Explore WARF Inventions and Patents
WARF’s portfolio of more than 1,600 patented technologies covers a wide range of categories, including analytical instrumentation, pharmaceuticals, food products, agriculture, research tools, medical devices, pluripotent stem cells, clean technology, information technology and semiconductors.
Information summaries, which describe each technology and its applications, benefits, inventors and patent status, can be downloaded, printed and shared by clicking on the technology category links to the left on this page.
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- A UW-Stout researcher has developed a practical and cost effective method for surface modification of commonly used plastics using UV induced photo-grafting. Preliminary studies have demonstrated that this method is capable of generating a plastic product with strong covalent linkages to an antifungal compound. Proof of concept studies have focused on the use of low density polyethylene (LDPE), which is conventionally used for cling wrap, and the antifungal, natamycin, which is a natural substance generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration and designated as a natural preservative by the European Union.
- In initial studies during storage at 3 degrees Celsius for 1-2 weeks, the natamycin-bound LDPE plastic inhibited growth of the fungus Penicillium chrysogenum by 60% in agar and by 100% in cantaloupe, and similar outcomes were observed for yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These results demonstrate the clear efficacy of the antifungal grafted plastic, making it a compelling candidate for a product that prevents spoilage while also avoiding migration of preservatives to food. Similar strategies could be used to develop other polyolefin plastics grafted with other antifungal compounds, and they could be applied beyond food, in areas including but not limited to textiles as well as healthcare.