A plant cuticle is a thin (0.1 to 10 µm thick) protective film that covers the epidermal cell layer of leaves and fruits. An important protective role that the cuticle plays is as a water permeability barrier. The main structural component of the cuticle is the cutin polymer which is a three-dimensional bio-polyester network constituted from C16 or C18 hydroxy fatty acid monomers and cross-linked by glycerol. The characteristic properties which impart the protective function are the tight packing of the polymer chains, hydrophobicity, flexibility and good mechanical strength. The aim of my project is to develop bio-polymeric film that mimics the plant-cuticle in its structure, function and properties so as to be used as a barrier packaging material as a potential substitute for petroleum based polymers.
Treesearch aims at creating a national platform to support the research on new materials from the forest. Research projects conducted within Treesearch research areas and the researchers who are active in these projects are welcome to join the platform.