Introduction of an enzyme and a colour-forming reagent into paper enables the development of an authenticity indicator. The purpose of this work was to study the performance of Trametes versicolor laccase, TvL, and ABTS, 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) diammonium salt, in various printing substrates when printed with inkjet. The printing substrates included pre-coated mechanical paper additionally coated with PVA, silica and latex. The focus was on the bioanalytical performance and ink penetration. The setting of the printed TvL and ABTS ink was studied visually, with optical and confocal microscopy and with a so-called tape laminating technique. Technical properties of the printing substrates and effect of the surface chemistry were discussed and related to the bioanalytical properties.
TvL activity persisted well during the printing. The best colour response was attained using the PVA-coated base paper. The film-forming ability of the PVA was found to be the main contributor to the colour reaction. The uniform, dense and non-porous PVA layer retains the ABTS and TVL molecules on top of the printing substrate. The high local ink concentration on the PVA coating layer combined with the absorptive paper substrate suggests that the PVA film acts as a filtering layer which retains TvL and ABTS molecules in the coating layer but allows most of the ink solvents to penetrate into the paper structure. TvL and ABTS molecules are also trapped in the PVA polymer network due to swelling effect of water. Electrostatic attractions between the PVA and ABTS and TvL molecules do not contribute to the colour reaction.
- Bioactive paper
- printing substrate
- ink penetration