Nitrocellulose is manufactured by treating refined cellulose with nitric acid (1). This causes the substitution of hydroxyls on the glucose rings with nitro groups. In practice, the maximum nitration ratio is 2.3 substitutions per ring. Above this ratio, the polymer spontaneously decomposes. Whereas cellulose and cellulose acetate do not adsorb protein, nitrocellulose is highly adsorptive, making it a suitable polymer for membranes requiring immobilization of proteins (2,10). Describing the characterization of nitrocellulose polymer is beyond the scope of this chapter. It should be pointed out that membrane manufacturers obtain nitrocellulose from companies that specialize in its manufacture.
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