Chemical modification of biopolymers and cellulose nanocrystals for the development of bioactive films

The proposed project is aligned in the chemical modification of polymers and cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) to improve the nanoparticle-polymer interactions and maximize i) the reinforcing effect of nanoparticles (polymer filling) as well as ii) interactions nanoparticles bioactive-agent in the manufacture of bioactive packaging films.

Hypothesis: The chemical modification of polymers and CNC optimizes interactions bioactive polymer-CNC-agent and significantly improve the functional properties of bioactive films.
1) Optimize four methods of functionalization of bioactive movies: TEMPO reaction (carboxylation CNC) with the application of chitosan films, crosslinking by gamma irradiation nanocomposites starch CNC crosslinking of chitosan by gamma irradiation in the presence of CNC, CNC grafting polycaprolactone films on the isocyanate to compatibilize CNC (hydrophobic) with insoluble polyesters.
2) characterize the progress of chemical reactions carried out.
3) Determine the in vitro antioxidant capacity of the films and their ability to release bioactive agents during storage.
The films will be synthesized according to procedures developed in our laboratories. Bioactive agents will be selected on the basis of previous studies. The molecular structure of the films will be analyzed by ATR-FTIR spectroscopy. SEM analysis may also be performed.
The mechanical properties of the films, barriers and water resistance of the films will be analyzed to verify the effect of functionalization. The antioxidant properties of the films will be determined according to the method of Salmieri and Lacroix (2006). The release of bioactive agents from film to food (meat or vegetables) during storage will be assessed on the best formulation of bioactive film on a 2-week period by the Folin-Ciocalteu.
Expected Results
Targeted functionalization of CNC and polymers can significantly improve the rheological properties of the films by increasing the CNC-polymer molecular interactions. These results allow to consider a technology transfer with the help of the industrial company that works in this project with our laboratory. “

Faculty Supervisor:

Monique Lacroix


Yonghui Wang



Environmental sciences





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