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Photozyme Nanoparticle applications for water purification, textile finishing, photodynamic biomineralization and biomaterial coating

Final Report Summary - PHOTONANOTECH (Photozyme nanoparticle applications for water purification, textile finishing, photodynamic biomineralization and biomaterial coating)

The PHOTONANOTECH project aimed to develop new classical type photozymes, i.e. amphiphilic copolymers containing comonomers with chromophoric groups based on zwitterionic comonomers, and to investigate their long-term innovation potential as:
1. photocatalysts in solar wastewater detoxification and disinfection;
2. a new approach to control the biomineralisation process; and
3. new biomedical coatings and materials with suppressed inflammatory response.

The project was divided into six scientific Work packages (WPs) whose activities were interconnected. During the project period 358 samples of 117 different types of photozymes, both ordinary and hybrid, were synthesised, characterised and tested for their photoactivity. Twenty nine of these samples were prepared in large quantities and used for large scale pilot testing experiments.

Firstly, methods for the preparation and characterisation of the photozymes with cationic, anionic, zwitterionic and neutral photozyme shells and chromophoric cores absorbed in Ultraviolet (UV), visible and near infrared spectra regions were adapted and developed. The preparation of the new class hybrid photozymes was also proposed and assimilated. Moreover, hydrogel materials with good mechanical and tribological performance were developed. They included several types of hydrogel matrices, such as acrylic and polyurethane based individual gels, natural polymer-hybrid networks and double networks.

For the reinforcement of gels different water dispersible and water swellable nanofillers were used. Zwitterionic hydrogels were a very promising type of smart biomaterials. Moreover, the developed hydrogels were non-toxic, and therefore promising for biomedical applications. The Interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) technique allowed for purposeful combinations of different type of polymers being cured by different types of reactions.

A method for the synthesis of natural polymer-hybrid hydrogels with large amounts of hydroxyapatite was also proposed. The obtained results with respect to using photozymes in textiles were anticipated to lead to more efficient and eco-friendly products that would have a positive impact on both cleaning and textile finishing agents markets.

In addition, some of the photozymes were promising for the detoxification of the water contaminated with the toxic pesticides. On the contrary, the detoxification of the phenol contaminated water was not successful. Finally, in the biomedical field, the main results of the PHOTONANOTECH project were the development of new prosthesis and scaffold materials with improved biocompatibility and biomineralisation activity and the realisation of coated scaffolds for bone repair.