Texas A&M engineering researchers have created mesh-like mats made with tannic acid. Used in bandages or inside food storage containers, they can help promote prolonged antioxidant activity.
Spoiling foods, souring wine and worsening wounds have a common culprit — a process called oxidation. Although the ill effects of these chemical reactions can be curtailed by antioxidants, creating a sturdy platform capable of providing prolonged antioxidant activity is an ongoing challenge.
Researchers at Texas A&M University might have solved this problem with their new antioxidant mats. Made from an intertwined network of ultra-fine strands of a polymer and an antioxidant found in red wine, the researchers said these mats are strong, stable and capable of delivering antioxidant activity for prolonged periods of time.
“Our innovation is that we have fine-tuned the steps needed to spin defect-free, ultra-microscopic fibers for making high-performing antioxidant mats,” said Adwait Gaikwad, a graduate student in Professor Svetlana Sukhishvili’s laboratory in the College of Engineering and a primary author of the study. “Each fiber is intermolecularly linked to several antioxidant molecules, and so the final mat, which is made of millions and millions of such fibers, has enhanced antioxidant functionality.”
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