Background: Bacterial cellulose (BC) is the purest form of cellulose as it is free from pectin, lignin, hemicellulose and other active constituents associated with cellulose derived from plant sources. High biocompatibility and easy molding into the desired shape make BC an ideal candidate for applications in the biomedical fields, such as tissue engineering, wound healing and bone regeneration. In addition to this, BC has been widely studied for applications in the delivery of proteins and drugs in various forms via different routes. However, BC lacks therapeutic properties and resistance to the free movement of small molecules, i.e., gases and solvents. Therefore, modification of BC is required to meet the research ad market demand.
Methods: We have searched the updated data relevant to as-synthesized and modified BC, properties and applications in various fields using Web of Science, Science direct, Google and PubMed.
Results: As-synthesized BC possesses properties such as high crystallinity, well organized fibrous network, higher degree of polymerization, and ability of being produced in swollen form. The large surface area with an abundance of free accessible hydroxyl groups makes BC an ideal candidate for carrying out surface functionalization to enhance its features. The various reported surface modification techniques including, but not limited to, are amination, methylation and acetylation.
Conclusion: In this review, we have highlighted various approaches made for BC surface modification. We have also reported enhancement in the properties of modified BC and potential applications in different fields ranging from biomedical science to drug delivery and paper-making to various electronic devices.