Effect of Free Volume on Curcumin Release from Various Polymer-Based Composite Films Analyzed Using Positron Annihilation Lifetime Spectroscopy
This work reports the effects of free volume on curcumin release in various polymer-based composite films. Curcumin-reinforced biocomposite films were fabricated with natural biopolymers (carrageenan and chitosan) and bioplastics (poly(lactide) (PLA) and poly (butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT)) via the solvent casting method. The curcumin release test was performed using an aqueous medium, and it was found that it was released the fastest in the carrageenan film, followed by the chitosan, PLA, and PBAT films, presumably owing to the dissimilarity of the polymer matrix. The free volume of the polymer films was determined using positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy (PALS) to understand the release phenomena of curcumin. The free volume fraction was varied and reliant on the type of polymer, with the highest in the PBAT-based film followed by the PLA-, chitosan-, and carrageenan-based films. The free volume method helps analyze the release of bioactive compounds in a polymer matrix and may help to achieve a better understanding of the release of bioactive compounds.