Production of Bacterial Cellulose with Controlled Deuterium-Hydrogen Substitution for Neutron Scattering Studies

Hugh O'Neill, Riddhi Shah, Barbara R. Evans, Junhong He, Sai Venkatesh Pingali, Shishir P.S. Chundawat, A. Daniel Jones, Paul Langan, Brian H. Davison, Volker Urban

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


Isotopic enrichment of biomacromolecules is a widely used technique that enables the investigation of the structural and dynamic properties to provide information not accessible with natural abundance isotopic composition. This study reports an approach for deuterium incorporation into bacterial cellulose. A media formulation for growth of Acetobacter xylinus subsp. sucrofermentans and Gluconacetobacter hansenii was formulated that supports cellulose production in deuterium (D) oxide. The level of D incorporation can be varied by altering the ratio of deuterated and protiated glycerol used during cell growth in the D2O-based growth medium. Spectroscopic analysis and mass spectrometry show that the level of deuterium incorporation is high (> 90%) for the perdeuterated form of bacterial cellulose. The small-angle neutron scattering profiles of the cellulose with different amounts of D incorporation are all similar indicating that there are no structural changes in the cellulose due to substitution of deuterium for hydrogen. In addition, by varying the amount of deuterated glycerol in the media it was possible to vary the scattering length density of the deuterated cellulose. The ability to control deuterium content of cellulose extends the range of experiments using techniques such as neutron scattering to reveal information about the structure and dynamics of cellulose, and its interactions with other biomacromolecules as well as synthetic polymers used for development of composite materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMethods in Enzymology
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NameMethods in Enzymology
ISSN (Print)0076-6879
ISSN (Electronic)1557-7988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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