Mechanical Function of Lignin and Hemicelluloses in Wood Cell Wall Revealed with Microtension of Single Wood Fiber

Shuang-Yan Zhang, Chuan-Gui Wang, Ben-Hua Fei, Yan Yu, Hai-Tao Cheng, Gen-Lin Tian


Chinese Fir wood (Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook) was subjected to extraction treatments with sodium chlorite (NaClO2) for delignification, as well as with sodium hydroxide (NaOH) at different concentrations for extraction of hemicelluloses. The wood was examined using a Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) spectrometer and microtension technique to track changes in the chemical and the micromechanical properties of the cell wall. The results of the microtensile tests indicated that the hemicelluloses caused more damage to the mechanical properties of the cell wall than lignin. The micromechanical properties that occurred with degradation of chemical components underlined the key role of hemicelluloses in maintaining the integrity of the cell wall.


Hemicelluloses; Lignin; Cell wall; Mechanical properties; Microtension

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Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022,; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, URLs:; ISSN: 1930-2126