What problem has been solved?
The history of production of polymer coatings with protection properties is not new. However, the methods are being improved, thereby enhancing fundamental science. RUDN University chemists developed nanoparticles where the following four properties are combined not separately but altogether: the first one is traditional – barrier property, and the rest are so called active properties: antioxidant, antimicrobial properties and the ones which protect the product against ultraviolet exposure.
The basis for polymer coatings is bilayer. The unique combination and proportions of polymer components make it possible to obtain films with the following properties:
- low permeability to water vapour and oxygen,
- enhanced mechanic properties: high-tensile strength,
- active properties, i.e. apparent antibacterial and fungicidal effects.
Why smart coatings?
Traditional packaging has only barrier properties. It includes the packaging we are used to seeing every day: plastic, vacuum one. Imagine that you buy a carton of milk or a pack of sausages – they will be in so called traditional packaging.
If the packaging has antibacterial properties, protects against ultraviolet exposure, or has any other properties – it is called active. A whole range of chemical “introductions” are carried out to make each of its variations. For example, it makes sense to introduce antioxidants into the packaging if it has antibacterial properties.
Our packaging is not only barrier and active but also smart. This means that it can respond to changes in the environment, for example, to the increase in humidity and temperature which is not acceptable for the film-wrapped product. The wrapping will change colour in such cases.
How is this discovery different from others?
We have discovered the method for combining many useful properties altogether: antibacterial, antioxidant, and antimicrobial, as well as smart properties. The same nanoparticles are responsible for all these properties. It is the method that is unique. Moreover, the obtained films are biocompatible, biodegradable. They are absolutely non-toxic. Such films are in line with the global trend of going green – this is real green chemistry, i.e. which is environmentally friendly.
How can the new method be applied in everyday life?
Our method is environmentally friendly, safe, simple and cost-efficient. It is the first time the most important useful properties for extending the shelf life of products have been combined. The invented compound can be used as the film in which the product will be wrapped: this will not involve its quality changes. Moreover, the immersion method seems promising: as the material is completely safe, the products can be immersed into it, thereby creating a protective film.
Yakov Kuzyakov, a well-known soil scientist, a leading scientist at RUDN Agricultural and Technological Institute and a professor at the King Saud University, has been awarded the title of highly cited researcher in the field of agricultural sciences (according to Clarivate).
A RUDN chemist has obtained a new compound — a dumbbell-shaped phosphate-bridged molybdenum cluster. The cluster accelerates the reaction of the formation of sulfides from oxides and can be used in pharmaceutical and cosmetic manufacturing.
Mathematicians from RUDN University have studied the properties of compositional operators in spaces with mixed Lebesgue norms. It will help describe the diffusion of liquids in materials with cracks and in porous materials. Such spaces are also useful for obtaining estimates for solutions to the Navier-Stokes equation.