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Slot‑die coating of cellulose nanocrystals and chitosan for improved barrier properties of paper
Ylenia Ruberto, Vera Vivod, Janja Juhant Grkman, Gregor Lavrič, Claudia Graiff, Vanja Kokol, 2024, original scientific article

Abstract: Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and chitosan (Cht) have been studied extensively for oxygen and water vapour barrier coatings in biodegradable, compostable or recyclable paper packaging. However, rare studies have been performed by using scalable, inexpensive, and fast continuous slot-die coating processes, and none yet in combination with fast' and high-throughput near-infrared (NIR) light energy drying. In this frame, we studied the feasibility of a moderately concentrated (11 wt%) anionic CNC and (2 wt%) cationic Cht coating (both containing 20 wt% sorbitol related to the weight of CNC/Cht), by using plain and pigment pre-treated papers. The effect of coating parameters (injection speed, dry thickness settings) were investigated on coating quantity (dry weight, thickness) and homogeneity (coverage), papers' structure (thickness, grammage, density), whiteness, surface wettability, barrier (air, oxygen and water vapour) properties and adhesion (surface strength). The coating homogeneity was dependent primarily on the suspensions' viscosity, and secondarily on the applied coating parameters, whereby CNCs could be applied at 1–2 times higher injection speeds (up to 80 mL/min) and versatile coating weights, but required a relatively longer time to dry. The CNCs thus exhibited outstanding air (4.2–1.5 nm/Pa s) and oxygen (2.7–1.1 cm3 mm/m2 d kPa) barrier performance at 50% RH and 22–33 g/m2 deposition, whereas on top deposited Cht (3–4 g/m2) reduced its wetting time and improved the water vapour barrier (0.23–0.28 g mm/m2 d Pa). The balanced barrier properties were achieved due to the polar characteristic of CNCs, the hydrophobic nature of Cht and the quantity of the applied bilayer coating that can provide sustainable paper-based packaging.
Keywords: paper, nanocellulose, chitosan, slot‑die coating, near-infrared (NIR) drying, barrier properties
Published in DKUM: 06.05.2024; Views: 68; Downloads: 4
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Bioactive functional nanolayers of chitosan-lysine surfactant with single- and mixed-protein-repellent and antibiofilm properties for medical implants
Urban Ajdnik, Lidija Fras Zemljič, Olivija Plohl, Lourdes Pérez, Janja Trček, Matej Bračič, Tamilselvan Mohan, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Medical implant-associated infections resulting from biofilm formation triggered by unspecific protein adsorption arethe prevailing cause of implant failure. However, implant surfaces rendered with multifunctional bioactive nanocoatings offer apromising alternative to prevent the initial attachment of bacteria and effectively interrupt biofilm formation. The need to researchand develop novel and stable bioactive nanocoatings for medical implants and a comprehensive understanding of their properties incontact with the complex biological environment are crucial. In this study, we developed an aqueous stable and crosslinker-freepolyelectrolyte−surfactant complex (PESC) composed of a renewable cationic polysaccharide, chitosan, a lysine-based anionicsurfactant (77KS), and an amphoteric antibiotic, amoxicillin, which is widely used to treat a number of infections caused by bacteria.We successfully introduced the PESC as bioactive functional nanolayers on the“model”and“real”polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)surfaces under dynamic and ambient conditions. Besides their high stability and improved wettability, these uniformly depositednanolayers (thickness: 44−61 nm) with mixed charges exhibited strong repulsion toward three model blood proteins (serumalbumin,fibrinogen, andγ-globulin) and their competitive interactions in the mixture in real-time, as demonstrated using a quartzcrystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D). The functional nanolayers with a maximum negative zeta potential (ζ:−19 to−30mV at pH 7.4), water content (1628−1810 ng cm−2), and hydration (low viscosity and elastic shear modulus) correlated with themass, conformation, and interaction nature of proteins. In vitro antimicrobial activity testing under dynamic conditions showed thatthe charged nanolayers actively inhibited the growth of both Gram-negative (Escherichia coli) and Gram-positive (Staphylococcusaureus) bacteria compared to unmodified PDMS. Given the ease of fabrication of multifunctional and charged biobased coatingswith simultaneous protein-repellent and antimicrobial activities, the limitations of individual approaches could be overcome leadingto a better and advanced design of various medical devices (e.g., catheters, prosthetics, and stents).
Keywords: silicone implants, protein-repellent, antimicrobial, chitosan, lysine, bioactive coatings, adsorption, QCM-D
Published in DKUM: 15.04.2024; Views: 132; Downloads: 2
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Cellulose–chitosan functional biocomposites
Simona Strnad, Lidija Fras Zemljič, 2023, review article

