07 September 2023

The American Chemical Society Journal has published a new scientific article with the title “From Nanoparticles to Gels: A Breakthrough in Art Conservation Science” as a part of the Langmuir virtual special issue “Highlighting Contributions from our Editorial Board Members in 2023.” The article, that acknowledges the work done in GREENART PROJECT,  was written by University of Florence in collaboration with GREENART project coordinator CSGI.

Here you can find the abstract of the article:

Cultural heritage is a crucial resource to increase our society’s resilience. However, degradation processes, enhanced by environmental and anthropic risks, inevitably affect works of art, hindering their accessibility and socioeconomic value. In response, interfacial and colloidal chemistry has proposed valuable solutions over the past decades, overcoming the limitations of traditional restoration materials and granting cost- and time-effective remedial conservation of the endangered artifacts. Ranging from inorganic nanoparticles to hybrid composites and soft condensed matter (gels, microemulsions), a wide palette of colloidal systems has been made available to conservators worldwide, targeting the consolidation, cleaning, and protection of works of art. The effectiveness and versatility of the proposed solutions allow the safe and effective treatment of masterpieces belonging to different cultural and artistic productions, spanning from classic ages to the Renaissance and modern/contemporary art. Despite these advancements, the formulation of materials for the preservation of cultural heritage is still an open, exciting field, where recent requirements include coping with the imperatives of the Green Deal to foster the production of sustainable, low-toxicity, and environmentally friendly systems. This review gives a critical overview starting from pioneering works up to the latest advancements in colloidal systems for art conservation, a challenging topic where effective solutions can be transversal to multiple sectors even beyond cultural heritage preservation, from the pharmaceutical and food industry, to cosmetics, tissue engineering, and detergency.