Fluorinated chemicals find widespread use in hundreds of applications, such as anti-corrosion or anti-icing coatings, liquid-repellent textiles, oil/water separation, fire-fighting foams, paints, pharmaceuticals, and surfactants. Unfortunately, they do not degrade under enzymatic or metabolic conditions, thus showing long-term persistence in the environment and strong tendency to bioaccumulate.
Our research in this field focuses mainly on two topics:
- design of more sustainable highly branched fluorinated compounds, as a ‘greener’ alternative to linear long-chain perfluorocarbons for the development of super-repellent and self-cleaning surfaces, surfactants/emulsifiers, and 19F-tracers for bioimaging purposes.[1,2]
- use of Hydrophobins, a class of extremely surface-active and film-forming proteins produced by filamentous fungi, as a natural surfactant for stabilizing fluorinated coatings on apolar surfaces and preparing stable aqueous dispersions of various fluorinated nanoaggregates.[3-5]
1. I. Tirotta, V. Dichiarante, C. Pigliacelli, G. Cavallo, G. Terraneo, F. Baldelli Bombelli, P. Metrangolo, G. Resnati, 19F Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): from design of materials to clinical applications. Chem. Rev. 2015, 115, 1106.
2. I. Tirotta, A. Mastropietro, C. Cordiglieri, L. Gazzera, F. Baggi, G. Baselli, M. G. Bruzzone, I. Zucca, G. Cavallo, G. Terraneo, F. Baldelli Bombelli, P. Metrangolo, G. Resnati, A superfluorinated molecular probe for highly sensitive in vivo 19F‑MRI. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 8524.
3. L. Gazzera, C. Corti, L. Pirrie, A. Paananen, A. Monfredini, G. Cavallo, S. Bettini, G. Giancane, L. Valli, M. B. Linder, G. Resnati, R. Milani, P. Metrangolo, Hydrophobin as a nanolayer primer that enables the fluorinated coating of poorly reactive polymer surfaces. Adv. Mater. Interfaces 2015, 2, 1500170.
4. R. Milani, L. Pirrie, L. Gazzera, A. Paananen, M. Baldrighi, E. Monogioudi, G. Cavallo, M. Linder, G. Resnati, P. Metrangolo, A synthetically modified hydrophobin showing enhanced fluorous affinity. J. Colloid Interf. Sci. 2015, 448, 140.
5. C. Pigliacelli, A. D’Elicio, R. Milani, G. Terraneo, G. Resnati, F. Baldelli Bombelli, P. Metrangolo, Hydrophobin-stabilized dispersions of PVDF nanoparticles in water. J. Fluorine Chem. 2015, 177, 62.