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Polymers Nanocomposites with Increased Resistance Against Microorganisms

Regina Jeziorska ,  Maria Zielecka 

Industrial Chemistry Research Institute (ICRI), Rydygiera 8, Warszawa 01-793, Poland


Polymers Nanocomposites with Increased Resistance Against Microorganisms realized within The Operational Programme Innovative Economy, financial perspective between 2007-2013 Priority axis 1. Research and development of modern technologies, Measure 1.3 Support for R&D projects for enterpreneurs carried out by scientific entities, Sub-Measure 1.3.1 Development projects. The project was realized by Consortium: § INDUSTRIAL CHEMISTRY RESEARCH INSTITUTE, Warsaw - COORDINATOR § UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY AND LIFE SCIENCES, Bydgoszcz § OPOLE UNIVERSITY § TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF LODZ § CHEMICAL PLANT POLISH SILICONES Ltd., Nowa Sarzyna The aim of the project was to develop the innovative technologies of silica nanofillers and polymer nanocomposites with enhanced resistance to microorganisms (fungi and / or bacteria) and with biocidal properties. Biocidal properties of silica nanofillers were achieved due to immobilization of silver or copper nanoparticles on the surface of silica nanospheres. The most important advantages of polymer nanocomposites containing the developed additives are high antimicrobial and antifungi activity as well as improved mechanical, thermal and barrier properties and can be applied eg. in kitchen appliances, kitchen, bathrooms, hospitals and other public facilities. The developed technologies will make the use of natural products such as wood fiber and the recycling of plastics waste possible, which offers a positive effect on the environment, as an added-value. The developed technologies are the key factor for increasing the value of innovative products offered by manufacturers producing and applying polymeric materials. Substantive outcome of the project is the development of the following optimized processes: · manufacturing of nanosilica containing immobilized silver or copper nanoparticles · manufacturing of compatibilizer · manufacturing of polimer nanocomposites with incresed resistance to microorganisms The results of research carried out under the project support the assumption that the incorporation of nanosilver and nanocopper provides a stable nanostructure of these metals and, consequently, nanocomposite of expected and satisfactory properties can be obtained. The investigations have shown that nanoparticles of silver and copper built in with the polymer matrix (PE, PP, PVC) are not released to the environment. A comparative analysis of the results show that antibacterial activity is not dependent on the type of polymer but the concentration and distribution of the nanoparticles, both silver and copper. Considering various techniques receiving the composites, it was found that the compression of the material in the form of a thin layer or double-sided surface of the biocides reducing the susceptibility of the material to bacterial adhesion and to effectively shortens their lifespan. Both the copper and the silver introduced in the form of immobilized on nanosilica in concentrations of 5-15% are effective in reducing the viability of the bacteria. The bacteria E. coli, S. aureus, S. Typhimurium are more sensitive than the bacteria isolated from the environment, such as Listeria monocytogenes and Burkholderia cepacia. Moreover, the addition of wood flour composites increases the adhesion of bacteria, but they lose a significant metabolic activity. This effect is an expected consequence for the modified polymer nanocomposites. Any structural changes in the modified polymers treated with bacteria after three months were not found by using infrared spectroscopy and Fourier transformation methods. The solution is competitive with conventional plastics and polymer composites due to the unique properties of these materials resulting from the use of nanofillers, which built into the polymer chains (polyolefins and PVC) increase their barrier properties, strength (eg thermal resistance) and resistance to microorganisms. The technology of nanosilica with built-in copper or silver nanoparticles was confirmed in pilot trials carried out in the Chemical Plant Polish Silicones Ltd., Nowa Sarzyna. The results of the project are as follows: technology of manufacturing nanofillers and polymmer nanocomposites (6 technologies) · 5 patent applications in Poland and 2 international patent applications (PCT mode) covered by the separate project of Innovative Economy · several published papers · 2 dissertations for Masters Degree · experimental part of two PhD as well as several awards on international invention fairs eg. gold medal with distinction at the Brussels Innova 2010 fairs and the Cup of the Minister of Economy.


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Submitted: 2013-06-29 17:46
Revised:   2013-06-29 17:46