Scientists develop new biodegradable biopolymer to detect relative humidity

 Scientists develop new biodegradable biopolymer to detect relative humidity

Team L&M

Scientists from the Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology led by Prof Devasish Chowdhury, Professor in the Physical Sciences Division, and his INSPIRE Senior Research Fellow (SRF) student Sazzadur Rahman have developed a smart biodegradable biopolymer nanocomposite which can detect relative humidity.

In this, two biopolymers, Guar Gum (a variety of beans obtained from plant) and Alginate (obtained from brown algae), are blended with carbon dots (nanomaterial) to make a nanocomposite film that can successfully detect relative humidity. The fabricated nanocomposite film is an excellent smart sensor based on the fluorescence ‘on-off’ mechanisms against humidity. This research has been published in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules.

The nanocomposite film shows change in fluorescence in presence of high humidity. Hence, the fabricated nanocomposite film can monitor the packed food freshness using just a UV light source.

“Smart and active packaging can help consumers select a fresh product without breaking the pack. Such innovative food packaging boosts sales and reduces consumers’ time to identify fresh food products,” said Prof Chowdhury.

The food industry has an increasing need for non-toxic, biodegradable, low-cost, and environment-friendly material for use as packaging material to replace petroleum-based plastics.


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