Development of Cork Biocomposites Enriched with Chitosan Targeting Antibacterial and Antifouling Properties

last updated: 2023-08-04
ProjectDIVINO :: publications list
TitleDevelopment of Cork Biocomposites Enriched with Chitosan Targeting Antibacterial and Antifouling Properties
Publication TypePapers in Scientific Journals
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsFernandes E. M., Lobo F. C. M., Faria S. I., Gomes L. C., Silva T. H., Mergulhão F. J. M., and Reis R. L.

The demand for bio-based and safer composite materials is increasing due to the growth of the industry, human population, and environmental concerns. In this framework, sustainable and safer cork-polymer composites (CPC), based on green low-density polyethylene (LDPE) were developed using melt-based technologies. Chitosan and polyethylene-graft-maleic anhydride (PE-g-MA) were employed to enhance the CPC’s properties. The morphology, wettability, mechanical, thermal, and antibacterial properties of the CPC against Pseudomonas putida (P. putida) and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) were examined. The CPC showed improved stiffness when compared with that of the LDPE matrix, preferably when combined with chitosan and PE-g-MA (5 wt. %), reinforcing the stiffness (58.8%) and the strength (66.7%). Chitosan also increased the composite stiffness and strength, as well as reduced the surface hydrophilicity. The CPCs’ antibacterial activity revealed that cork significantly reduces the biofilm on the polymer matrix. The highest biofilm reduction was found with CPC containing cork and 5 wt. % chitosan for both P. putida (54% reduction) and S. aureus (36% reduction), confirming their potential to extend the lifespan of products for packaging and healthcare, among other applications. This work leads to the understanding of the factors that influence biofilm formation in cork composites and provides a strategy to reinforce their behavior using chitosan.

Date Published2023-01-18
KeywordsExtrusion, green materials, particle reinforcement, polymer-matrix composites, surface properties
Peer reviewedyes

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