Parchment processing and analysis: Ionizing radiation treatment by the REX source and multidisciplinary approach characterization

Appl Radiat Isot. 2019 Jul;149:159-164. doi: 10.1016/j.apradiso.2019.04.021. Epub 2019 Apr 22.


Library material, and thus parchment, is frequently subjected to bio-deterioration processes caused by microorganisms. Fungi and bacteria cause alterations in the parchment inducing, in some cases, even the partial detachments of the surface layer and the loss of any text present on it. An important contribution to disinfection of the cultural heritage artefacts is given by the use of ionizing radiation. In this work, a preliminary study on the applicability of X-ray radiation as treatment for bio-deterioration removal is proposed. The results on the microbial growth after different irradiation treatments are shown in order to detect the dose protocol for the bio-degradation removal. Furthermore, the evaluation of the irradiation effects on the parchment microstructure is presented in order to define the applicability of the method on parchment artefacts.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / radiation effects
  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena
  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Fungi / physiology
  • Fungi / radiation effects
  • Paper*
  • X-Rays*