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Antimicrobial and Conductive Nanocellulose-Based Films for Active and Intelligent Food Packaging

1
Department of Chemistry, CICECO—Aveiro Institute of Materials, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
2
Department of Materials and Ceramic Engineering, CICECO—Aveiro Institute of Materials, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
3
Department of Biology and CESAM, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(7), 980; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9070980
Received: 17 June 2019 / Revised: 30 June 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 6 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocellulose-based materials for active food packaging)
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Abstract

Bacterial nanocellulose (BNC) is becoming an important substrate for engineering multifunctional nanomaterials with singular and tunable properties for application in several domains. Here, antimicrobial conductive nanocomposites composed of poly(sulfobetaine methacrylate) (PSBMA) and BNC were fabricated as freestanding films for application in food packaging. The nanocomposite films were prepared through the one-pot polymerization of sulfobetaine methacrylate (SBMA) inside the BNC nanofibrous network and in the presence of poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate as cross-linking agent. The ensuing films are macroscopically homogeneous, more transparent than pristine BNC, and present thermal stability up to 265 °C in a nitrogen atmosphere. Furthermore, the films have good mechanical performance (Young’s modulus ≥ 3.1 GPa), high water-uptake capacity (450–559%) and UV-blocking properties. The zwitterion film with 62 wt.% cross-linked PSBMA showed bactericidal activity against Staphylococcus aureus (4.3–log CFU mL−1 reduction) and Escherichia coli (1.1–log CFU mL−1 reduction), and proton conductivity ranging between 1.5 × 10−4 mS cm−1 (40 °C, 60% relative humidity (RH)) and 1.5 mS cm−1 (94 °C, 98% RH). Considering the current set of properties, PSBMA/BNC nanocomposites disclose potential as films for active food packaging, due to their UV-barrier properties, moisture scavenging ability, and antimicrobial activity towards pathogenic microorganisms responsible for food spoilage and foodborne illness; and also for intelligent food packaging, due to the proton motion relevant for protonic-conduction humidity sensors that monitor food humidity levels. View Full-Text
Keywords: bacterial nanocellulose; poly(sulfobetaine methacrylate); nanocomposite films; antimicrobial activity; moisture scavengers; active food packaging; protonic conductivity; intelligent food packaging bacterial nanocellulose; poly(sulfobetaine methacrylate); nanocomposite films; antimicrobial activity; moisture scavengers; active food packaging; protonic conductivity; intelligent food packaging
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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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Vilela, C.; Moreirinha, C.; Domingues, E.M.; Figueiredo, F.M.L.; Almeida, A.; Freire, C.S.R. Antimicrobial and Conductive Nanocellulose-Based Films for Active and Intelligent Food Packaging. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 980.

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