Introduction: Cellulose is a semicrystalline, water insoluble polymer having D-anhydroglucopyranose ring as the repeating unit. Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) is the crystalline form of cellulose obtained by acid-treatment which dissolves the amorphous portion and the crystalline form remains intact. When an aliphatic amine group is introduced into the cellulose molecule, it has the ability to show antibacterial activity in acidic conditions.
Methodology: Using above approach of modification, we planned to introduce epoxide moiety followed by epoxide ring opening. In the first step, MCC was epoxy modified by introduction of epoxy ring using the reagent epichlorohydrin under basic conditions. This was followed by epoxide ring opening by addition of a primary aliphatic amine. The newly chemically modified cellulose was characterized by IR, NMR and SEM techniques.
Conclusion: This aminated epoxy MCC showed an intrinsic antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus. Such an epoxy modified cellulose molecule can be used in wound healing to prevent infections. In addition, it can be used in food packing to prevent the spoilage of food and extent its shelf life.