Oct 10

Hot off the Press: Hydration in Fucoidan-Based Multilayers

The group has just had published a new scientific paper (click HERE) in Langmuir, the premier interfacial science journal of the American Chemical Society.  Tracey Ho (busy writing up her thesis at the moment) has produced the second manuscript from her studies into polymer multilayer coatings based on fucoidan (a seaweed polysaccharide) and chitosan (a polysaccharide derived from crustacean shells).  Read a little more about these ‘sushi sandwich surface coatings’ HERE.
Her first paper was on the comparison of polymer coatings based on two different variants of fucoidan (extracted from two different seaweed species – in this case, by one of our industry partners, Marinova Pty. Ltd.). She found that the source of the fucoidan can control the properties of the coating, providing materials scientists with a simple way to tailor surface coatings for particular applications.
The follow-up paper focuses on films made from one of the fucoidans (from Undaria pinnatifida), and looks at how the layer grows in more detail (how it grows in thickness/mass with each additional layer of polymer), and how that relates to the hydration of the film (the amount of water entrapped within/associated with the polymer coating).  The fucoidan/chitosan hydration was seen to influence the hydrophobicity of the coating (how much it likes/dislikes water), a key film property that can alter its effectiveness in applications such as non-fouling surfaces, and low adhesion coatings.
A description of the paper can also be found on Kudos: http://goo.gl/lKpDwO 
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