Studies Towards the Size-Controlled Preparation of Cellulose Microspheres

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Türkyilmaz S., Demirel K., Demir B. B., Akbulut D.

10th International Cosmetics Chemistry Congress, Antalya, Turkey, 21 - 23 February 2020, pp.24

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Antalya
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.24
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Microbeads are manufactured from plastics and have sizes in the 10 to 1000 micrometer range. These beads are added to cosmetic products as exfoliating agents, as additives to improve texture and spreadability, and as colorants to enhance the visual appeal of products. However the use of plastic microbeads contributes to plastic particle pollution in water. Microbeads may adsorb and concentrate toxic chemicals and may be ingested by smaller marine animals mistaking them for food. The toxic effect may be magnified as these microbeads make their way up the food chain; therefore their use in rinse-off cosmetics has recently been banned in many countries.2,3  

Cellulose microspheres have many applications in chromatography, metal ion exchange and water treatment, protein immobilization, solid-phase synthesis, and drug loading and release.4 Furthermore cellulose microspheres are biodegradable and may be used as an environmentally-friendly alternative to plastic microbeads in cosmetics.5 In this study we have prepared cellulose micropsheres in a size-controlled manner (40-300 m, Figure 1) by converting cotton to viscose solutions, dispersing these solutions in oil using surfactants and agitation, and regenerating cellulose through heating of the dispersions. We have observed that numerous factors such as viscose droplet size, rotor speed, and type and quantity of surfactant affect microsphere size. We have also investigated the activation of these microspheres with epoxide and amino functionalities and prepared magnetic cellulose micropsheres.

Acknowledgement: We gratefully acknowledge financial support from TÜBİTAK (Project 118Z442).

Footnotes and References: 

1) Undergraduate student researchers  

2) Dauvergne, P. Environ. Polit. 2018, 27(4), 579-597. 

3) Carolyn J. Foley, C.J.; Feiner, Z.S.; Malinich, Z.D.; Höök, T.O. Sci. Total Environ. 2018, 631–632, 550–559.

4) Gericke, M.; Trygg, J.; Fardim P. Chem. Rev. 2013, 113, 4812−4836.

5) (accessed 28.01.2020)