Exploring accessibility of pretreated poplar cell walls by measuring dynamics of fluorescent probes
Biomass from lignocellulose (LC) is a highly complex network of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, which is considered to be a sustainable source of fuels, chemicals and materials. To achieve an environmental friendly and efficient LC upgrading, a better understanding of the LC architecture is necessary. We have devised some LC bioinspired model systems, based on arabinoxylan gels, in which mobility of dextrans and BSA grafted with FITC has been studied by FRAP. Our results indicate that the probes diffusion is more influenced by their hydrodynamic radius than by the gel mesh size. The addition of some cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) decreases polymer chain mobility and has low effect on the probes diffusion, suggesting that the gels are better organized in the presence of CNCs, as shown by rheological measurements and scanning electronic microscopy observations. This demonstrates that the FRAP analysis can be a powerful tool to screen the architecture of LC model systems.