Despina Fragouli

Despina Fragouli
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia | IIT · Department of Nanophysics

Physics

About

140
Publications
34,093
Reads
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3,324
Citations
Citations since 2017
52 Research Items
2307 Citations
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500
Additional affiliations
April 2011 - present
Italian Institute of Technology (IIT)
Description
  • Team Leader
April 2009 - April 2011
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Position
  • Università del Salento
Description
  • Post Doc Senior
February 2007 - March 2009
Italian National Research Council
Position
  • CNR - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
Description
  • Post Doc
Education
January 2001 - December 2002
Chemistry, University of Crete
Field of study
  • Applied Molecular Spectrocopy
September 1996 - January 2001
University of Crete
Field of study
  • Physics

Publications

Publications (140)
Article
Full-text available
This review explores the colorimetric indicators based on anthocyanin polymer composites fabricated in the last decade, in order to provide a comprehensive overview of their morphological and compositional characteristics and their efficacy in their various application fields. Notably, the structural properties of the developed materials and the ef...
Article
Conversion of waste biomass into valuable functional materials accomplishes the concept of circular economy in the development of sustainable waste management, and also recovery of such resources possibly reduces the requirement of feedstocks. In this scenario, the development of methodologies toward the direct conversion of the raw biomass into so...
Article
This paper reports the fabrication of multifunctional composite cryogels that simultaneously remove oil and dye from polluted water through gravity-driven filtration. The cryogels were prepared via cryopolymerization of a poly(sodium acrylate) (PSA) and graphitic carbon nitride nanosheets (CNNs) mixture. Although the different CNNs concentrations t...
Article
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Sub-micrometer particles derived from the fragmentation of plastics in the environment can enter the food chain and reach humans, posing significant health risks. To date, there is a lack of adequate toxicological assessment of the effects of nanoplastics (NPs) in mammalian systems, particularly in humans. In this work, we evaluated the potential t...
Article
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Malva sylvestris (MS) is a medicinal herb known worldwide for its beneficial effects due to the several active molecules present in its leaves and flowers. These compounds have shown antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and thus can be helpful in treatments of burns and chronic wounds, characterized mainly by high levels of free radicals an...
Article
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Although water is essential for global health and the socio-economic development of modern society, providing fresh water universally in a sustainable and affordable manner, for both developing and industrialized communities, is challenging. Polymeric hydrogels have recently drawn increasing interest as promising material platforms to sustainably e...
Article
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This paper reports the fabrication of photothermal cryogels for freshwater production via the solar-driven evaporation of seawater. Photothermal cryogels were prepared viain situ oxidative polymerization of pyrrole with ammonium persulfate on preformed poly(sodium acrylate) (PSA) cryogels. We found that the pyrrole concentration used in the fabrica...
Article
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Interfacial solar steam generation is an emerging strategy to improve the global freshwater supply. Herein, for the first time, a plausible alternative based on bone waste is presented for low-cost solar steam generation and seawater desalination. This is accomplished via the exploration of the appropriate carbonization conditions for the successfu...
Article
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In this study, we present the development of eco-friendly biocomposites composed of polylactic acid (PLA) and microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), using melt extrusion and compression molding processes. In all the studied samples, the PLA/MCC ratio was always 1:1, whereas the plasticizer triethyl citrate (TEC) was responsible for the improved dispersi...
Article
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A photocatalytic system for the degradation of aqueous organic pollutants under visible light irradiation is obtained by an innovative approach based on ceria/platinum (Pt) hybrid nanoclusters on cellulose acetate fibrous membranes. The catalytic materials are fabricated by supersonic beam deposition of Pt nanoclusters directly on the surface of el...
Chapter
The quality of food products is subject to changes during their cycle due to their perishable nature and to various spoilage processes which depend on the type of food and on its processing, storage, and handling conditions. Therefore, both regulatory agencies and consumers have recently invoked the adoption of higher quality and sustainability sta...
Article
Herein, we present the fabrication of multifunctional polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) foams with antibacterial, hydrophilic, and underwater superoleophobic properties for the separation of oil-water mixtures and simultaneous water disinfection. The PDMS foams, prepared following the high internal phase emulsion templating method, exhibit a porous inter...
