Antimicrobial and anti-viral materials have attracted significant interest in recent years due to increasing occurrences of nosocomial infections and pathogenic microbial contamination. One method to address this is the combination of photoactive compounds that can produce reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radicals to disinfect microbes, with carrier materials that meet the application requirements. Using anthraquinone (AQ) and cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) as the photoactive and carrier components respectively, this work demonstrates the first covalent incorporation of AQ onto CNCs. The morphology and the photoactive properties were investigated, revealing the structural integrity of the CNCs, and high degree of photoactivity of AQ-CNC materials upon UVA exposure. The AQ-CNCs also exhibited an unexpected persistent generation of ROS under darkness, which adds advantages for antimicrobial applications.
Cellulose Nanocrystal; Anthraquinone; Reactive Oxygen Species; FTIR; Atomic Force Microscopy