Abstract: Here, we present a detailed review of recent research and achievements in the field of combining two extremely important polysaccharides; namely, cellulose and chitosan. The most important properties of the two polysaccharides are outlined, giving rise to the interest in their combination. We present various structures and forms of composite materials that have been developed recently. Thus, aerogels, hydrogels, films, foams, membranes, fibres, and nanofibres are discussed, alongside the main techniques for their fabrication, such as coextrusion, co-casting, electrospinning, coating, and adsorption. It is shown that the combination of bacterial cellulose with chitosan has recently gained increasing attention. This is particularly attractive, because both are representative of a biopolymer that is biodegradable and friendly to humans and the environment. The rising standard of living and growing environmental awareness are the driving forces for the development of these materials. In this review, we have shown that the field of combining these two extraordinary polysaccharides is an inexhaustible source of ideas and opportunities for the development of advanced functional materials.
Keywords: biocomposites, functional materials, cellulose–chitosan, fibers, films, hydrogels, nanofibers
Published in DKUM: 19.02.2024; Views: 186; Downloads: 17
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Sustainability-oriented surface modification of polyester knitted fabrics with chitosan
Tanja Pušić, Tea Bušac, Kristina Šimić, Mirjana Čurlin, Ana Šaravanja, Katia Grgić, Julija Volmajer Valh, 2024, original scientific article

Abstract: The existing research deals with the process of modifying polyester knitted fabrics and polyester/cotton knitted fabrics with chitosan and the stability of functionalized surface with chitosan in the washing process according to a standard and an innovative washing procedure. The current research concept aims to evaluate the degree of progressivity and progressiveness: the modification of polyester knitted fabrics with chitosan and an innovative washing process. The polyester and polyester/cotton fabrics modified with chitosan were characterized by a staining test, microscopic analysis, zeta potential measurement, and pilling tendency of the knitted fabrics before and after five and ten washing cycles with reference detergent ECE A. The results of the zeta potential measurement of knitted fabrics functionalized with chitosan confirmed cationization of the polyester and polyester/cotton fabric with chitosan. The presence of chitosan on the washed knitted fabrics in reduced quantities is demonstrated by the staining test, the colour strength (K/S), and the zeta potential values. The staining test and surface charge of the tested knitted fabrics confirmed the research hypothesis regarding the degree of progressivity of the modification of polyester and polyester/cotton knitted fabrics with chitosan and the sustainability of the innovative washing process. The streaming potential proved to be a favorable method for monitoring the stability of chitosan in the washing process in combination with a staining test with the selected dye Remazol Red RB.
Keywords: knitted fabrics, polyester, polyester/cotton, chitosan, washing, surfaces
Published in DKUM: 05.02.2024; Views: 181; Downloads: 10
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Seasonal changes in chemical profile and antioxidant activity of Padina pavonica extracts and their application in the development of bioactive chitosan/PLA bilayer film
Martina Čagalj, Lidija Fras Zemljič, Tjaša Kraševac Glaser, Eva Mežnar, Meta Sterniša, Sonja Smole Možina, María del Carmen Razola-Díaz, Vida Šimat, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Seaweeds are a potentially sustainable source of natural antioxidants that can be used in the food industry and possibly for the development of new sustainable packaging materials with the ability to extend the shelf-life of foods and reduce oxidation. With this in mind, the seasonal variations in the chemical composition and antioxidant activity of brown seaweed (Padina pavonica) extracts were investigated. The highest total phenolic content (TPC) and antioxidant activity (measured by ferric reducing/antioxidant power (FRAP), 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging, and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC)) were found for P. pavonica June extract. The TPC of 26.69 ± 1.86 mg gallic acid equivalent/g, FRAP of 352.82 ± 15.41 µmole Trolox equivalent (TE)/L, DPPH of 52.51 ± 2.81% inhibition, and ORAC of 76.45 ± 1.47 µmole TE/L were detected. Therefore, this extract was chosen for the development of bioactive PLA bilayer film, along with chitosan. Primary or quaternary chitosan was used as the first layer on polylactic acid (PLA) films. A suspension of chitosan particles with entrapped P. pavonica extract was used as the second layer. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirmed the presence of layers on the material surface. The highest recorded antioxidant activity of the newly developed films was 63.82% inhibition. The developed functional films exhibited antifogging and antioxidant properties, showing the potential for application in the food industry.
Keywords: functional PLA films, seaweed and chitosan bilayer, sustainable natural antioxidants, microwave-assisted extraction
Published in DKUM: 23.08.2023; Views: 304; Downloads: 17
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Two-layer functional coatings of chitosan particles with embedded catechin and pomegranate extracts for potential active packaging
Sanja Potrč, Tjaša Kraševac Glaser, Alenka Vesel, Nataša Poklar Ulrih, Lidija Fras Zemljič, 2020, original scientific article

