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Shinsuke Ifuku
Shinsuke Ifuku
Tottori University, Japan
Preparation of chitin nanofibers extracted from crab shell for reinforcement filler of plastics
After cellulose, chitin is the second most abundant biomacromolecules in nature, existing mainly in the exoskeletons of crabs and shrimps. We have recently isolated chitin nanofibers from the exoskeletons of crabs by a mechanical process. The obtained chitin nanofibers have a highly uniformstructure of 10 nm in width and a high aspect ratio. As chitin nanofibers consist of an antiparallel extended crystalline structure, they have excellent mechanical properties, including a high Young¡¯s modulus, high fracture strength and low thermal expansion. In this study, optically transparent chitin nanofiber composites were fabricated with 11 different types of (meth)acrylic resins. Chitin nanofibers significantly increased the Young¡¯s moduli and the tensile strengths, and decreased the thermal expansion of all (meth)acrylic resins due to the reinforcement effect of chitin nanofibers having an extended crystal structure.

Shinsuke Ifuku received his PhD from Kyoto University in 2005 under the supervision of Prof. Fumiaki Nakatsubo for regioselective modifications of cellulose and the applications of Langmuir¨CBlodgett films. In 2005 and 2006, he joined Prof. Hiroyuki Yano¡¯s group and worked on modifications and applications of cellulose nanofibers as a JSPS postdoctoral fellow. He spent 2007 at the Faculty of Forestry, The University of British Columbia, Canada, working with Prof. John F. Kadla as a postdoc to study graft copolymerization of cellulose through atom transfer radical polymerization. In 2008, he joined Prof. Hiroyuki Saimoto¡¯s group as a Junior Associate Professor, and started studying the preparations and applications of chitin nanofibers. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2011.
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