Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids

Adsorption isotherms of cellulose-based polymers onto cotton fibers determined by means of a direct method of fluorescence spectroscopy.

PMID 22548507


We present a novel method for the measurement of polymer adsorption on fibers by employing fluorescently labeled polymers. The method itself can be used for any compound that either shows fluorescence or can be labeled with a fluorescent dye, which renders it ubiquitously applicable for adsorption studies. The main advantage of the method is that the choice of adsorbent is not limited to flat surfaces, thereby allowing the investigation of fibrous and porous systems. As an example of high interest for application we determined the adsorption isotherms of various polysaccharide-based polymers with different charges and different substituents on cotton fibers. These experiments show that the extent of adsorption depends not only on the charge conditions but also very much on the specific interactions between the polymer and fiber. For instance, the cationic hydroxyethyl cellulose can become bound to an extent similar to that of the anionic alginate, while the anionic carboxymethyl cellulose of similar charge density adsorbs much less under these conditions. This shows that the adsorption of polymers depends subtly on the details of the interaction between the polymer and fiber but can be determined with good precision with our direct fluorescence method.