Enzymatic grafting of natural phenols to flax fibres: development of antimicrobial properties
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Unbleached flax fibres for paper production were treated with laccase from Pycnoporus cinnabarinus and low molecular weight phenols (syringaldehyde – SA, acetosyringone – AS and p-coumaric acid – PCA) to evaluate the potential of this treatment to biomodify high cellulose content fibres. After the enzymatic treatment with the phenols, an increase in kappa number was found, probably due to a covalent binding of the phenoxy radicals on fibres. Grafting was more evident in pulps treated with PCA (an increase of 4 kappa number points with respect to the laccase control was achieved). Paper handsheets from treated pulps showed antimicrobial activity against the bacteria tested: Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae. An important reduction on microbial count was obtained after incubation of liquid cultures of the bacteria with grafted handsheets. AS and PCA grafted fibres showed a high antibacterial activity on K. pneumoniae, getting a nearly total growth inhibition. AS fibres also caused a high reduction in bacterial population of P. aeruginosa (97% reduction). Optical properties of handsheets from treated pulps were also determined, showing a brightness decrease and increase in coloration, evaluated by CIE L*a*b* system, caused by the laccase induced grafting of the phenols. The results suggest that these low molecular weight phenols, covalently bound to the flax fibres by the laccase treatment, can act as antimicrobial agents and produce handsheets with antimicrobial activity
CitationFillat, A. [et al.]. Enzymatic grafting of natural phenols to flax fibres: development of antimicrobial properties. "Carbohydrate polymers", 04 Gener 2012, vol. 87, núm. 1, p. 146-152.
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