Over the past few decades, biotechnology has provided innovative techniques useful
for diagnosing cultural heritage deterioration induced by microbiological systems
and for defining efficient conservation/restoration strategies. Seen from this perspective,
the International Congress on Molecular Biology and Cultural Heritage
held in Seville (Spain) in 2003 represents a milestone.
This book comes from the experience gained in the last decade of basic and
applied research, developed in the Laboratory of Biology and Biotechnology for
Cultural Heritage (LaBBCH), within the framework of national and international
research projects and in collaboration with other Italian and foreign research institutions.
In particular, biotechnology has found successful application in at least three
areas in the conservative restoration of works of art, such as the characterization of
biodeterioration, the analysis of bioaerosols, and the development of innovative
protocols for biocleaning and bioremoval.
A biotechnological approach to biodeterioration minimizes sample amount, contributing
to understanding the contamination and complexity of microbial communities
colonizing the cultural assets, as well as revealing unculturable species in both
organic and inorganic substrates. This approach, based on genomic DNA analysis,
has also proven useful in recognizing microbial systems in the aerosol of indoor
cultural heritage environments, particularly for those representing a potential health
risk for visitors and professionals.
It is well known that the removal of undesired layers can be performed by viable
bacterial cells or purified enzymes (hydrolases), thus contributing to the development
and definition of specific biocleaning/bioremoving protocols. The application
of novel bioactive molecules isolated from marine organisms has recently been
employed, opening up new perspectives for the enzymatic removal of undesired
This book also presents the use of plant extracts, already utilized as a biocide in
the food, medicine, and pharmaceutical industries, as a strategy for controlling the
microbial colonization of cultural heritage, representing a potential alternative to
There is no doubt that biotechnology provides a plethora of information useful
for setting up appropriate strategies that are totally safe for works of art, restorers,
and environment, and require only a short time of application, straight to green
conservation strategies in a sustainable restoration prospectiveCase studies are reported in the final chapter in order to demonstrate that a biotechnological
approach may represent a valid alternative to traditional procedures
generally used in the conservation/restoration of cultural assets.
In this book, I have tried to present current knowledge in the field, highlighting
the extraordinary power of DNA and of the novel bioactive molecules when applied
to the conservative restoration of cultural assets. I apologize to the authors of those
papers who have escaped my attention, and also to those whose papers I have not
|Numero di pagine||100|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2017|
|Nome||eBook collection Biomedical and Life Sciences|