Please login first
Biomimetic approaches for design of antimicrobial paper barrier coatings with hierarchical surface structure
1  Sirris – Department of Innovations in Circular Economy and Renewable Materials Gaston Geenslaan 8, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium
Academic Editor: Yongmei Zheng


The design of functional paper coatings with excellent barrier properties towards water and oxygen ingress in parallel with the enhanced recyclability of the coating layer is highly demanded, in view of sustainable applications for paper as a food packaging material in the industrial context. Therefore, enhanced functionalities of the coating layers should be incorporated through a combination of selected bio-based materials and the creation of appropriate surface textures that enhance coating performance. Bio-inspired approaches, through the replication of hierarchical surface structures with multi-scale dimensional features, in combination with the selection of appropriate bio-based functional groups offer new concepts for coating design. In this overview, some of the recent advances in the field are illustrated with a focus on the combination of hydrophobic and anti-microbial coating functionalities. Based on our long-term work with an available toolbox of bio-based building blocks and nanoscale architectures, they can be processed into applicable aqueous suspensions for paper coating deposition. The macroscopic roughness profile of paper substrates can be complemented through the decoration of nanoscale bio-based polymer particles of polyhydroxybutyrate from vegetable oil capsules with dimensions in the range of 20 to 50 nm or 100 to 500 nm, depending on the synthesis conditions. The anti-microbial properties can be provided through the surface modification of nanocellulose with biologically active molecules sourced from nature. Aside from the more fundamental issues in design and synthesis, the industrial application of bio-inspired coatings under spray-coating application becomes relevant.

Keywords: coating; surface; paper; architectures; functionalities