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Keywords:

  • transgenic flax;
  • fibers;
  • mechanical properties;
  • FTIR analysis

Abstract

A new generation of entirely biodegradable and bioactive composites with polylactic acid (PLA) or poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) as the matrix and bioplastic flax fibers as reinforcement were analyzed. Bioplastic fibers contain polyhydroxybutyrate and were obtained from transgenic flax. Biochemical analysis of fibers revealed presence of several antioxidative compounds of hydrophilic (phenolics) and hydrophobic [cannabidiol (CBD), lutein] nature, indicating their high antioxidant potential. The presence of CBD and lutein in flax fibers is reported for the first time. FTIR analysis showed intermolecular hydrogen bonds between the constituents in composite PLA+flax fibers which were not detected in PCL-based composite. Mechanical analysis of prepared composites revealed improved stiffness and a decrease in tensile strength. The viability of human dermal fibroblasts on the surface of composites made of PLA and transgenic flax fibers was the same as for cells cultured without composites and only slightly lower (to 9%) for PCL-based composites. The amount of platelets and Escherichia coli cells aggregated on the surface of the PLA based composites was significantly lower than for pure polymer. Thus, composites made of PLA and transgenic flax fibers seem to have bacteriostatic, platelet anti-aggregated, and non-cytotoxic effect. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2012