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Issue 35, 2017
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Surface cleaning of artworks: structure and dynamics of nanostructured fluids confined in polymeric hydrogel networks

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Abstract

Nanosystems and confinement tools for the controlled release of a cleaning agent, e.g., hydrogels and microemulsions, have been used for several years for the treatment of delicate surfaces in art restoration interventions. However, notwithstanding the unprecedented achievements from an application point of view, a fundamental comprehension of their interaction mechanism is still lacking. In this study PVA hydrogels, obtained via freeze–thaw processes, are prepared as scaffolds for water-based nanostructured fluids for application in the cleaning of artworks: rheological, thermal, microscopic and scattering techniques showed that, depending on the number of freeze–thaw cycles, the hydrogels exhibit different physicochemical and viscoelastic properties, making them suitable for application in a broad range of cleaning issues. The gels have been loaded with an oil-in-water microemulsion and the diffusion of the microemulsion droplets inside the polymeric network has been investigated through Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS), demonstrating that the microemulsion is permanently kept inside the matrix and can freely diffuse in the network. In addition, we show that when the gel-microemulsion system is put in contact with a layer of hydrophobic grime, a dynamic interaction between the microemulsion droplets and the underlying layer is established, leading to the solubilization of the hydrophobic molecules inside the droplets in the gel matrix. Thus, for the first time, through FCS, insights into the removal mechanism of hydrophobic grime upon interaction with a cleaning agent embedded in the polymeric matrix are obtained.

Graphical abstract: Surface cleaning of artworks: structure and dynamics of nanostructured fluids confined in polymeric hydrogel networks

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Apr 2017, accepted on 05 Jun 2017 and first published on 05 Jun 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7CP02662E
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017,19, 23762-23772
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    Surface cleaning of artworks: structure and dynamics of nanostructured fluids confined in polymeric hydrogel networks

    R. Mastrangelo, C. Montis, N. Bonelli, P. Tempesti and P. Baglioni, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, 19, 23762
    DOI: 10.1039/C7CP02662E

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