Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - ULTRAPROMAT (Design and fabrication of ultraviolet (UV) protective materials inspired by nature)

The UV component of sunlight is an environmental deleterious factor to living systems. It also impacts the lifetime of materials by affecting their properties, appearance and durability. An important concern in society is the increased rate of UV damages due to the depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer and higher levels of UV-B and UV-A at the surface of Earth. The objective of ULTRAPROMAT was to marry the UV absorbing properties of natural substances called mycosporines and mycosporine amino acids (MAAs) with the unique physical, mechanical and functional properties of biopolymers (e.g. chitosan), to generate multifunctional “green” materials inspired by Nature. Those materials will exhibit a superior capacity to protect biological systems and materials against the negative impact of UV exposure and will be used in multiple sectors, e.g. the biomedical, cosmetic, food packaging, composite materials, textile and coating industries.

To achieve its objectives ULTRAPROMAT has produced research results of high quality:

1) UV-absorbing materials were developed that combine the UV-absorbing properties of MAAs (bioactive agents, shinorine (SH)) with the unique properties of chitosan (matrix). The chitosan-shinorine (CS-SH) conjugates embrace a combination of interesting properties compared to the former conjugates prepared at the beginning of the project and existing UV-protective products, i.e., they are entirely inspired by nature and provide protection with a high efficiency against both UV-A and UV-B radiations. This novel CH-SH conjugate blocks completely UV radiations, it is thermoresistant and biocompatible as well as being stable under stringent conditions such as heat or high moisture.
A novel approach was also developed to prepare these materials using a mineral acid in aqueous solutions.

2) Knowledge transfer to Institution level through seminars and students supervision (several PhD candidates and Post-doctoral fellows were supervised by the Fellow). The knowledge was also transferred to world and European level through international conferences (e.g., EPNOE (European Polysaccharide Network of Excellence Meeting), 2015; CIMTEC 2016, American Chemical Society Meeting 2017 and other international seminars across Europe).

3) The research results of ULTRAPROMAT facilitated the launch of new R&D projects coordinated by the Fellow. Complementary grants were received after the end of the project from, e.g., the Swedish Research Council FORMAS. These projects will allow the Fellow to progress in her career development in the area of bio-inspired materials derived from renewable resources.

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