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Functionalized starch microparticles for contact-active antimicrobial polymer surfaces

Starch is an attractive biomacromolecule for functional materials due to its renewability, biodegradability, amenability for modification, and biocompatibility in mammalian cell lines. In this research, starch was proposed as a modular platform to produce antimicrobial polymer surfaces. Conjugation of biocidal molecules via chemical grafting onto starch (starch-g-biocide) and its antimicrobial properties in poly (lactic acid) (PLA) polymers were investigated. Polyhexamethylene guanidine hydrochloride (PHGH) was synthesized and used as an antimicrobial agent. The grafting was confirmed by FTIR, proton NMR, and elemental analysis. The modified starch was then incorporated into the PLA films at various concentrations, and the antimicrobial efficacy of these films were evaluated against a Gram-positive bacterium, Bacillus subtilis and a Gram-negative bacterium, Escherichia coli. The results showed that the polymer surfaces have high antimicrobial potency when bacteria contact them. This material therefore has great potential for self-decontaminating surfaces, such as medical devices and food packaging applications.

Publication date: 01/02/2020

Author: Ewomazino Ojogbo, Valerie Ward, Tizazu H. Mekonnen

Reference: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2019.115422

Carbohydrate Polymers


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.