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Protein–TiO2: A Functional Hybrid Composite with Diversified Applications

Functionalization of protein-based materials by incorporation of organic and inorganic compounds has emerged as an active research area due to their improved properties and diversified applications. The present review provides an overview of the functionalization of protein-based materials by incorporating TiO2 nanoparticles. Their effects on technological (mechanical, thermal, adsorptive, gas-barrier, and water-related) and functional (antimicrobial, photodegradation, ultraviolet (UV)-protective, wound-healing, and biocompatibility) properties are also discussed. In general, protein–TiO2 hybrid materials are biodegradable and exhibit improved tensile strength, elasticity, thermal stability, oxygen and water resistance in a TiO2 concentration-dependent response. Nonetheless, they showed enhanced antimicrobial and UV-protective effects with good biocompatibility on different cell lines. The main applications of protein–TiO2 are focused on the development of eco-friendly and active packaging materials, biomedical (tissue engineering, bone regeneration, biosensors, implantable human motion devices, and wound-healing membranes), food preservation (meat, fruits, and fish oil), pharmaceutical (empty capsule shell), environmental remediation (removal and degradation of diverse water pollutants), anti-corrosion, and textiles. According to the evidence, protein–TiO2 hybrid composites exhibited potential applications; however, standardized protocols for their preparation are needed for industrial-scale implementation.

Publication date: 07/12/2020

Author: Luis Miguel Anaya-Esparza

Reference: doi: 10.3390/coatings10121194

MDPI (coatings)


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.