Aude Cordin is both lecturer at UTC and lecturer-cum-research scientist the Enzymatic and Cellular Engineering (UTC-GEC) laboratory. Her research field lies at the interface between bioresources, biomimetics and polymers.
One of her main areas of research? “I’m looking to design biodegradable encapsulation systems that respond to changes in their environment using molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs). While these polymers are usually petro-sourced, my work involves developing this type of material using bio-sourced monomers or polymers and manufacturing methods that are much “gentler” and more compatible with the environment”, explains Aude Cordin.
This is an issue of interest, since Aude Cordin has been chosen to coordinate the EcoBioPlast project funded by the French agency, ANR. Launched in October 2022 for a four-year period, EcoBioPlast is being conducted in partnership with Antoine Fayeulle from UTC-TIMR.
What is the aim of the project? “The aim is primarily to understand the environmental fate of micro- and nanoplastics in order to develop new, more eco-compatible encapsulation systems for the release of biopesticides, set to replace synthetic pesticides. To date, these biopesticides are not very stable. They can also have solubilisation problems when it comes to formulations. Hence the objective of encapsulating them to facilitate their use, but the matrix must be compatible with the environment, such as polysaccharides from algae, fungi or vegetable oil derivatives, for example”, she explains.
This project follows on from the successful production of molecularly imprinted polymers from vegetable oil derivatives. “The aim was to encapsulate polyphenols, antioxidant molecules. In this particular case, we succeeded in showing that this type of matrix was sensitive to enzymes and was therefore degraded in their presence, allowing the active ingredient to be released”, concludes Aude Cordin.