Abstract: Two-layer functional coatings for polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) films were developed for the active packaging concept. Prior to coating, the polymer films were activated by O$_2$ and NH$_3$ plasma to increase their surface free energy and to improve the binding capacity and stability of the coatings. The first layer was prepared from a macromolecular chitosan solution, while the second (upper) layer contained chitosan particles with embedded catechin or pomegranate extract. Functionalized films were analyzed physico-chemically to elemental composition using ATR-FTIR spectroscopy and XPS. Further, oxygen permeability and wettability (Contact Angle) were examined. The antimicrobial properties were analyzed by the standard ISO 22196 method, while the antioxidative properties were determined with an ABTS assay. Functionalized films show excellent antioxidative and antimicrobial efficacy. A huge decrease in oxygen permeability was achieved in addition. Moreover, a desorption experiment was also performed, confirming that the migration profile of a compound from the surfaces was in accordance with the required overall migration limit. All these properties indicate the great potential of the developed active films/foils for end-uses in food packaging.
Keywords: plazma, citozan, polifenoli, aktivno pakiranje, plasma, chitosan, polyphenols, coating, active package
Published in DKUM: 12.07.2023; Views: 472; Downloads: 27
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Preparation of Three Dimensional Structures of Polysaccharide Derivatives for Application in Regenerative Medicine : doctoral disertation
Andreja Dobaj-Štiglic, 2022, doctoral dissertation

Abstract: Biocompatible polysaccharide scaffolds with controllable pore size, good mechanical properties, and no hazardous chemical crosslinkers are desirable for long-term tissue engineering applications. Despite decades of development of novel scaffolds, there are still many challenges to be solved regarding their production and optimization for specifically engineered tissues. Herein, we have fabricated several three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds using polysaccharide or polysaccharide-protein composite hydrogels or inks for 3D printing, featuring strong shear thinning behavior and adequate printability. The inks, composed of various combinations of chitosan, nanofibrillated cellulose, carboxymethyl cellulose, collagen, and citric acid, were 3D printed, freeze-dried, and dehydrothermally heat-treated to obtain dimensionally and mechanically stable scaffolds. The heat-assisted step induced the formation of covalent amide and ester bonds between the functional groups of chosen polysaccharides and protein collagen. Citric acid was chosen as a non-hazardous and „green” crosslinker to further tailor the mechanical properties and long-term stability of the scaffolds. We have investigated how the complexation conditions, charge ratio, dehydrothermal treatment, and degree of crosslinking influence the scaffolds' chemical, surface, swelling, and degradation properties in the dry and hydrated states. The compressive strength, elastic modulus, dimensional stability and shape recovery of the (crosslinked) scaffolds increased significantly with balanced charge ratio, dehydrothermal treatment, and increased concentrations of citric acid crosslinker and collagen concentrations. The prepared crosslinked scaffolds promoted (clustered) cell adhesion and showed no cytotoxic effects, as determined by cell viability assays and live/dead staining with human bone tissue-derived osteoblasts and human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells. The water-based and non-hazardous crosslinking methods presented here can be extended to all polysaccharide- or polysaccharide-protein-based materials to develop cell-friendly scaffolds with tailored properties suitable for various tissue engineering applications.
Keywords: chitosan, carboxymethyl cellulose, nanofibrillated cellulose, citric acid, collagen, freeze drying, 3D printing, dehydrothermal treatment
Published in DKUM: 11.10.2022; Views: 564; Downloads: 150
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