Unraveling the Rapid Assembly Process of Stiff Cellulosic Fibers from Mistletoe Berries.


:The mucilaginous viscin tissue within mistletoe berries possesses an extraordinary ability to be rapidly processed under ambient conditions into stiff cellulosic fibers (>14 GPa) through simple mechanical drawing. This rapid and extreme transformation process is hydration-dependent and involves an astonishing >200-fold increase in length, providing a relevant role model for efforts to produce advanced composites from cellulose-based structures such as cellulose nanocrystals or cellulose nanofibrils. Using a combination of in situ polarized light microscopy, synchrotron X-ray scattering, and humidity-controlled mechanical analysis, we examine here the dynamic transition of a viscin cell bundle from hydrogel-like tissues to high-performance fibers. Our findings indicate a massive phase transition in which cellulose microfibrils containing high-aspect-ratio crystalline domains undergo dramatic reorganization, facilitated by a water-responsive noncellulosic matrix. Transition from an aligned, yet flowing state to a stiff fiber is likely triggered by rapid water loss below 45% relative humidity. These findings not only help understanding the adaptive success of mistletoe but may also be relevant for the development of new facile processing methods for next-generation cellulosic composites.






Horbelt N,Eder M,Bertinetti L,Fratzl P,Harrington MJ




Has Abstract


2019-08-12 00:00:00












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