Publications by authors named "Domenico Sagnelli"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Functionalisable Epoxy-rich Electrospun Fibres Based on Renewable Terpene for Multi-Purpose Applications.

Polymers (Basel) 2021 May 30;13(11). Epub 2021 May 30.

Department of Chemistry "Giacomo Ciamician" and INSTM UdR of Bologna, University of Bologna, Via Selmi, 2, 40126 Bologna, Italy.

New bio-based polymers capable of either outperforming fossil-based alternatives or possessing new properties and functionalities are of relevant interest in the framework of the circular economy. In this work, a novel bio-based polycarvone acrylate di-epoxide (PCADE) was used as an additive in a one-step straightforward electrospinning process to endow the fibres with functionalisable epoxy groups at their surface. To demonstrate the feasibility of the approach, poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) fibres loaded with different amounts of PCADE were prepared. A thorough characterisation by TGA, DSC, DMTA and XPS showed that the two polymers are immiscible and that PCADE preferentially segregates at the fibre surface, thus developing a very simple one-step approach to the preparation of ready-to-use surface functionalisable fibres. We demonstrated this by exploiting the epoxy groups at the PVDF fibre surface in two very different applications, namely in epoxy-based carbon fibre reinforced composites and membranes for ω-transaminase enzyme immobilisation for heterogeneous catalysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/polym13111804DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8198691PMC
May 2021

SERS Biosensor Based on Engineered 2D-Aperiodic Nanostructure for In-Situ Detection of Viable Bacterium in Complex Matrix.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2021 Mar 31;11(4). Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Institute of Applied Sciences and Intelligent Systems "E. Caianiello" of CNR, 80078 Pozzuoli, Italy.

is a foodborne pathogen globally affecting both the economy and healthcare. Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) nano-biosensing can be a promising strategy for its detection. We combined high-performance quasi-crystal patterned nanocavities for Raman enhancement with the use of covalently immobilized Tbilisi bacteriophages as high-performing bio-receptors. We coupled our efficient SERS nano-biosensor to a Raman system to develop an on-field phage-based bio-sensing platform capable of monitoring the target bacteria. The developed biosensor allowed us to identify in milk by our portable SERS device. Upon bacterial capture from samples (10 cells), a signal related to the pathogen recognition was observed, proving the concrete applicability of our system for on-site and in-food detection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano11040886DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8067257PMC
March 2021

Amylose/cellulose nanofiber composites for all-natural, fully biodegradable and flexible bioplastics.

Carbohydr Polym 2021 Feb 22;253:117277. Epub 2020 Oct 22.

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 1871, Frederiksberg C, Denmark. Electronic address:

Thermoplastic, polysaccharide-based plastics are environmentally friendly. However, typical shortcomings include lack of water resistance and poor mechanical properties. Nanocomposite manufacturing using pure, highly linear, polysaccharides can overcome such limitations. Cast nanocomposites were fabricated with plant engineered pure amylose (AM), produced in bulk quantity in transgenic barley grain, and cellulose nanofibers (CNF), extracted from agrowaste sugar beet pulp. Morphology, crystallinity, chemical heterogeneity, mechanics, dynamic mechanical, gas and water permeability, and contact angle of the films were investigated. Blending CNF into the AM matrix significantly enhanced the crystallinity, mechanical properties and permeability, whereas glycerol increased elongation at break, mainly by plasticizing the AM. There was significant phase separation between AM and CNF. Dynamic plasticizing and anti-plasticizing effects of both CNF and glycerol were demonstrated by NMR demonstrating high molecular order, but also non-crystalline, and evenly distributed 20 nm-sized glycerol domains. This study demonstrates a new lead in functional polysaccharide-based bioplastic systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2020.117277DOI Listing
February 2021

Expression of starch-binding factor CBM20 in barley plastids controls the number of starch granules and the level of CO2 fixation.

J Exp Bot 2020 01;71(1):234-246

Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, Flakkebjerg, Forsøgsvej 1, 4200 Slagelse, Denmark.

The biosynthesis of starch granules in plant plastids is coordinated by the orchestrated action of transferases, hydrolases, and dikinases. These enzymes either contain starch-binding domain(s) themselves, or are dependent on direct interactions with co-factors containing starch-binding domains. As a means to competitively interfere with existing starch-protein interactions, we expressed the protein module Carbohydrate-Binding Motif 20 (CBM20), which has a very high affinity for starch, ectopically in barley plastids. This interference resulted in an increase in the number of starch granules in chloroplasts and in formation of compound starch granules in grain amyloplasts, which is unusual for barley. More importantly, we observed a photosystem-independent inhibition of CO2 fixation, with a subsequent reduced growth rate and lower accumulation of carbohydrates with effects throughout the metabolome, including lower accumulation of transient leaf starch. Our results demonstrate the importance of endogenous starch-protein interactions for controlling starch granule morphology and number, and plant growth, as substantiated by a metabolic link between starch-protein interactions and control of CO2 fixation in chloroplasts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erz401DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6913705PMC
January 2020

A low-gluten diet induces changes in the intestinal microbiome of healthy Danish adults.

