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The use of chitosan in protecting wooden artifacts from damage by mold fungi
Biotechnology Laboratory, School of Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens.
Biotechnology Laboratory, School of Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens.
Agricultural University of Athens, Laboratory of General and Agricultural Microbiology.
Conservation Department, Faculty of Archaeology, Cairo University, Giza.
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Number of Authors: 6
2016 (English)In: Electronic Journal of Biotechnology, ISSN 0717-3458, E-ISSN 0717-3458, Vol. 24, 70-78 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


Many buildings in Egypt e.g. museums, mosques and churches, do not possess controlled environments for minimizing the risks of damage of wooden artifacts due to the growth of fungi. Fungal damage usually appears as change in wood color, appearance of stains, and sometimes deformation of wooden surfaces. In this study we focused on the effect that some fungi exert on the properties of wooden artifacts and evaluated the effectiveness of different concentrations of chitosan on their protection against damage by mold fungi.


Samples were collected from different monuments and environments, and fungi growing on them were isolated and identified. The isolated Penicillium chrysogenum, Aspergillus flavus and A. niger strains were used for the infestation of new pitch pine samples. The results revealed that the lightness of samples infected with any of the tested fungi decreased with increasing incubation times. XRD analysis showed that the crystallinity of incubated samples treated individually with the different concentrations of chitosan was lower than the crystallinity of infected samples. The crystallinity index measured by the first and the second method decreased after the first and second months but increased after the third and fourth months. This may due to the reducing of amorphous part by enzymes or acids produced by fungi in wooden samples.


The growth of fungi on the treated wood samples decreased with increasing the concentration of chitosan. Hence, it was demonstrated that chitosan prevented fungal growth, and its use could be recommended for the protection of archaeological wooden artifacts.


  • archaeological wood;
  • Chitosan protection;
  • crystallinity index;
  • damage of wooden artifacts;
  • filamentous fungi;
  • FTIR;
  • Fungal damage;
  • prevention of fungal growth;
  • UV spectrophotometry;
  • wood deterioration;
  • XRD
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 24, 70-78 p.
National Category
Bioprocess Technology
Research subject
Biochemical Process Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-60085DOI: 10.1016/j.ejbt.2016.10.006ISI: 000389595400012ScopusID: 2-s2.0-8499559561OAI: diva2:1044011

Validerad; 2016; Nivå 2; 2016-11-22 (andbra)

Available from: 2016-11-01 Created: 2016-11-01 Last updated: 2017-01-10Bibliographically approved

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