Anchoring Gated Mesoporous Silica Particles to Ethylene Vinyl Alcohol Films for Smart Packaging Applications
Virginia Muriel-Galet, Édgar Pérez-Esteve, María Ruiz-Rico, Ramón Martínez-Máñez, José Manuel Barat, Pilar Hernández-Muñoz, Rafael Gavara
This work is a proof of concept for the design of active packaging materials based on the anchorage of gated mesoporous silica particles with a pH triggering mechanism to a packaging film surface. Mesoporous silica micro- and nanoparticles were loaded with rhodamine B and functionalized with N-(3-trimethoxysilylpropyl)diethylenetriamine. This simple system allows regulation of cargo delivery as a function of the pH of the environment. In parallel, poly(ethylene-co-vinyl alcohol) films, EVOH 32 and EVOH 44, were ultraviolet (UV) irradiated to convert hydroxyl moieties of the polymer chains into –COOH functional groups. The highest COOH surface concentration was obtained for EVOH 32 after 15 min of UV irradiation. Anchoring of the gated mesoporous particles to the films was carried out successfully at pH 3 and pH 5. Mesoporous particles were distributed homogeneously throughout the film surface and in greater concentration for the EVOH 32 films. Films with the anchored particles were exposed to two liquid media simulating acidic food and neutral food. The films released the cargo at neutral pH but kept the dye locked at acidic pH. The best results were obtained for EVOH 32 irradiated for 15 min, treated for particle attachment at pH 3, and with mesoporous silica nanoparticles. This opens the possibility of designing active materials loaded with antimicrobials, antioxidants, or aromatic compounds, which are released when the pH of the product approaches neutrality, as occurs, for instance, with the release of biogenic amines from fresh food products.
Fluorescence, Kinetics, Chemical stability, Nanostructures, Materials