Article
In recent years, many studies are focusing on the negative effects of plastic pollution, and in particular on the nanosized plastic fragments and their implications on the environment and human health. Nanoplastics in the environment interact with a great number of substances, many of which are dangerous to humans, but the interaction mechanisms, t...
Article
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The exposure of humans to nano-and microplastic particles (NMPs) is an issue recognized as a potential health hazard by scientists, authorities, politics, non-governmental organizations and the general public. The concentration of NMPs in the environment is increasing concomitantly with global plastic production and the usage of plastic materials....
Article
Herein, the development of biobased colorimetric pH porous indicators composed of a polyvinyl alcohol, polyvinyl pyrrolidone and microcrystalline cellulose functionalized with anthocyanins deriving from red cabbage, is presented. As revealed, the presence of 62.5%wt. of microcrystalline cellulose in the composite improves the stability of the porou...
Article
We present the development of a novel and green porous nanocomposite for photocatalytic applications, i.e. SnO2/cellulose acetate fibrous mats. The electrospinning method is adopted to form cellulose acetate/tin salt fibrous nanocomposite membranes, followed by a thermally activated conversion of the salt into SnO2 nanoparticles (NPs), directly in...
Article
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A versatile and straightforward route to produce polymer foams with functional surface through their decoration with gold and palladium nanoparticles is proposed. Melamine foams, used as polymeric porous substrates, are first covered with a uniform coating of polydimethylsiloxane, thin enough to assure the preservation of their original porous stru...
Article
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The accelerated increase in freshwater demand, particularly among populations displaced in remote locations where conventional water sources and the infrastructure required to produce potable water may be completely absent, highlights the urgent need in creating additional freshwater supply from untapped alternative sources via energy-efficient sol...
Article
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Smart stimuli-responsive, photoluminescent materials that undergo a visually perceptible emission color change in the presence of an external stimulus have been attractive since long for uses in sensor platforms. When the stimulus is the presence of water, the materials that undergo changes in their light emission properties are called hydrochromic...
Article
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An innovative approach for the fabrication of hybrid photocatalysts on a solid porous polymeric system for the heterogeneous photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants is herein presented. Specifically, gold/zinc oxide (Au/ZnO)-based porous nanocomposites are formed in situ by a two-step process. In the first step, branched ZnO nanostructures...
Article
Herein, expanded graphite is successfully combined with waterborne polyurethane to develop porous foams with underwater oleophobic properties for the separation of surfactant-free, oil-in-water mixtures and emulsions. To obtain foams with different pore sizes and therefore with different performances in the oil-water filtration process, two solvent...
Article
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Poly(furfuryl alcohol) (PFA) is a bioresin synthesized from furfuryl alcohol (FA) that is derived from renewable saccharide-rich biomass. In this study, we compounded this bioresin with polycaprolactone (PCL) for the first time, introducing new functional polymer blends. Although PCL is biodegradable, its production relies on petroleum precursors s...
Article
In this study, active biocomposite films of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) containing 5% wt. of curcumin, a natural chemical produced by some plants, are developed by melt extrusion and hot pressing. The detailed study of the physicochemical properties of the formed films demonstrates that the curcumin molecules, homogeneously dispersed in the who...
Article
The environmental impact caused by natural and industrial water containing oils and hydrocarbons or solvents is nowadays of great concern, highlighting the need to improve the cost-efficiency and sustainability of already existing materials, or to develop new-ones with better potential. Here, we present the fabrication of a highly porous foam compo...
Article
Full-text available
Superhydrophobic and oleophilic polyurethane foams were obtained by spray-coating their surfaces with solutions of thermoplastic polyurethane and hydrophobic silicon oxide nanoparticles. The developed functionalized foams were exploited as reusable oil absorbents from stable water-in-oil emulsions. These foams were able to remove oil efficiently fr...
Article
A novel approach for the valorization of orange peel waste for the removal of aqueous organic pollutants is presented herein. The orange peel is combined with silk fibroin in order to obtain alcogels, which are successfully converted into highly porous biocomposite foams upon supercritical CO2 drying. The biocomposite shows a Brunauer–Emmett–Teller...
