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Open AccessArticle

Aesthetic Alteration of Marble Surfaces Caused by Biofilm Formation: Effects of Chemical Cleaning

1
Department of Food Environmental and Nutritional Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Celoria 2, 20133 Milano, Italy
2
Getty Conservation Institute, Science Department, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049, USA
3
Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering “Giulio Natta”, Politecnico di Milano, 20131 Milano, Italy
4
Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bozen, piazza Università 5, 39100 Bolzano, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Coatings 2020, 10(2), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10020122
Received: 23 December 2019 / Revised: 28 January 2020 / Accepted: 29 January 2020 / Published: 1 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coatings on Built Heritage and New Build)
Despite the massive presence of biofilms causing aesthetic alteration to the façade of the Monza Cathedral, our team in a previous work proved that the biocolonization was not a primary damaging factor if compared to chemical-physical deterioration due to the impact of air pollution. Nonetheless, the conservators tried to remove the sessile dwelling microorganisms to reduce discolouration. In this research, two nearby sculpted leaves made of Candoglia marble were selected to study the effects of a chemical treatment combining the biocides benzalkonium chloride, hydrogen peroxide and Algophase® and mechanical cleaning procedures. One leaf was cleaned with the biocides and mechanically, and the other was left untreated as control. The impact of the treatment was investigated after 1 month from the cleaning by digital microscopy, environmental scanning electron microscopy, confocal microscopy and molecular methods to determine the composition and the functional profiles of the bacterial communities. Despite the acceptable aesthetic results obtained, the overall cleaning treatment was only partially effective in removing the biofilm from the colonized surfaces and, therefore, not adequately suitable for the specific substrate. Furthermore, the cleaning process selected microorganisms potentially more resistant to biocides so that the efficacy of future re-treatment by antimicrobial agents could be negatively affected. View Full-Text
Keywords: biofilm; discoloration; Candoglia marble; biocidal treatment; benzalkonium chloride; hydrogen peroxide; metabolic pathways biofilm; discoloration; Candoglia marble; biocidal treatment; benzalkonium chloride; hydrogen peroxide; metabolic pathways
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MDPI and ACS Style

Villa, F.; Gulotta, D.; Toniolo, L.; Borruso, L.; Cattò, C.; Cappitelli, F. Aesthetic Alteration of Marble Surfaces Caused by Biofilm Formation: Effects of Chemical Cleaning. Coatings 2020, 10, 122. https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10020122

AMA Style

Villa F, Gulotta D, Toniolo L, Borruso L, Cattò C, Cappitelli F. Aesthetic Alteration of Marble Surfaces Caused by Biofilm Formation: Effects of Chemical Cleaning. Coatings. 2020; 10(2):122. https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10020122

Chicago/Turabian Style

Villa, Federica; Gulotta, Davide; Toniolo, Lucia; Borruso, Luigimaria; Cattò, Cristina; Cappitelli, Francesca. 2020. "Aesthetic Alteration of Marble Surfaces Caused by Biofilm Formation: Effects of Chemical Cleaning" Coatings 10, no. 2: 122. https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10020122

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