Cozzolino, Carlo Alessio and Nilsson, Fritjof and Iotti, Marco and Sacchi, Benedetta and Piga, Antonio <1965- > and Farris, Stefano (2013) Exploiting the nano-sized features of microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) for the development of controlled-release packaging. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, Vol. 110 , p. 208-216. eISSN 1873-4367. Article.
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Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) was used in this study to prepare films containing an active molecule, lysozyme, which is a natural antimicrobial agent. The main goal of this research was to assess the potential for exploiting the nano-sized dimension of cellulose fibrils to slow the release of the antimicrobial molecule, thus avoiding a too-quick release into the surrounding medium, which is a major disadvantage of most release systems. For this purpose, the release kinetics of lysozyme over a 10-day period in two different media (pure water and water/ethanol 10 wt.%) were obtained, and the experimental data was fitted with a solution of Fick's second law to quantify the apparent diffusion coefficient (D). The results indicate that the MFC retained lysozyme, presumably due to electrostatic, hydrogen, and ion-dipole interactions, with the largest release of lysozyme—approximately 14%—occurring from the initial amount loaded on the films. As expected, ethanol as a co-solvent slightly decreased the diffusion of lysozyme from the MFC polymer network. The addition of two potential modulating release agents—glycerol and sodium chloride—was also evaluated. Findings from this work suggest that MFC-based films can be considered a suitable candidate for use in controlled-release packaging systems.
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