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Engineering  |  FURI

Nathaniel Fink

Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland | Graduation Date: Spring 2019
Materials Science & Engineering

Utilizing Biopolymers with Incorporations of Nanoclays to Develop Sustainable Bioplastics

Mentor: Francois Perreault
FURI: Spring 2018

The primary purpose of this investigation was to ascertain characteristic properties of a multitude of polymers in order to determine a sustainable alternative to thin film food packaging. Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) was incorporated into chloroform (half of this amount was dyed with methylene blue) and deposited onto a substrate. Surface energy, thin film homogeneity, biocompatibility, and antimicrobial activity were analyzed to determine performance properties generally needed for food packaging. The research goals are still in the process of being completed; however, surface energy and homogeneity of PHB indicate it may be an adequate solution to Polylactide-co-Glycolide (PLGA).