IPERION HSIntegrating Platforms for the European Research Infrastructure ON Heritage Science

Heritage Macromolecular Laboratory

The Heritage Macromolecular Laboratory is a joint laboratory between the Institute for the Protection for Cultural Heritage of Slovenia (IPCHS) and the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology (UL, FCCT). The Laboratory mainly deals with characterisation of natural and synthetic macromolecules. The uniqueness of the access is in the combination of analytical techniques (listed below) that can offer full characterisation of natural and synthetic polymers, such as cellulose, silk, parchment, leather, as well as characterisation of organic complex paint systems – from complex pigments, such as synthetic organic pigments, traditional organic pigments and dyes, logwood inks, to complex binding media, such as polymers – from natural proteins to modern synthetic. In cases of heterogeneous materials, where the mentioned methods suffer from difficulties in the results interpretation (e.g. modern or traditional organic paint layers) several microscopic techniques (IFM, FTIR micro imaging, and Raman), some techniques as hyphenated chromatographic systems, Thermogravimetric and Dynamic Mechanical Analysis, and Enzyme-Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assays could be additionally utilised in order to assure correct interpretation of results and provide position of the identified compounds in a sample (cross-section). By the access offer of our Heritage Macromolecular Lab new user communities dealing with characterisation of modern and contemporary art and design will be attracted. Furthermore, the proposed techniques can also be utilised for degradation studies of complex natural and synthetic macromolecular materials, which will enable also studies for preventive conservation. The advantage of the proposed Heritage Macromolecular Lab is also in the cross-disciplinary team, composed of chemists, biotechnologists and conservators-restorers.