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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Sustainable Biofuels and Co-products Research » Research » Research Project #440617

Research Project: Antibacterial Thermosetting Bio-Polymers Derived from Non-Edible Oils

Location: Sustainable Biofuels and Co-products Research

Project Number: 8072-41000-110-006-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2021
End Date: Jul 31, 2024

The Objective is to investigate the biodegradability and cytotoxicity of the bio-polymer coatings. Specifically, two tasks will be performed to meet the objective. The first task will be to determine the biodegradability properties of the bio-polymer products. The second task will be to study the cytotoxicity of the products by using the design multi-assay approaches to predict key receptor affinities and by using the multi-factor screening tools to assess the toxicity.

In Task 1, study biodegradability properties. To ensure societal, regulatory, and market acceptance of biodegradable polymers, ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials) standard methods and protocols are needed to establish the biodegradability and biodegradability of the new antimicrobial bio-polymers and to confirm the benign nature of the breakdown products. To measure the biodegradability of the sample, ASTM D-5864 will be used, which is defined as the conversion of 60% of the material to CO2 within a ten-day window following the onset of biodegradation occurring within 28 days of test initiation. In addition, ASTM D6400 for standard specification for compostable plastics and ASTM D 5988-03 for determining aerobic biodegradation in soil of plastic materials or residual plastic materials after composting will also be used. In Task 2.1, design multi-assay approaches to predict key receptor affinities. With more convincing evidence of negative health impacts of chemicals such as bisphenol A with endocrine disruption (ED) at very low exposures (part-per-trillion to part-per-billion), it becomes critical to evaluate the ED of these newly designed bio-polymers in their early evaluation and discovery. Due to the complex biology of ED, the potential ED of the proposed bio-polymers will be evaluated using the multi-assay approaches modified based on a Tiered Protocol for Endocrine Disruption. The bio-polymers will be subjected to stresses by heat, moisture, microwave or UV, and the leaching chemicals will be collected for toxicity evaluation. In Task 2.2, toxicity assessments using multi-factor screening tools. Based on the general guidelines of the Food and Drug Administration and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences - National Toxicology Program, efficient screening tools including Salmonella mutagenicity test tests, cellular assays, and chicken embryos will be used to study genotoxicity and developmental toxicity for the biodegradable products components and leaching chemicals of the bio-polymers.