Fungal stains affect documents and artworks on paper all over the world, diminishing their chemical stability and compromising their readability. The present paper studies the suitability of agarose and gellan gum hydrogels to remove fungal stains from paper, using paper impregnated with alizarin as a model system to simulate the most common colorant molecules produced by fungi - polyketide quinones. The effect of pH variation on the efficacy of the gels was evaluated by UV spectrometry. The results show that the cleaning efficacy of the gels greatly depends on the gel matrix, the colorant molecules, and the pH balance of the process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104996
JournalInternational Biodeterioration and Biodegradation
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Agarose
  • Alizarin
  • Gel cleaning
  • Gellan gum
  • Paper conservation
  • pH


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