 20% CNC revealed the highest YM value as 52.35 MPa. No significant improvement was recorded in water vapor permeability due to overall lower film crystallinity. All the films were observed to be transparent up to an acceptable level. SEM and AFM analysis confirmed the homogeneity of films. A gradual enhancement was recorded in the antimicrobial activity of chitosan/CNC composite films. No significant improvement revealed in the thermal stability of composites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)944-952
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Biocomposites
  • Cellulose nanocrystals
  • Chitosan films
  • Mechanical properties


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