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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(7), 1536;

UV-Surface Treatment of Fungal Resistant Polyether Polyurethane Film-Induced Growth of Entomopathogenic Fungi

Laboratory of Photochemistry and Surfaces, Institute of Chemistry, Universidade Federal de Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Av. Bento Gonçalves, 9500, CEP 91501-970 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
Laboratory of Geobiology, Institute of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Pontifical Catholic University Rio Grande do Sul (IPR–PUCRS), Av. Ipiranga, 6681, CEP 90619-900 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
Laboratory of Applied and Technological Physical Chemistry, Escola de Química e Alimentos, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande (FURG), Av. Itália, Km 08, CEP 96201-900 Rio Grande, RS, Brazil
Laboratório de Fungos de Importância Médica e Biotecnológica, Departamento de Biologia Molecular e Biotecnologia, Centro de Biotecnologia, UFRGS, Av. Bento Gonçalves, 9500, CEP 91501-970 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 April 2017 / Revised: 8 July 2017 / Accepted: 11 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials 2017)
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Synthetic polymers are the cause of some major environmental impacts due to their low degradation rates. Polyurethanes (PU) are widely used synthetic polymers, and their growing use in industry has produced an increase in plastic waste. A commercial polyether-based thermoplastic PU with hydrolytic stability and fungus resistance was only attacked by an entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhiziumanisopliae, when the films were pre-treated with Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation in the presence of reactive atmospheres. Water contact angle, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy in attenuated total reflection mode (FTIR-ATR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and profilometer measurements were mainly used for analysis. Permanent hydrophilic PU films were produced by the UV-assisted treatments. Pristine polyether PU films incubated for 10, 30, and 60 days did not show any indication of fungal growth. On the contrary, when using oxygen in the UV pre-treatment a layer of fungi spores covered the sample, indicating a great adherence of the microorganisms to the polymer. However, if acrylic acid vapors were used during the UV pre-treatment, a visible attack by the entomopathogenic fungi was observed. SEM and FTIR-ATR data showed clear evidence of fungal development: growth and ramifications of hyphae on the polymer surface with the increase in UV pre-treatment time and fungus incubation time. The results indicated that the simple UV surface activation process has proven to be a promising alternative for polyether PU waste management. View Full-Text
Keywords: polyether polyurethane; Metarhiziumanisopliae; UV; abiotic treatment; acrylic acid polyether polyurethane; Metarhiziumanisopliae; UV; abiotic treatment; acrylic acid

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Lando, G.A.; Marconatto, L.; Kessler, F.; Lopes, W.; Schrank, A.; Vainstein, M.H.; Weibel, D.E. UV-Surface Treatment of Fungal Resistant Polyether Polyurethane Film-Induced Growth of Entomopathogenic Fungi. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1536.

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