Applied Physics A

, Volume 114, Issue 3, pp 705–710 | Cite as

Chemical semi-IPN hydrogels for the removal of adhesives from canvas paintings

  • Joana Domingues
  • Nicole Bonelli
  • Rodorico Giorgi
  • Piero Baglioni


Semi-interpenetrating (IPN) poly (2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate)/polyvinylpyrrolidone hydrogels were synthesized and used for the removal of adhesives from the back of canvas paintings. The high water retention capability and the specific mechanical properties of these gels allow the safe cleaning of water-sensitive artifacts using water-based detergent systems. The cleaning action is limited to the contact area and layer-by-layer removal is achieved while avoiding water spreading and absorption within water-sensitive substrates, which could lead, for example, to paint detachment. The use of these chemical gels also avoids leaving residues over the treated surface because the gel network is formed by covalent bonds that provide high mechanical strength. In this contribution, the physicochemical characterization of semi-IPN chemical hydrogels is reported. The successful application of an o/w microemulsion confined in the hydrogel for the removal of adhesives from linen canvas is also illustrated.


HEMA Cleaning Action Equilibrium Water Content Adhesive Removal Canvas Painting 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors acknowledge Dr. Chelazzi for providing the aged canvas samples. J. D. acknowledges financial support provided by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) through a Ph.D. research grant (SFRH/BD/73817/2010). This work was partly supported by the CSGI, the European Union, Project NANOFORART (FP7-ENV-NMP-2011/282816) and the Ministry for Education and Research (MIUR, PRIN-2009-P2WEAT).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joana Domingues
    • 1
  • Nicole Bonelli
    • 1
  • Rodorico Giorgi
    • 1
  • Piero Baglioni
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry Ugo Schiff and CSGIUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly

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