FP6 priority
1.1.3   Nanotechnologies and Nanosciences, Knowledge-based Multifunctional Materials and New Production Processes and Devices
Title of the proposal

Polysaccharide-based polymers with tailor-made functional properties

Slovak Academy of Sciences, Institute of Chemistry
Dubravska cesta 9, 84238 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
+421 2 59410284

Research subject for a potential FP6 project

The objective of the project is the preparation of new biopolymeric materials with special, tailor-made functionalities from plant polysaccharides, which are applicable in pharmacy, medicine, food, cosmetics, and other sectors. The research activities include:

(i) Isolation of polysaccharides from perspective agricultural plants, particularly from fibber residues (waste material) after the production of cereal grains (straw), corn starch (stalks, cobs, hulls), vegetable oil (rapeseed hulls, sunflower stalks and heads), and other plants using classical and ultrasound-assisted extraction processes;
(ii) Analysis of the chemical composition, structural and molecular parameters, and other physicochemical properties of the isolated polysaccharide preparations used for modification studies;
(iii) Chemical modification of commercial (cellulose, starch, pectin) and non-commercial polysaccharides (prepared as previously mentioned) in order to improve their native functional properties and/or to impart new functional properties to the macromolecules. The most interesting properties are gelling and film-forming properties, increased thermal stability, tensioactivity including emulsifying, foaming, and protein foam-stabilisation effects, and liquid-crystalline behaviour;
(iv) Application of classical and novel chemical modification methods using appropriate solvent/catalyst systems and chemical or physical pre-treatments to increase the reactivity of the polymer;
(v) Characterization of the modified polysaccharides by conventional chemical and sophisticated analytical methods

Recent international cooperation of the research team

NCMH, University of Nottingham, Sutton-Bonington, UK; Institute of Food Research, Norwich, UK; University of Wuppertal, Wuppertal, Germany; CERMAV (CNRS), Grenoble, France; Institute of Physics, State University of St. Petersburg, St Petersburg, RF; University of Rome \"Tor Vergata\", Rome, Italy; National Institute of Health, Prague, Czech Republic; General Chemistry Laboratory, Agricultural University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Proposerīs relevant publications related to the research subject

1.Ebringerova A., Hromadkova Z., Alfoldi J., Hribalova V.: The immunologically active xylan from ultrasound-treated corn cobs: extractability, structure and properties. Carbohydr. Polym., 37, 231-239, 1998.
2.Talaba P., Srokova I., Ebringerova A., Hodul P., Marcincin A.: Cellulose-based biodegradable polymeric surfactants. J. Carbohydr. Chem. 16, 573-582, 1997.
3.Ebringerova A., Srokova I., Talaba P., Kacurakova M., Hromadkova Z.: Amphiphilic beechwood glucuronoxylan derivatives. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 67, 1523-1530, 1998.
4.Ebringerova A., Alfoldi J., Hromadkova Z., Pavlov G.M., Harding S.E.: Water-soluble carboxy-benzylated beechwood 4-O-methylglucuronoxylan: structural features and properties. Carbohydr. Polym., 42, 123-131, 2000.
5.Srokova I., Ebringerova A., Heinze Th.: Emulsifying Agents based on O-(carboxymethyl) starch. Tenside, Surf., Det., 38, 277-280, 2001.