Nat Commun 2018 11 13;9(1):4630. Epub 2018 Nov 13.

Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark.

Adherence to a low-gluten diet has become increasingly common in parts of the general population. However, the effects of reducing gluten-rich food items including wheat, barley and rye cereals in healthy adults are unclear. Here, we undertook a randomised, controlled, cross-over trial involving 60 middle-aged Danish adults without known disorders with two 8-week interventions comparing a low-gluten diet (2 g gluten per day) and a high-gluten diet (18 g gluten per day), separated by a washout period of at least six weeks with habitual diet (12 g gluten per day). We find that, in comparison with a high-gluten diet, a low-gluten diet induces moderate changes in the intestinal microbiome, reduces fasting and postprandial hydrogen exhalation, and leads to improvements in self-reported bloating. These observations suggest that most of the effects of a low-gluten diet in non-coeliac adults may be driven by qualitative changes in dietary fibres.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-07019-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6234216PMC
November 2018

Cross-Linked Amylose Bio-Plastic: A Transgenic-Based Compostable Plastic Alternative.

Int J Mol Sci 2017 Sep 30;18(10). Epub 2017 Sep 30.

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 1871 Frederiksberg, Denmark.

Bio-plastics and bio-materials are composed of natural or biomass derived polymers, offering solutions to solve immediate environmental issues. Polysaccharide-based bio-plastics represent important alternatives to conventional plastic because of their intrinsic biodegradable nature. Amylose-only (AO), an engineered barley starch with 99% amylose, was tested to produce cross-linked all-natural bioplastic using normal barley starch as a control. Glycerol was used as plasticizer and citrate cross-linking was used to improve the mechanical properties of cross-linked AO starch extrudates. Extrusion converted the control starch from A-type to Vh- and B-type crystals, showing a complete melting of the starch crystals in the raw starch granules. The cross-linked AO and control starch specimens displayed an additional wide-angle diffraction reflection. Phospholipids complexed with Vh-type single helices constituted an integrated part of the AO starch specimens. Gas permeability tests of selected starch-based prototypes demonstrated properties comparable to that of commercial Mater-Bi plastic. The cross-linked AO prototypes had composting characteristics not different from the control, indicating that the modified starch behaves the same as normal starch. The data shows the feasibility of producing all-natural bioplastic using designer starch as raw material.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102075DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5666757PMC
September 2017

All-natural bio-plastics using starch-betaglucan composites.

Carbohydr Polym 2017 Sep 20;172:237-245. Epub 2017 May 20.

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Electronic address:

Grain polysaccharides represent potential valuable raw materials for next-generation advanced and environmentally friendly plastics. Thermoplastic starch (TPS) is processed using conventional plastic technology, such as casting, extrusion, and molding. However, to adapt the starch to specific functionalities chemical modifications or blending with synthetic polymers, such as polycaprolactone are required (e.g. Mater-Bi). As an alternative, all-natural and compostable bio-plastics can be produced by blending starch with other polysaccharides. In this study, we used a maize starch (ST) and an oat β-glucan (BG) composite system to produce bio-plastic prototype films. To optimize performing conditions, we investigated the full range of ST:BG ratios for the casting (100:0, 75:25, 50:50, 25:75 and 0:100 BG). The plasticizer used was glycerol. Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR), using TEMPO (2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl) as a spin probe, showed that the composite films with high BG content had a flexible chemical environment. They showed decreased brittleness and improved cohesiveness with high stress and strain values at the break. Wide-angle X-ray diffraction displayed a decrease in crystallinity at high BG content. Our data show that the blending of starch with other natural polysaccharides is a noteworthy path to improve the functionality of all-natural polysaccharide bio-plastics systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2017.05.043DOI Listing
September 2017

Corrigendum to "Plant-crafted starches for bioplastics production" [Carbohydr. Polym. 152 (2016) 398-408].

Carbohydr Polym 2017 02 10;157:903. Epub 2016 Nov 10.

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Thorvaldsensvej 40, 1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2016.10.077DOI Listing
February 2017

Plant-crafted starches for bioplastics production.

Carbohydr Polym 2016 Nov 12;152:398-408. Epub 2016 Jul 12.

