Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 403, Issue 6, pp 1485–1489 | Cite as

Combining a hydrogel and an electrochemical biosensor to determine the extent of degradation of paper artworks

  • Laura Micheli
  • Claudia Mazzuca
  • Antonio Palleschi
  • Giuseppe Palleschi


Paper-based artworks are among the most valuable assets for transmission of knowledge. Historical paper is composed of different polysaccharides (e.g. cellulose), binders, and glues. During aging all of these components undergo several degradation processes, as a result of external and intrinsic causes, and these can compromise the state of conservation of the document. In this work, application of a new biotechnological strategy for paper artefact preservation is reported. By making use of innovative and non-invasive materials, for example appropriate hydrogels, in combination with selective electrochemical biosensors, it is possible to simultaneously verify the degradation condition of the paper artwork and then to efficiently clean it, while monitoring the process of removal of both pollution and degradation products. In this paper, we focus on specific examples in which such techniques have been applied to paper artworks and that illustrate the advantages and potential of this biotechnology compared with the traditional paper-cleaning methods currently in use.


Scheme of cleaning treatment of old paper and determination of the interested analyte using Flow Injection Analysis system (FIA) with integrated electrochemical biosensor


Cultural heritage Paper artworks Rheoreversible gel Electrochemical biosensor Clean up Degradation process 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Micheli
    • 1
  • Claudia Mazzuca
    • 1
  • Antonio Palleschi
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Palleschi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical Sciences and TechnologiesUniversity of Rome “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly

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