Article
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A photoresponsive microstructured composite is fabricated through the impregnation of cellulosic filter paper (FP) with a spiropyran-modified acrylic polymer. The polymer enwraps uniformly each individual cellulose fiber, increases the thermal stability of cellulose, and ensures the preservation of the composite functionalities even upon removal of...
Article
This study reports a novel two-step approach to fabricate Poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) (PVDF-HFP)/cerium oxide (CeO2) nanocomposite fibrous membranes. The fabrication method is based on the combination of the electrospinning of the polymer/cerium salt solution and the subsequent in situ thermally activated conversion of the salt...
Article
The presence of micro- and nanoplastics in the marine environment is raising strong concerns since they can possibly have a negative impact on human health. In particular, the lack of appropriate methodologies to collect the nanoplastics from water systems imposes the use of engineered model nanoparticles to explore their interactions with biologic...
Article
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The improvement of the electrical conductivity of polymers by incorporating graphene has been intensively studied in recent years. To further boost the electrical conductivity, blending third-party additives into the polymer/graphene systems has been demonstrated as a viable strategy. Herein, we propose a simple route to increase the electrical con...
Article
A new and straightforward single-step route to decorate melamine foams with silver nanoparticles (ME/Ag) is proposed. Uniform coatings of silver nanoparticles with diameters less than 10 nm are formed in-situ directly on the struts surface of the foams, after their dipping in an AgNO3 solution. We prove that the nanoparticles are stably adhered on...
Article
Full-text available
Fibrous mats with hydrophobic and oleophilic properties have been fabricated and used as absorbents of oil from stable water in oil emulsions. The mats were prepared by initially mixing two polymers, poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and polycaprolactone (PCL), in a common solvent. The subsequent electrospinning of the prepared solutions resulted in...
Article
In this study, we report the fabrication of nanocomposites made of titanate nanosheets immobilized in a solid matrix of regenerated silk fibroin as novel heavy-metal-ion removal systems. The capacity of these nanocomposite films to remove lead, mercury, and copper cations from water was investigated, and as shown by the elemental quantitative analy...
Article
In the last decade, a continuous increasing research activity is focused on the surface functionalization of polymeric porous materials for the efficient removal of oil contaminants from water. This work reviews the most significant recent studies on the functionalization of polyurethane and melamine foams, materials commonly reported for oil-water...
Article
Photochromic spiropyran-doped silk fibroin poly(ethylene oxide) nanofibers which combine the attractive properties and biocompatibility of silk with the photocontrollable and reversible optical, mechanical, and chemical response of the spiropyran dopants are herein presented. As proved, the reversible variation of the absorption and emission signal...
Article
The localized formation of gold nanostructures with controlled size and shape on chitosan films doped with gold precursor upon electromagnetic irradiation of various types is here demonstrated. Such controlled formation is achieved by tuning the wavelength, the energy and the interaction time of the radiation with the composite films. In particular...
Article
Polymer foams with controlled and templated pore size have been obtained for the first time by CO2 gas dissolution foaming from poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) films. This kind of materials, with a variable porous structure, mimic some high-performance natural materials and could present significant interest in many applications. However, up to no...
Article
We present a two-step process to obtain PMMA fibrous membranes with homogeneously in situ synthesized zinc oxide nanoparticles of defined shape and size, both on the fibers' surface and bulk. The method is based on the electrospinning of PMMA/precursor solutions and the subsequent thermally activated in situ conversion of zinc acetate to zinc oxide...
Article
Wrapping polymeric sponges in graphene nanoribbons provides an efficient way to separate and absorb heavy crude oil spilled in water.
Article
The localized in situ formation of tin dioxide (SnO2) nanoparticles embedded in polymethylmetacrylate (PMMA) films is presented. This is achieved by the photo-induced conversion of the tin acetate precursor included in the polymeric films, through controlled UV or Visible pulsed laser irradiation at 355 and 532 nm, respectively.The evolution of the...
Article
We present a straightforward two-step technique for the fabrication of poly(methyl methacrylate) composites with embedded aligned magnetic chains. First, ferromagnetic microwires are realized in a poly(methyl methacrylate) solution by assembling iron nanoparticles in a methyl methacrylate solution under heat in an external magnetic field of 160 mT....
