Differential anti-fungal effects from hydrophobic and superhydrophobic wood based on cellulose and glycerol stearoyl esters

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Wood is still a widely used raw material in many fields and is surface-modified for diverse applications. Though a few studies reported the anti-fungal effect derived from enhanced hydrophobicity of wood surface, no report about the influence of superhydrophobic surface upon fungi is known and the comparison of anti-fungal effects between hydrophobicity and superhydrophobicity on wood surface has not been demonstrated. We herein addressed these aspects regarding the anti-fungal properties of both hydrophobic and superhydrophobic wood. Hydrophobic and superhydrophobic beech and pine, representing hard- and softwood were fabricated, using environmentally friendly organic materials (cellulose and glycerol). Cellulose stearoyl ester was used for dip-coating (1st layer) the wood, leading to a hydrophobic surface and glycerol stearoyl ester was used for brush-coating (2nd layer) the wood, leading to a hierarchical superhydrophobic surface. Results showed that hydrophobic and superhydrophobic woods exhibited better anti-fungal properties comparing with non-treated wood. Furthermore, differential anti-fungal effects of hydrophobic and superhydrophobic wood were observed: superhydrophobic wood could thoroughly prevent fungal attachment to treated wood, while fungi could still be found inside hydrophobic wood after anti-fungal test.

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Y.Y. thanks the China Scholarship Council (CSC) for financial support. K.Z. thanks Georg-August-University of Goettingen for the Anschubfinanzierung (Funding for the promotion of Young Academics of University of Goettingen) and Fonds der Chemischen Industrie (FCI) for the financial support. Y.Y. thanks Petra Heinze for the help of anti-fungal test; Katharina Dabow and Martin Kaßel for the instruction of Contact Angle Meter.

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Correspondence to Kai Zhang.

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Superhydrophobic beech (MP4 11114 kb)

Superhydrophobic pine (MP4 6975 kb)

Superhydrophobic beech (MP4 11114 kb)

Superhydrophobic pine (MP4 6975 kb)

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Yao, Y., Gellerich, A., Zauner, M. et al. Differential anti-fungal effects from hydrophobic and superhydrophobic wood based on cellulose and glycerol stearoyl esters. Cellulose 25, 1329–1338 (2018).

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  • Wood
  • Cellulose stearoyl ester
  • Glycerol stearoyl ester
  • Anti-fungal
  • Superhydrophobic