Novel hybrid sustainable nanomaterials made of Polydopamine Functionalized Cellulose Nanocrystals (PD-CNCs)


Hybrid nanoparticles were found to possess excellent antimicrobial or catalytic activities on a wide range of reactions. The involved metallic nanomaterial included nanoparticles from Palladium (Pd), Platinum (Pt), Gold (Au), Silver (Ag), and so on. Silver nanoparticle (AgNP) is highly effective against a wide range of bacteria, hence it is widely used in water purification, food preservation, and cosmetics with low toxicity to human cells and low volatility. In contrast to chemical based antimicrobial agents, AgNP is also considered to be a promising candidate to kill bacteria without antibiotic resistance challenges. AgNPs are commonly fabricated through the reduction of silver nitrate, and Stabilized by capping agents. However, most of the capping agents are non-biodegradable polymers or toxic chemicals except for polysaccharides.

Description of the invention

This technology relates to use of polydopamine (PD) coated cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) as template for further conjugation of functional oligomers (amines, carboxylic acids etc.) and the immobilization of various types of CNC hybrid nanomaterial nanoparticles to improve their stability in aqueous Solution, e.g. the preparation of silver nanoparticle on CNC. This would result improved stability, the nanoparticles immobilized PD-CNC system also generally possess higher catalytic activity than the nanoparticles alone.


CNCs have favorable water dispersibility and high surface area which render the CNCs an ideal media to stabilizing the non-soluble or unstable mate rials such as AgNPs. In addition, the functionalization of CNCs with PD in water is believed to endow the CNCs surface with reducing and chelating properties to metal ions which facilitate the generation and immobilization of general metal nanoparticles. The immobilization of metal nanoparticles (such as AgNPs) on the PD-CNCs may improve the solution stability of nanoparticles, and further improve the anti microbial activity of the nanoparticles.

Potential applications

  • Anti-bacterial agent & coatings
  • Flocculation agent
  • Hybrid Catalyst applications
  • Consumer and cosmetic application

Diagram for novel hybrid sustainable nanomaterials of PD-CNCs

Second diagram related to Polydopamine functionalized CNCs

Printable PDF



Dr. Michael Tam
Zengqian Shi
Juntao Tang
Richard Berry

Patent Status
U.S. patent application 15/327,492 filed on January 19,  2017

Stage of development


Scott Inwood
Director of Commercialization
Waterloo Commercialization Office
519-888-4567, ext. 33728