Article
Cost-effective oil absorbents for the remediation of oil spills have been developed following a facile process involving the modification of polyurethane foam surfaces with mixtures of silicon oxide nanoparticles and polydimethylsiloxane. Polyurethane foams with different pore sizes and connectivity are tested, and it was found that the proposed tr...
Article
Recycled cellulosic paperboards may include mineral oils after the recycle process, which together with their poor water resistance limit their use as food packaging materials. In this work, we demonstrate that a proper functionalization of the recycled paper with two successive polymer treatments, imposes a mineral oil migration barrier and simult...
Article
Full-text available
The fabrication of spiropyran-doped poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) electrospun fibers and the investigation of their optochemosensing properties when exposed to organic acid vapors are reported. The system is first activated through the conversion of the spiropyran molecules dispersed within the polymer to their fluorescent merocy...
Article
Full-text available
We present the localized in situ formation of Pd and Pt nanoparticles embedded in chitosan solid films. This is achieved by the photo-induced reduction of metallic precursors, previously incorporated in chitosan films, through controlled UV pulsed laser irradiation. Interestingly, at high number of laser pulses, Pd and Pt follow different formation...
Article
Herein we present an interesting approach for the reutilization of coffee waste in water remediation. This is achieved by the development of bioelastomeric foams composed of 60 wt % of spent coffee powder and 40 wt % of silicone elastomer using the sugar leaching technique. In this study, we present the necessary characteristics of the developed "g...
Article
Full-text available
Herein we present the fabrication of hydrophobic and oleophilic poly(methyl methacrylate)-based nanocomposite fibrous mats with magnetic properties, and their utilization for oil removal from stable water–oil emulsions. The incorporation of ferromagnetic iron nanoparticles into the polymeric fibers increases the selectivity and oil removal performa...
Article
Current approaches for the remediation of oil spills propose the utilization of functionalized polymeric foams as efficient oil absorbents. However, for the majority of the materials employed, the studies are focused on sophisticated surface treatments while the significant role of the morphological parameters of the porous structure of the pristin...
Article
The separation of oil from water in emulsions is a great environmental challenge, since oily wastewater is industrially produced. Here, we demonstrate a highly efficient method to separate oil from water in non-stabilized emulsions, using functionalized cellulose fiber networks. This is achieved by the modification of the wetting properties of the...
Article
The simultaneous in situ formation of Zinc oxide nanoparticles and controlled porosity in poly(methyl methacrylate) films is presented herein as an innovative method for the preparation of polymer based porous nanocomposites. The process is based on the conversion of Zinc acetate in spherical Zinc oxide nanoparticles of 9 nm in average, by pulsed l...
Article
Full-text available
Wepresent the in situ localized formation of silver nanoparticles in chitosan films by pulsed UV laser irradiation, as a result of the photoreduction of the silver nitrate precursor loaded throughout the volume of the polymer. TheUVpulsed irradiation is also found to be responsible for the photofragmentation of the previously formed nanoparticles,...
Article
Full-text available
The acid vapor sensing properties of photochromic elastomeric composite films based on spiropyran molecules embedded in poly(dimethylsiloxane) matrices are investigated. The conversion of the spiropyran molecules to their zwitterionic merocyanine isomers upon UV irradiation is essential for the acidochromic response of the composite system, in orde...
Article
An innovative method for the preparation of elastomeric magnetic films with increased magneto-responsivity is presented. Polymeric films containing aligned magnetic microchains throughout their thickness are formed upon the magnetophoretic transport and assembly of microparticles during polymer curing. The obtained films are subsequently magnetized...
Article
We report the fabrication and utilization of elastomeric polymer nanocomposite foams for the efficient removal of Pb(2+) and Hg(2+) heavy metal ions from polluted water. The polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) foams are properly modified in order to become hydrophilic and allow the polluted water to penetrate in their volume. The ZnSe colloidal nanocrystal...
Article
Grasslike compliant micro/nano crystals made of diarylethene (DAE) photochromic molecules are spontaneously formed on elastomer films after dipping them in a solution containing the photochromic molecules. The frictional forces of such micro- and nanofibrillar surfaces are reversibly tuned upon ultraviolet (UV) irradiation and dark storage cycles....