User:Daniel Catt/Notebook/Protein Biofilms Exploration/2011/06/03
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The films made the previous day appeared unsatisfactory once again and were subjected to the 'recasting' procedure as before, which strengthened the films in some respects but the results were inconsistent in thickness and appearance. The goal is to craft a film of more consistent texture, color, and strength.
The bulk of the day was spent experimenting with the qualities of xanthan gum and how it could be incorporated into the protein film. At a 1% w/v solution in distilled water, the xanthan gum formed a translucent and runny gel with a sort of grainy texture to it. Simple mixing with the zein at first led to a substance with the consistency of cake batter, which was interesting but not at all useful. Adding ethanol precipitated out both the zein and the xanthan gum and made the substance essentially unusable. Left to dry this substance became a thin, opaque paper that was very brittle. Another attempt was made to mix ethanol and water together in a 50-50 solution to be used in the dissolution of zein, though this was poorly conceived and ineffective.