Cellulose fibrils with widths in the nanometer range are nature-based materials with unique and potentially useful features. Most importantly, these novel nanocelluloses open up the strongly expanding fields of sustainable materials and nanocomposites, as well as medical and life-science devices, to the natural polymer cellulose. The nanodimensions of the structural elements result in a high surface area and hence the powerful interaction of these celluloses with surrounding species, such as water, organic and polymeric compounds, nanoparticles, and living cells. This Review assembles the current knowledge on the isolation of microfibrillated cellulose from wood and its application in nanocomposites; the preparation of nanocrystalline cellulose and its use as a reinforcing agent; and the biofabrication of bacterial nanocellulose, as well as its evaluation as a biomaterial for medical implants.
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