Fundamental Research Division
The DRF at the CEA assemble approximately 6,000 scientists since January 2016.
Scientific result | Chemistry | Technologies | Innovation for industry
Certain food packaging may possess antibacterial functions through the adsorption of small molecules. However, during the course of their manufacture at high temperatures, or even over time, these molecules are released and contaminate the food.
In collaboration with the INRAE-AgroParisTech, chemists from Iramis have proposed an alternative path that does not involve any untimely releases, and which utilizes covalent (and therefore stable) bonds between the packaging and an antibacterial polymer.
For the bactericide, they chose polyionene polymers that contain positive charges, separated by hydrophobic segments of an adjustable size.
They first developed a process for grafting these polymers onto glass, comprising three steps in the liquid phase: polydopamine deposition; polymerization induced by diazonium salts; and finally, the polyaddition of ionenes (C13H18). Each of these steps was characterized in detail using various surface analysis techniques.
In parallel, they synthesized several polyionenes by varying the length and nature of their segments (aliphatics and ethers), as well as their molecular weight, and evaluated their antibacterial action and cytotoxicity. Polymers with (CH2)n aliphatic segments were found to be the most bacteriostatic, and revealed increasing efficacy with segment length.
As part of the BRICAPAC project supported by the ANR, three processes were developed to incorporate polyionenes into polyethylene food films.
Each of these processes was evaluated in terms of performance (antibacterial action and cytotoxicity) and industrial applications.
This work is now continuing under the COPOBAC project (funded by the Labex NanoSaclay), which aims to incorporate polyionenes with recycled polyethylene in order to form an antibacterial copolymer.
Robust grafting of polyionenes: new potent and versatile antimicrobial surfaces, Macromolecular Bioscience
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.