• functionalization of polymers;
  • grafting;
  • drug delivery systems;
  • cellulose and other wood products;
  • fibers


Several cellulosic substrates have been surface-functionalized with cyclomaltoheptaose (β-cyclodextrin, β-CD) using citric acid as a crosslinker agent to obtain new surface-modified materials able to release antiseptic molecules over a prolonged period, in view of their use in medical domain. Three different commercial cellulosic substrates were used, namely: (i) an uncoated paper, (ii) a crepe paper, and (iii) a medical bandage. They were successfully grafted by a crosslinked polymer consisting on β-CD molecules as assessed by scanning electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis. Several time–temperature kinetic cycles were performed to reach the optimum curing parameters. The grafted and nongrafted samples were loaded with chlorhexidine digluconate (digCHX), a widely used antiseptic agent. The drug-delivery kinetics of the encapsulated digCHX was carried out by immersing the sample under investigation into an aqueous medium, and the quantity of the released digCHX was measured, as a function of time, by UV spectroscopy. The optimal grafting conditions were established on the basis of the highest weight gain. These samples did not give the best release performance. Nevertheless, several grafted substrates were able to uptake an appreciable amount of active molecules and release them over a prolonged time of about 20 days. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013