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November 13, 2015
Seema Saini, LGP2's Ph.D. student, defended her Ph.D. thesis: "Surface modification of cellulose nanofiber to impart active properties for packaging".
This University Grenoble Alpes doctoral thesis was prepared under the supervision of Julien Bras, Associate Professor, and of Naceur Belgacem, Professor (Grenoble INP-Pagora / LGP2).
Seema Saini made her thesis within the framework of the Marie Curie Action NewGenPak dedicated to a new generation of packaging materials with cellulosic fibers for the sustainable development. Besides her scientific activities, the PhD student realized, as Marie Curie Ambassador, several missions of research promotion with students even for training of PhD students, both in France and in India.
The present investigation has developed efficient green strategies for the chemical modification of cellulose nanofibers (CNF) in order to impart antimicrobial activities. Seven different functionalized CNF were produced in this context keeping in mind sustainability and industrial feasibility within new generation packaging field.
First, CNF were designed with cyclodextrin to control the release of natural active molecules. In other strategies, non-leaching contact active antimicrobial surfaces were prepared using natural active molecules or following biomimetic approaches. Results are very promising and allow obtaining efficient antimicrobial surface without any release. High level characterizations confirm surface grafting (e.g. XPS, QCM-D, NMR) and antimicrobial efficiency (S.aureus, E.Coli).
One of the best strategies using antibiotic grafted CNF was produced at lab scale and also implemented at semi-industrial scale. The final idea was to produce medical packages limiting the cross contamination in hospitals.