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Thorvaldsensvej 40, 1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark. Electronic address:

Transgenically-produced amylose-only (AO) starch was used to manufacture bioplastic prototypes. Extruded starch samples were tested for crystal residues, elasticity, glass transition temperature, mechanical properties, molecular mass and microstructure. The AO starch granule crystallinity was both of the B- and Vh-type, while the isogenic control starch was mainly A-type. The first of three endothermic transitions was attributed to gelatinization at about 60°C. The second and third peaks were identified as melting of the starch and amylose-lipid complexes, respectively. After extrusion, the AO samples displayed Vh- and B-type crystalline structures, the B-type polymorph being the dominant one. The AO prototypes demonstrated a 6-fold higher mechanical stress at break and 2.5-fold higher strain at break compared to control starch. Dynamic mechanical analysis showed a significant increase in the storage modulus (E') for AO samples compared to the control. The data support the use of pure starch-based bioplastics devoid of non-polysaccharide fillers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2016.07.039DOI Listing
November 2016

Structure of branching enzyme- and amylomaltase modified starch produced from well-defined amylose to amylopectin substrates.

Carbohydr Polym 2016 Nov 27;152:51-61. Epub 2016 Jun 27.

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg C 1871, Denmark. Electronic address:

Thermostable branching enzyme (BE, EC 2.4.1.18) from Rhodothermus obamensis in combination with amylomaltase (AM, EC 2.4.1.25) from Thermus thermophilus was used to modify starch structure exploring potentials to extensively increase the number of branch points in starch. Amylose is an important constituent in starch and the effect of amylose on enzyme catalysis was investigated using amylose-only barley starch (AO) and waxy maize starch (WX) in well-defined ratios. All products were analysed for amylopectin chain length distribution, α-1,6 glucosidic linkages content, molar mass distribution and digestibility by using rat intestinal α-glucosidases. For each enzyme treatment series, increased AO content resulted in a higher rate of α-1,6 glucosidic linkage formation but as an effect of the very low initial branching of the AO, the final content of α-1,6 glucosidic linkages was slightly lower as compared to the high amylopectin substrates. However, an increase specifically in short chains was produced at high AO levels. The molar mass distribution for the enzyme treated samples was lower as compared with substrate WX and AO, indicating the presence of hydrolytic activity as well as cyclisation of the substrate. For all samples, increased amylose substrate showed decreased α- and β-amylolysis. Surprisingly, hydrolysis with rat intestinal α-glucosidases was higher with increasing α-1,6 glucosidic linkage content and decreasing M¯w indicating that steric hindrance towards the α-glucosidases was directed by the molar mass rather that the branching density of the glucan per se. Our data demonstrate that a higher amylose content in the substrate starch efficiently produces α-1,6 glucosidic linkages and that the present of amylose generates a higher M¯w and more resistant product than amylopectin. The combination of BE→AM→BE provided somewhat more resistant α-glucan products as compared to BE alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2016.06.097DOI Listing
November 2016

Synergistic amylomaltase and branching enzyme catalysis to suppress cassava starch digestibility.

Carbohydr Polym 2015 Nov 18;132:409-18. Epub 2015 Jun 18.

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Electronic address:

Starch provides our main dietary caloric intake and over-consumption of starch-containing foods results in escalating life-style disease including diabetes. By increasing the content of α-1,6 branch points in starch, digestibility by human amylolytic enzymes is expected to be retarded. Aiming at generating a soluble and slowly digestible starch by increasing the content and changing the relative positioning of the branch points in the starch molecules, we treated cassava starch with amylomaltase (AM) and branching enzyme (BE). We performed a detailed molecular analysis of the products including amylopectin chain length distribution, content of α-1,6 glucosidic linkages, absolute molecular weight distribution and digestibility. Step-by-step enzyme catalysis was the most efficient treatment, and it generated branch structures even more extreme than those of glycogen. All AM- and BE-treated samples showed increased resistance to degradation by porcine pancreatic α-amylase and glucoamylase as compared to cassava starch. The amylolytic products showed chain lengths and branching patterns similar to the products obtained from glycogen. Our data demonstrate that combinatorial enzyme catalysis provides a strategy to generate potential novel soluble α-glucan ingredients with low dietary digestibility assets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2015.05.084DOI Listing
November 2015

The future of starch bioengineering: GM microorganisms or GM plants?

Front Plant Sci 2015 23;6:247. Epub 2015 Apr 23.

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen , Frederiksberg C, Denmark.

Plant starches regularly require extensive modification to permit subsequent applications. Such processing is usually done by the use of chemical and/or physical treatments. The use of recombinant enzymes produced by large-scale fermentation of GM microorganisms is increasingly used in starch processing and modification, sometimes as an alternative to chemical or physical treatments. However, as a means to impart the modifications as early as possible in the starch production chain, similar recombinant enzymes may also be expressed in planta in the developing starch storage organ such as in roots, tubers and cereal grains to provide a GM crop as an alternative to the use of enzymes from GM microorganisms. We here discuss these techniques in relation to important structural features and modifications of starches such as: starch phosphorylation, starch hydrolysis, chain transfer/branching and novel concepts of hybrid starch-based polysaccharides. In planta starch bioengineering is generally challenged by yield penalties and inefficient production of the desired product. However, in some situations, GM crops for starch bioengineering without deleterious effects have been achieved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2015.00247DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4407504PMC
May 2015
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