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Development of Photosensitizers-functionalized Biopolymers for Bacterial Photoinactivation

Lucas D. Dias a, Mirella Romanelli V. Bertolo b, Stanislau Bogusz Junior b, and Vanderlei S. Bagnato a,c a São Carlos Institute of Physics, University of São Paulo, São Carlos, Brazil;
b Sao Carlos Institute of Chemistry, University of Sao Paulo, São Carlos 13566-590, SP, Brazil; c The Hagler Institute for Advanced Studies, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA


There is a great need for the development of efficient strategies to combat pathogenic microorganisms for the food sector and hospital environment. In this sense, photodynamic therapy (PDT) has gained scientific repercussions due to its high precision, non-invasiveness, high efficiency, controllability, possibility of repeating the treatment, low toxicity, in addition to its low cost.
In this communication, we present our recent achievements on the development of biopolymers based on chitosan and gelatin with curcumin and pomegranate extract as photosensitizers. These biopolymers were characterized by scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), infrared spectroscopy, and fluorescence spectroscopy. Antimicrobial activity by the biopolymers under illumination (at 450 or 525 nm, 50 J/cm2) were evaluated against Gram-positive bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) showing up to 3 log microbial reduction, compared with the control. These biopolymers can be applied as coatings for food packing and for decontamination of medical devices.

Acknowledgements: The authors thank Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) (CEPOF 2013/07276-1) and INCT “Basic Optics and Applied to Life Sciences” (FAPESP 2014/50857-8, CNPq 465360/2014-9). L. D. Dias thanks Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) for his Post-doc grant 2019/13569-8.


Lucas Danilo Dias
University of São Paulo


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