BIONANOSCULP - Biotechnology applications for preventive conservation of outdoor metal/stone based sculptures.

Research and Development
Main researcher: 
Patrícia Moreira

The constant exposure of urban outdoor public sculptures to environmental elements places them in a high-risk group within the cultural heritage property of cities, regions and countries. In addition to the climatic elements and pollution, biological agents have an important role in the deterioration of cultural heritage causing aesthetic, bio-geophysical and biogeochemical damage. The microorganisms responsible for the biodegradation of urban sculptures are different according to the materials present, and often mature ecosystems with bacteria, fungi, lichens and micro-algae are found growing on the surface of art works. Since materials may vary from metals like bronze or iron, or stone-based such as granite, marble or limestone and also include materials of human creation as are the ceramics and cement, the variability of the elements involved in biodeterioration is also high We can also include in this risk group, the archaeological materials that also have similar conservation problems to those of outdoor sculptures. From the point of view of conservation, the work in this type of objects, is either treatments to eradicate responsible agents, or for preventing their growth. The main objective of this project is the development of nanofilms for application as protective layers with antimicrobial effects, possibly also with incorporation of anti-UV effects. The innovation level is high but supported by the vast experience of CITAR-UCP and CBQF-UCP workgroup with experience in biodeterioration of cultural objects and preventive conservation. Partner CICECO-UA is a center of excellence for analytics regarding biomaterials. At the international level, the project counts on the partnership of the SECYR- of the Autonomous University of Madrid to carry out a final product evaluation test. The BIONANOSCULP project is ambitious and will bring important developments in the area of innovative nanomaterials, sustainable, non-invasive and high-performance in the area of conservation and archaeology, very specifically in the area of outdoor sculpture and will certainly have a strong impact on conservation, archaeology and society.

Research group: 
Heritage and Conservation-Restoration