Advanced Nanotechnology Thin Film Approaches for the Food and Medical Industry

Vasco Teixeira
University of Minho

Abstract
In the field of nanotechnology-based thin films and coatings, new approaches using nanoscale effects can be used to design, create or model nanocoating systems with significantly optimized or enhanced properties of high interest to the food, health and biomedical industry. With the development of nanotechnology in various areas of materials science the potential use of novel surfaces and more reliable materials by employing nanocomposite and nanostructured thin films in food packaging, security pharmaceutical labels, novel polymeric containers for food contact, medical surface instruments, bio-implants, and even coated nanoparticles for bionanotechnology can be considered.

The use of plastic containers in the food and beverage market has dramatically increased because they are lightweight, unbreakable, convenient, resealable and they may be clear. PET bottles have gradually replaced glass bottles and metal cans as the most common packaging for liquid foods, such as carbonated soft drinks, tea, water, soy sauce and edible oil.In this field of new packaging technologies, nanostructured architectures coatings such as nanocomposite films are given the unique role of enhancing food impact over the consumer’s health. For example, the unique properties of diamond like carbon (DLC) film, including its chemical inertness and impermeability, make it possible for new applications in food, beverage and medical market segments.

In this presentation it will be presented an overview of the nanotechnology approaches to produce nanostructured materials for food and health industry. Topics to be discussed include introduction to nanocoatings concepts (from functional nanocomposite and graded coatings to smart nanomaterial surfaces used in packaging and biomedical industry) produced by clean PVD technologies (Physical Vapour Deposition) and other deposition techniques. An overview of the current research, existing technological applications and future industrial materials and components will be highlighted.

Teixeira, Vasco (2007), “Advanced Nanotechnology Thin Film Approaches for the Food and Medical Industry: an overview of current status,” http://www.nanohub.org/resources/2257/

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~ by vascoteixeira on August 25, 2008.

 
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