Navigation Links
Inexpensive, abundant starch fibers could lead to ouchless bandages
Date:5/1/2012

A process that spins starch into fine strands could take the sting out of removing bandages, as well as produce less expensive and more environmentally-friendly toilet paper, napkins and other products, according to Penn State food scientists.

"There are many applications for starch fibers," said Lingyan Kong, graduate student, food science, "Starch is the most abundant and also the least expensive of natural polymers."

Kong, who worked with Greg Ziegler, professor of food science, used a solvent to dissolve the starch into a fluid that can then be spun into long strands, or fibers. These fibers can be combined and formed into paper-like mats similar to napkins, tissues and other types of paper products.

Once the process is scaled to industrial size, companies could make bandages and other medical dressings using starch fibers. Unlike bandages that are currently on the market that must be -- often painfully -- removed, starch bandages would degrade into glucose, a substance the body safely absorbs.

"Starch is easily biodegradable, so bandages made from it would, over time, be absorbed by the body," said Kong. "So, you wouldn't have to remove them."

Starch is a polymer made of amylose and amylopectin. Polymers are large molecules that are composed of chains of smaller, repeating molecules. Starches, typically found in corn, potatoes, arrowroot and other plants, are most familiar to consumers as cornstarch, potato starch and tapioca starch.

Starch does not completely dissolve in water but instead becomes a gel -- or, starch paste -- that is too thick to make fibers. To solve the problem, the researchers added a solvent to help the solution dissolve the starch, but not destroy its molecular structure, Kong said.

The researchers used an electrospinning device that, in addition to the solvent, helped stretch the starch solution into fibers. The device uses a high voltage electrical charge to create a charge repulsion to overcome surface tension, which stretches the droplets of starch into long strands.

Kong said companies could modify the technique to scale the process for industrial uses.

During experiments on starch fibers, the researchers successfully used an extended range of amylose concentrations from 25 to 100 percent. Kong noted that because starch is so abundant, it is less expensive than other materials currently used to form fibers. Cellulose, typically derived from trees, is one of the most common sources of polymers. Petroleum-based polymers are also used as raw materials. However, both cellulose and petroleum-based materials continue to increase in price, as well as present environmental challenges.

The researchers have filed a provisional patent for this work. The U.S. Department of Agriculture supported this work.


'/>"/>

Contact: Matt Swayne
mls29@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Turning waste into inexpensive, green fuel
2. US Forest Service study finds hemlock still abundant despite adelgid infestation
3. Hemlocks still abundant despite adelgid infestations
4. Rodents were diverse and abundant in prehistoric Africa when our human ancestors evolved
5. New way to generate abundant functional blood vessel cells from human stem cells discovered
6. Starch-controlling gene fuels more protein in soybean plants
7. Cell membranes behave like cornstarch and water
8. New research underscores the health benefits of fibers, including bone health
9. Nanocrystal-coated fibers might reduce wasted energy
10. Killer silk: Making silk fibers that kill anthrax and other microbes in minutes
11. How protein networks stabilize muscle fibers: Same mechanism as for DNA
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/24/2016)... Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of the medical ... premium product recently added to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. ... ... ... Ampronix News ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... , May 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com ... just published the overview results from the Q1 wave ... the recent wave was consumers, receptivity to a program ... data with a health insurance company. "We ... to share," says Michael LaColla , CEO of ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 Infosys ... (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, a global ... that will provide end customers with a more secure, fast ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ) , ... but it also plays a fundamental part in enabling and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... TOKYO , June 24, 2016  Regular discussions on ... to take place between the two entities said Poloz. ... in Ottawa , he pointed to the ... and the federal government. ... Poloz said, "Both institutions have common economic goals, why not ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... UAS LifeSciences, one of the leading manufacturers ... Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The company, which has been manufacturing high quality ... list of well-respected retailers. This list includes such fine stores as Whole Foods, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is ... has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI approval ... Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate methods ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, today announced that ... joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , “I am thrilled that ... of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a scientific integrator, Hays brings ...
Breaking Biology Technology: