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Materials, Volume 9, Issue 6 (June 2016)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) An enzymatically mineralized collagen gel in which human dermal fibroblasts were encapsulated [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview Antimicrobial Approaches for Textiles: From Research to Market
Materials 2016, 9(6), 498; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060498
Received: 15 April 2016 / Revised: 8 June 2016 / Accepted: 15 June 2016 / Published: 21 June 2016
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (2254 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The large surface area and ability to retain moisture of textile structures enable microorganisms’ growth, which causes a range of undesirable effects, not only on the textile itself, but also on the user. Due to the public health awareness of the pathogenic effects
[...] Read more.
The large surface area and ability to retain moisture of textile structures enable microorganisms’ growth, which causes a range of undesirable effects, not only on the textile itself, but also on the user. Due to the public health awareness of the pathogenic effects on personal hygiene and associated health risks, over the last few years, intensive research has been promoted in order to minimize microbes’ growth on textiles. Therefore, to impart an antimicrobial ability to textiles, different approaches have been studied, being mainly divided into the inclusion of antimicrobial agents in the textile polymeric fibers or their grafting onto the polymer surface. Regarding the antimicrobial agents, different types have been used, such as quaternary ammonium compounds, triclosan, metal salts, polybiguanides or even natural polymers. Any antimicrobial treatment performed on a textile, besides being efficient against microorganisms, must be non-toxic to the consumer and to the environment. This review mainly intends to provide an overview of antimicrobial agents and treatments that can be performed to produce antimicrobial textiles, using chemical or physical approaches, which are under development or already commercially available in the form of isolated agents or textile fibers or fabrics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Cleaning and Antimicrobial Surfaces)
Open AccessReview Antireflective Coatings: Conventional Stacking Layers and Ultrathin Plasmonic Metasurfaces, A Mini-Review
Materials 2016, 9(6), 497; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060497
Received: 2 May 2016 / Revised: 31 May 2016 / Accepted: 15 June 2016 / Published: 21 June 2016
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (4402 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Reduction of unwanted light reflection from a surface of a substance is very essential for improvement of the performance of optical and photonic devices. Antireflective coatings (ARCs) made of single or stacking layers of dielectrics, nano/microstructures or a mixture of both are the
[...] Read more.
Reduction of unwanted light reflection from a surface of a substance is very essential for improvement of the performance of optical and photonic devices. Antireflective coatings (ARCs) made of single or stacking layers of dielectrics, nano/microstructures or a mixture of both are the conventional design geometry for suppression of reflection. Recent progress in theoretical nanophotonics and nanofabrication has enabled more flexibility in design and fabrication of miniaturized coatings which has in turn advanced the field of ARCs considerably. In particular, the emergence of plasmonic and metasurfaces allows for the realization of broadband and angular-insensitive ARC coatings at an order of magnitude thinner than the operational wavelengths. In this review, a short overview of the development of ARCs, with particular attention paid to the state-of-the-art plasmonic- and metasurface-based antireflective surfaces, is presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Nanotechnology)
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Open AccessArticle Plastic Behavior of Metallic Damping Materials under Cyclical Shear Loading
Materials 2016, 9(6), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060496
Received: 20 April 2016 / Revised: 14 June 2016 / Accepted: 17 June 2016 / Published: 21 June 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (6437 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Metallic shear panel dampers (SPDs) have been widely adopted in seismic engineering. In this study, axial and torsional specimens of four types of metallic damping materials, including three conventional metallic steels as well as low yield strength steel 160 (LYS160), were tested in
[...] Read more.
Metallic shear panel dampers (SPDs) have been widely adopted in seismic engineering. In this study, axial and torsional specimens of four types of metallic damping materials, including three conventional metallic steels as well as low yield strength steel 160 (LYS160), were tested in order to investigate the material response under repeated large plastic strain and low cycle fatigue between 10 and 30 cycles. The present study demonstrated that both the deformation capacity and fatigue performance of LYS160 were underestimated by the conversion from the traditional uniaxial tensile test. The main difference in the failure mechanism between LYS160 and the three conventional materials was determined from the scanning electron microscopy data. The dominant failure mode in LYS160 is stable interlaminate slip and not bucking. Our results provide physical insights into the origin of the large deformation capacity, which is an important foundation for the lightweight design of SPDs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Structure Analysis and Characterization)
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Open AccessArticle The Manufacturing of High Porosity Iron with an Ultra-Fine Microstructure via Free Pressureless Spark Plasma Sintering
Materials 2016, 9(6), 495; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060495
Received: 14 May 2016 / Revised: 16 June 2016 / Accepted: 17 June 2016 / Published: 21 June 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2059 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
High porosity (>40 vol %) iron specimens with micro- and nanoscale isotropic pores were fabricated by carrying out free pressureless spark plasma sintering (FPSPS) of submicron hollow Fe–N powders at 750 °C. Ultra-fine porous microstructures are obtained by imposing high heating rates during
[...] Read more.
High porosity (>40 vol %) iron specimens with micro- and nanoscale isotropic pores were fabricated by carrying out free pressureless spark plasma sintering (FPSPS) of submicron hollow Fe–N powders at 750 °C. Ultra-fine porous microstructures are obtained by imposing high heating rates during the preparation process. This specially designed approach not only avoids the extra procedures of adding and removing space holders during the formation of porous structures, but also triggers the continued phase transitions of the Fe–N system at relatively lower processing temperatures. The compressive strength and energy absorption characteristics of the FPSPS processed specimens are examined here to be correspondingly improved as a result of the refined microstructure. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Economic Analysis of an Integrated Annatto Seeds-Sugarcane Biorefinery Using Supercritical CO2 Extraction as a First Step
Materials 2016, 9(6), 494; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060494
Received: 22 April 2016 / Revised: 7 June 2016 / Accepted: 15 June 2016 / Published: 21 June 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1719 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recently, supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) has been indicated to be utilized as part of a biorefinery, rather than as a stand-alone technology, since besides extracting added value compounds selectively it has been shown to have a positive effect on the downstream processing of
[...] Read more.
Recently, supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) has been indicated to be utilized as part of a biorefinery, rather than as a stand-alone technology, since besides extracting added value compounds selectively it has been shown to have a positive effect on the downstream processing of biomass. To this extent, this work evaluates economically the encouraging experimental results regarding the use of SFE during annatto seeds valorization. Additionally, other features were discussed such as the benefits of enhancing the bioactive compounds concentration through physical processes and of integrating the proposed annatto seeds biorefinery to a hypothetical sugarcane biorefinery, which produces its essential inputs, e.g., CO2, ethanol, heat and electricity. For this, first, different configurations were modeled and simulated using the commercial simulator Aspen Plus® to determine the mass and energy balances. Next, each configuration was economically assessed using MATLAB. SFE proved to be decisive to the economic feasibility of the proposed annatto seeds-sugarcane biorefinery concept. SFE pretreatment associated with sequential fine particles separation process enabled higher bixin-rich extract production using low-pressure solvent extraction method employing ethanol, meanwhile tocotrienols-rich extract is obtained as a first product. Nevertheless, the economic evaluation showed that increasing tocotrienols-rich extract production has a more pronounced positive impact on the economic viability of the concept. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimisation and Scale-Up of Supercritical Fluid Extraction Processes)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Creep of Polycrystalline Magnesium Aluminate Spinel Studied by an SPS Apparatus
Materials 2016, 9(6), 493; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060493
Received: 8 May 2016 / Revised: 2 June 2016 / Accepted: 16 June 2016 / Published: 20 June 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (5024 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A spark plasma sintering (SPS) apparatus was used for the first time as an analytical testing tool for studying creep in ceramics at elevated temperatures. Compression creep experiments on a fine-grained (250 nm) polycrystalline magnesium aluminate spinel were successfully performed in the 1100–1200
[...] Read more.
A spark plasma sintering (SPS) apparatus was used for the first time as an analytical testing tool for studying creep in ceramics at elevated temperatures. Compression creep experiments on a fine-grained (250 nm) polycrystalline magnesium aluminate spinel were successfully performed in the 1100–1200 °C temperature range, under an applied stress of 120–200 MPa. It was found that the stress exponent and activation energy depended on temperature and applied stress, respectively. The deformed samples were characterized by high resolution scanning electron microscope (HRSEM) and high resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM). The results indicate that the creep mechanism was related to grain boundary sliding, accommodated by dislocation slip and climb. The experimental results, extrapolated to higher temperatures and lower stresses, were in good agreement with data reported in the literature. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Interface Modified by Graphene on the Mechanical and Frictional Properties of Carbon/Graphene/Carbon Composites
Materials 2016, 9(6), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060492
Received: 27 March 2016 / Revised: 8 June 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 20 June 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (7314 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this work, we developed an interface modified by graphene to simultaneously improve the mechanical and frictional properties of carbon/graphene/carbon (C/G/C) composite. Results indicated that the C/G/C composite exhibits remarkably improved interfacial bonding mode, static and dynamic mechanical performance, thermal conductivity, and frictional
[...] Read more.
In this work, we developed an interface modified by graphene to simultaneously improve the mechanical and frictional properties of carbon/graphene/carbon (C/G/C) composite. Results indicated that the C/G/C composite exhibits remarkably improved interfacial bonding mode, static and dynamic mechanical performance, thermal conductivity, and frictional properties in comparison with those of the C/C composite. The weight contents of carbon fibers, graphene and pyrolytic carbon are 31.6, 0.3 and 68.1 wt %, respectively. The matrix of the C/G/C composite was mainly composed of rough laminar (RL) pyrocarbon. The average hardness by nanoindentation of the C/G/C and C/C composite matrices were 0.473 and 0.751 GPa, respectively. The flexural strength (three point bending), interlaminar shear strength (ILSS), interfacial debonding strength (IDS), internal friction and storage modulus of the C/C composite were 106, 10.3, 7.6, 0.038 and 12.7 GPa, respectively. Those properties of the C/G/C composite increased by 76.4%, 44.6%, 168.4% and 22.8%, respectively, and their internal friction decreased by 42.1% in comparison with those of the C/C composite. Owing to the lower hardness of the matrix, improved fiber/matrix interface bonding strength, and self-lubricating properties of graphene, a complete friction film was easily formed on the friction surface of the modified composite. Compared with the C/C composite, the C/G/C composite exhibited stable friction coefficients and lower wear losses at simulating air-plane normal landing (NL) and rejected take-off (RTO). The method appears to be a competitive approach to improve the mechanical and frictional properties of C/C composites simultaneously. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Spectrophotometric Evaluation of Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) as a Core Material and a Comparison with Gold Standard Core Materials
Materials 2016, 9(6), 491; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060491
Received: 9 May 2016 / Revised: 16 June 2016 / Accepted: 16 June 2016 / Published: 20 June 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (291 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigated the colorimetric properties of different veneering materials on core materials. Standardized specimens (10 mm × 10 mm × 1.5 mm) reflecting four core (polyetheretherketone (PEEK), zirconia (ZrO2), cobalt–chromium–molybdenum alloy (CoCrMo), and titanium oxide (TiO2); thickness: 1.5
[...] Read more.
This study investigated the colorimetric properties of different veneering materials on core materials. Standardized specimens (10 mm × 10 mm × 1.5 mm) reflecting four core (polyetheretherketone (PEEK), zirconia (ZrO2), cobalt–chromium–molybdenum alloy (CoCrMo), and titanium oxide (TiO2); thickness: 1.5 mm) and veneering materials (VITA Mark II, IPS e.max CAD, LAVA Ultimate and VITA Enamic, all in shade A3; thickness: 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 and 2 mm, respectively) were fabricated. Specimens were superimposed to assemblies, and the color was determined with a spectrophotometer (CieLab-System) or a chair-side color measurement device (VITA EasyShade), respectively. Data were analyzed using three-, two-, and one-way ANOVA, a Chi2-test, and a Wilson approach (p < 0.05). The measurements with EasyShade showed A2 for VITA Mark II, A3.5 for VITA Enamic, B2 for LAVA Ultimate, and B3 for IPS e.max CAD. LabE-values showed significant differences between the tested veneering materials (p < 0.001). CieLab-System and VITA EasyShade parameters of the different assemblies showed a significant impact of core (p < 0.001), veneering material (p < 0.001), and thickness of the veneering material (p < 0.001). PEEK as core material showed comparable outcomes as compared to ZrO2 and CoCrMo, with respect to CieLab-System parameters for each veneering material. The relative frequency of the measured VITA EasyShade parameters regarding PEEK cores also showed comparable results as compared to the gold standard CoCrMo, regardless of the veneering material used. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Reuse of Textile Dyeing Effluents Treated with Coupled Nanofiltration and Electrochemical Processes
Materials 2016, 9(6), 490; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060490
Received: 25 May 2016 / Revised: 13 June 2016 / Accepted: 14 June 2016 / Published: 20 June 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1798 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The reactive dye Cibacron Yellow S-3R was selected to evaluate the feasibility of combining nanofiltration membranes with electrochemical processes to treat textile wastewater. Synthetic dyeing effluents were treated by means of two nanofiltration membranes, Hydracore10 and Hydracore50. Up to 98% of dye removal
[...] Read more.
The reactive dye Cibacron Yellow S-3R was selected to evaluate the feasibility of combining nanofiltration membranes with electrochemical processes to treat textile wastewater. Synthetic dyeing effluents were treated by means of two nanofiltration membranes, Hydracore10 and Hydracore50. Up to 98% of dye removal was achieved. The influence of salt concentration and pH on membrane treatment was studied. The best dye removal yield was achieved at pH 3 in the presence of 60 g/L of NaCl. After the membrane filtration, the concentrate containing high dye concentration was treated by means of an electrochemical process at three different current densities: 33, 83, and 166 mA/cm2. Results showed a lineal relationship between treatment time and applied current density. Both permeates and electrochemically-decoloured effluents were reused in new dyeing processes (100% of permeate and 70% of decoloured concentrates). Dyed fabrics were evaluated with respect to original dyeing. Colour differences were found to be into the acceptance range. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Processing, Mechanical and Optical Properties of Additive-Free ZrC Ceramics Prepared by Spark Plasma Sintering
Materials 2016, 9(6), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060489
Received: 21 April 2016 / Revised: 23 May 2016 / Accepted: 9 June 2016 / Published: 18 June 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (12614 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the present study, nearly fully dense monolithic ZrC samples are produced and broadly characterized from microstructural, mechanical and optical points of view. Specifically, 98% dense products are obtained by Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) after 20 min dwell time at 1850 °C starting
[...] Read more.
In the present study, nearly fully dense monolithic ZrC samples are produced and broadly characterized from microstructural, mechanical and optical points of view. Specifically, 98% dense products are obtained by Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) after 20 min dwell time at 1850 °C starting from powders preliminarily prepared by Self-propagating High-temperature Synthesis (SHS) followed by 20 min ball milling. A prolonged mechanical treatment up to 2 h of SHS powders does not lead to appreciable benefits. Vickers hardness of the resulting samples (17.5 ± 0.4 GPa) is reasonably good for monolithic ceramics, but the mechanical strength (about 250 MPa up to 1000 °C) could be further improved by suitable optimization of the starting powder characteristics. The very smoothly polished ZrC specimen subjected to optical measurements displays high absorption in the visible-near infrared region and low thermal emittance at longer wavelengths. Moreover, the sample exhibits goodspectral selectivity (2.1–2.4) in the 1000–1400 K temperature range. These preliminary results suggest that ZrC ceramics produced through the two-step SHS/SPS processing route can be considered as attractive reference materials for the development of innovative solar energy absorbers. Full article
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Open AccessRetraction Retraction: Sun L. et al. Porosity Defect Remodeling and Tensile Analysis of Cast Steel. Materials 2016, 9, 119, doi:10.3390/ma9020119
Materials 2016, 9(6), 488; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060488
Received: 17 June 2016 / Revised: 17 June 2016 / Accepted: 17 June 2016 / Published: 18 June 2016
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Abstract
We have been made aware that the figures and experimental data of this article [1] are duplicated from another publication by Hardin et al. [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle Preparation of Nanofibrous Structure of Mesoporous Bioactive Glass Microbeads for Biomedical Applications
Materials 2016, 9(6), 487; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060487
Received: 3 May 2016 / Revised: 4 June 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (5840 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A highly ordered, mesoporous (pore size 2~50 nm) bioactive glass (MBG) structure has a greater surface area and pore volume and excellent bone-forming bioactivity compared with traditional bioactive glasses (BGs). Hence, MBGs have been used in drug delivery and bone tissue engineering. MBGs
[...] Read more.
A highly ordered, mesoporous (pore size 2~50 nm) bioactive glass (MBG) structure has a greater surface area and pore volume and excellent bone-forming bioactivity compared with traditional bioactive glasses (BGs). Hence, MBGs have been used in drug delivery and bone tissue engineering. MBGs can be developed as either a dense or porous block. Compared with a block, microbeads provide greater flexibility for filling different-shaped cavities and are suitable for culturing cells in vitro. In contrast, the fibrous structure of a scaffold has been shown to increase cell attachment and differentiation due to its ability to mimic the three-dimensional structure of natural extracellular matrices. Hence, the aim of this study is to fabricate MBG microbeads with a fibrous structure. First, a sol-gel/electrospinning technique was utilized to fabricate the MBG nanofiber (MBGNF) structure. Subsequently, the MBGNF microbeads (MFBs) were produced by an electrospraying technology. The results show that the diameter of the MFBs decreases when the applied voltage increases. The drug loading and release profiles and mechanisms of the MFBs were also evaluated. MFBs had a better drug entrapment efficiency, could reduce the burst release of tetracycline, and sustain the release over 10 days. Hence, the MFBs may be suitable drug carriers. In addition, the cellular attachment of MG63 osteoblast-like cells is significantly higher for MFBs than for glass microbeads after culturing for 4 h. The nanofibrous structure of MFBs could provide an appropriate environment for cellular spreading. Therefore, MFBs have great potential for use as a bone graft material in bone tissue engineering applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioceramics 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Oil-in-Water Self-Assembled Synthesis of Ag@AgCl Nano-Particles on Flower-like Bi2O2CO3 with Enhanced Visible-Light-Driven Photocatalytic Activity
Materials 2016, 9(6), 486; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060486
Received: 9 May 2016 / Revised: 7 June 2016 / Accepted: 12 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (4623 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this work, a series of novel flower-like Ag@AgCl/Bi2O2CO3 were prepared by simple and feasible oil-in-water self-assembly processes. The phase structures of as-prepared samples were examined by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM),
[...] Read more.
In this work, a series of novel flower-like Ag@AgCl/Bi2O2CO3 were prepared by simple and feasible oil-in-water self-assembly processes. The phase structures of as-prepared samples were examined by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (XRF), etc. The characterization results indicated that the presence of Ag@AgCl did not affect the crystal structure, but exerted a great influence on the photocatalytic activity of Bi2O2CO3 and enhanced the absorption band of pure Bi2O2CO3. The photocatalytic activities of the Ag@AgCl/Bi2O2CO3 samples were determined by photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue (MB) under visible light irradiation. The Ag@AgCl (10 wt %)/Bi2O2CO3 composite showed the highest photocatalytic activity, degrading 97.9% MB after irradiation for 20 min, which is over 1.64 and 3.66 times faster than that of pure Ag@AgCl (calculated based on the equivalent Ag@AgCl content in Ag@AgCl (10 wt %)/Bi2O2CO3) and pure Bi2O2CO3, respectively. Bisphenol A (BPA) was also degraded to further prove the degradation ability of Ag@AgCl/Bi2O2CO3. Photocurrent studies indicated that the recombination of photo-generated electron–hole pairs was decreased effectively due to the formation of heterojunctions between flower-like Bi2O2CO3 and Ag@AgCl nanoparticles. Trapping experiments indicated that O2, h+ and Cl° acted as the main reactive species for MB degradation in the present photocatalytic system. Furthermore, the cycling experiments revealed the good stability of Ag@AgCl/Bi2O2CO3 composites. Based on the above, a photocatalytic mechanism for the degradation of organic compounds over Ag@AgCl/Bi2O2CO3 was proposed. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview A Review on Electroactive Polymers for Waste Heat Recovery
Materials 2016, 9(6), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060485
Received: 30 April 2016 / Revised: 1 June 2016 / Accepted: 14 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (455 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper reviews materials for thermoelectric waste heat recovery, and discusses selected industrial and distributed waste heat sources as well as recovery methods that are currently applied. Thermoelectric properties, especially electrical conductivity, thermopower, thermal conductivity and the thermoelectric figures of merit, are considered
[...] Read more.
This paper reviews materials for thermoelectric waste heat recovery, and discusses selected industrial and distributed waste heat sources as well as recovery methods that are currently applied. Thermoelectric properties, especially electrical conductivity, thermopower, thermal conductivity and the thermoelectric figures of merit, are considered when evaluating thermoelectric materials for waste heat recovery. Alloys and oxides are briefly discussed as materials suitable for medium- and high-grade sources. Electroactive polymers are presented as a new group of materials for low-grade sources. Polyaniline is a particularly fitting polymer for these purposes. We also discuss types of modifiers and modification methods, and their influence on the thermoelectric performance of this class of polymers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electroactive Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle A Reinvestigation of a Superhard Tetragonal sp3 Carbon Allotrope
Materials 2016, 9(6), 484; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060484
Received: 5 May 2016 / Revised: 8 June 2016 / Accepted: 13 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2488 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
I4¯–carbon was first proposed by Zhang et al., this paper will report regarding this phase of carbon. The present paper reports the structural and elastic properties of the three-dimensional carbon allotrope I4¯–carbon using first-principles density functional
[...] Read more.
I 4 ¯ –carbon was first proposed by Zhang et al., this paper will report regarding this phase of carbon. The present paper reports the structural and elastic properties of the three-dimensional carbon allotrope I 4 ¯ –carbon using first-principles density functional theory. The related enthalpy, elastic constants, and phonon spectra confirm that the newly-predicted I 4 ¯ –carbon is thermodynamically, mechanically, and dynamically stable. The calculated mechanical properties indicate that I 4 ¯ –carbon has a larger bulk modulus (393 GPa), shear modulus (421 GPa), Young’s modulus (931 GPa), and hardness (55.5 GPa), all of which are all slightly larger than those of c-BN. The present results indicate that I 4 ¯ –carbon is a superhard material and an indirect-band-gap semiconductor. Moreover, I 4 ¯ –carbon shows a smaller elastic anisotropy in its linear bulk modulus, shear anisotropic factors, universal anisotropic index, and Young’s modulus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computational Multiscale Modeling and Simulation in Materials Science)
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Open AccessArticle An Artificial Neural Network-Based Algorithm for Evaluation of Fatigue Crack Propagation Considering Nonlinear Damage Accumulation
Materials 2016, 9(6), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060483
Received: 5 March 2016 / Revised: 8 June 2016 / Accepted: 10 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (5567 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the aerospace and aviation sectors, the damage tolerance concept has been applied widely so that the modeling analysis of fatigue crack growth has become more and more significant. Since the process of crack propagation is highly nonlinear and determined by many factors,
[...] Read more.
In the aerospace and aviation sectors, the damage tolerance concept has been applied widely so that the modeling analysis of fatigue crack growth has become more and more significant. Since the process of crack propagation is highly nonlinear and determined by many factors, such as applied stress, plastic zone in the crack tip, length of the crack, etc., it is difficult to build up a general and flexible explicit function to accurately quantify this complicated relationship. Fortunately, the artificial neural network (ANN) is considered a powerful tool for establishing the nonlinear multivariate projection which shows potential in handling the fatigue crack problem. In this paper, a novel fatigue crack calculation algorithm based on a radial basis function (RBF)-ANN is proposed to study this relationship from the experimental data. In addition, a parameter called the equivalent stress intensity factor is also employed as training data to account for loading interaction effects. The testing data is then placed under constant amplitude loading with different stress ratios or overloads used for model validation. Moreover, the Forman and Wheeler equations are also adopted to compare with our proposed algorithm. The current investigation shows that the ANN-based approach can deliver a better agreement with the experimental data than the other two models, which supports that the RBF-ANN has nontrivial advantages in handling the fatigue crack growth problem. Furthermore, it implies that the proposed algorithm is possibly a sophisticated and promising method to compute fatigue crack growth in terms of loading interaction effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Structure Analysis and Characterization)
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Open AccessArticle Dedifferentiated Human Articular Chondrocytes Redifferentiate to a Cartilage-Like Tissue Phenotype in a Poly(ε-Caprolactone)/Self-Assembling Peptide Composite Scaffold
Materials 2016, 9(6), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060472
Received: 27 April 2016 / Revised: 29 May 2016 / Accepted: 3 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (4651 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Adult articular cartilage has a limited capacity for growth and regeneration and, with injury, new cellular or biomaterial-based therapeutic platforms are required to promote repair. Tissue engineering aims to produce cartilage-like tissues that recreate the complex mechanical and biological properties found in vivo
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Adult articular cartilage has a limited capacity for growth and regeneration and, with injury, new cellular or biomaterial-based therapeutic platforms are required to promote repair. Tissue engineering aims to produce cartilage-like tissues that recreate the complex mechanical and biological properties found in vivo. In this study, a unique composite scaffold was developed by infiltrating a three-dimensional (3D) woven microfiber poly (ε-caprolactone) (PCL) scaffold with the RAD16-I self-assembling nanofibers to obtain multi-scale functional and biomimetic tissue-engineered constructs. The scaffold was seeded with expanded dedifferentiated human articular chondrocytes and cultured for four weeks in control and chondrogenic growth conditions. The composite constructs were compared to control constructs obtained by culturing cells with 3D woven PCL scaffolds or RAD16-I independently. High viability and homogeneous cell distribution were observed in all three scaffolds used during the term of the culture. Moreover, gene and protein expression profiles revealed that chondrogenic markers were favored in the presence of RAD16-I peptide (PCL/RAD composite or alone) under chondrogenic induction conditions. Further, constructs displayed positive staining for toluidine blue, indicating the presence of synthesized proteoglycans. Finally, mechanical testing showed that constructs containing the PCL scaffold maintained the initial shape and viscoelastic behavior throughout the culture period, while constructs with RAD16-I scaffold alone contracted during culture time into a stiffer and compacted structure. Altogether, these results suggest that this new composite scaffold provides important mechanical requirements for a cartilage replacement, while providing a biomimetic microenvironment to re-establish the chondrogenic phenotype of human expanded articular chondrocytes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Hydrogels for (Bio)printing Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Spark Plasma Co-Sintering of Mechanically Milled Tool Steel and High Speed Steel Powders
Materials 2016, 9(6), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060482
Received: 15 May 2016 / Revised: 7 June 2016 / Accepted: 9 June 2016 / Published: 16 June 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (10479 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hot work tool steel (AISI H13) and high speed steel (AISI M3:2) powders were successfully co-sintered to produce hybrid tool steels that have properties and microstructures that can be modulated for specific applications. To promote co-sintering, which is made difficult by the various
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Hot work tool steel (AISI H13) and high speed steel (AISI M3:2) powders were successfully co-sintered to produce hybrid tool steels that have properties and microstructures that can be modulated for specific applications. To promote co-sintering, which is made difficult by the various densification kinetics of the two steels, the particle sizes and structures were refined by mechanical milling (MM). Near full density samples (>99.5%) showing very fine and homogeneous microstructure were obtained using spark plasma sintering (SPS). The density of the blends (20, 40, 60, 80 wt % H13) was in agreement with the linear rule of mixtures. Their hardness showed a positive deviation, which could be ascribed to the strengthening effect of the secondary particles altering the stress distribution during indentation. A toughening of the M3:2-rich blends could be explained in view of the crack deviation and crack arrest exerted by the H13 particles. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Lithium Doping on the Sintering and Grain Growth of SPS-Processed, Non-Stoichiometric Magnesium Aluminate Spinel
Materials 2016, 9(6), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060481
Received: 11 May 2016 / Revised: 2 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 16 June 2016
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Abstract
The effects of lithium doping on the sintering and grain growth of non-stoichiometric nano-sized magnesium aluminate spinel were studied using a spark plasma sintering (SPS) apparatus. Li-doped nano-MgO·nAl2O3 spinel (n = 1.06 and 1.21) powders containing 0,
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The effects of lithium doping on the sintering and grain growth of non-stoichiometric nano-sized magnesium aluminate spinel were studied using a spark plasma sintering (SPS) apparatus. Li-doped nano-MgO·nAl2O3 spinel (n = 1.06 and 1.21) powders containing 0, 0.20, 0.50 or 1.00 at. % Li were synthesized by the solution combustion method and dense specimens were processed using a SPS apparatus at 1200 °C and under an applied pressure of 150 MPa. The SPS-processed samples showed mutual dependency on the lithium concentration and the alumina-to-magnesia ratio. For example, the density and hardness values of near-stoichiometry samples (n = 1.06) showed an incline up to 0.51 at. % Li, while in the alumina rich samples (n = 1.21), these values remained constant up to 0.53 at. % Li. Studying grain growth revealed that in the Li-MgO·nAl2O3 system, grain growth is limited by Zener pining. The activation energies of undoped, 0.2 and 0.53 at. % Li-MgO·1.21Al2O3 samples were 288 ± 40, 670 ± 45 and 543 ± 40 kJ·mol−1, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis of Mixed Cu/Ce Oxide Nanoparticles by the Oil-in-Water Microemulsion Reaction Method
Materials 2016, 9(6), 480; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060480
Received: 25 April 2016 / Revised: 6 June 2016 / Accepted: 10 June 2016 / Published: 16 June 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (20347 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Cerium oxide and mixed Cu/Ce oxide nanoparticles were prepared by the oil-in-water (O/W) microemulsion reaction method in mild conditions. The Cu/Ce molar ratio was varied between 0/100 and 50/50. According to X-ray diffraction (XRD), below 30/70 Cu/Ce molar ratio, the materials presented a
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Cerium oxide and mixed Cu/Ce oxide nanoparticles were prepared by the oil-in-water (O/W) microemulsion reaction method in mild conditions. The Cu/Ce molar ratio was varied between 0/100 and 50/50. According to X-ray diffraction (XRD), below 30/70 Cu/Ce molar ratio, the materials presented a single phase consistent with cubic fluorite CeO2. However, above Cu/Ce molar ratio 30/70, an excess monoclinic CuO phase in coexistence with the predominant Cu/Ce mixed oxide was detected by XRD and High-Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (HRTEM). Raman spectroscopy showed that oxygen vacancies increased significantly as the Cu content was increased. Band gap (Eg) was investigated as a function of the Cu/Ce molar ratio, resulting in values from 2.91 eV for CeO2 to 2.32 eV for the mixed oxide with 30/70 Cu/Ce molar ratio. These results indicate that below 30/70 Cu/Ce molar ratio, Cu2+ is at least partially incorporated into the ceria lattice and very well dispersed in general. In addition, the photodegradation of Indigo Carmine dye under visible light irradiation was explored for selected samples; it was shown that these materials can remove such contaminants, either by adsorption and/or photodegradation. The results obtained will encourage investigation into the optical and photocatalytic properties of these mixed oxides, for widening their potential applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Role of Chloride in the Corrosion and Fracture Behavior of Micro-Alloyed Steel in E80 Simulated Fuel Grade Ethanol Environment
Materials 2016, 9(6), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060463
Received: 16 March 2016 / Revised: 9 May 2016 / Accepted: 30 May 2016 / Published: 16 June 2016
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Abstract
In this study, micro-alloyed steel (MAS) material normally used in the production of auto parts has been immersed in an E80 simulated fuel grade ethanol (SFGE) environment and its degradation mechanism in the presence of sodium chloride (NaCl) was evaluated. Corrosion behavior was
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In this study, micro-alloyed steel (MAS) material normally used in the production of auto parts has been immersed in an E80 simulated fuel grade ethanol (SFGE) environment and its degradation mechanism in the presence of sodium chloride (NaCl) was evaluated. Corrosion behavior was determined through mass loss tests and electrochemical measurements with respect to a reference test in the absence of NaCl. Fracture behavior was determined via J-integral tests with three-point bend specimens at an ambient temperature of 27 °C. The mass loss of MAS increased in E80 with NaCl up to a concentration of 32 mg/L; beyond that threshold, the effect of increasing chloride was insignificant. MAS did not demonstrate distinct passivation behavior, as well as pitting potential with anodic polarization, in the range of the ethanol-chloride ratio. Chloride caused pitting in MAS. The fracture resistance of MAS reduced in E80 with increasing chloride. Crack tip blunting decreased with increasing chloride, thus accounting for the reduction in fracture toughness. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Anion Effects on the Ion Exchange Process and the Deformation Property of Ionic Polymer Metal Composite Actuators
Materials 2016, 9(6), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060479
Received: 28 April 2016 / Revised: 3 June 2016 / Accepted: 8 June 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
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Abstract
An ionic polymer-metal composite (IPMC) actuator composed of a thin perfluorinated ionomer membrane with electrodes plated on both surfaces undergoes a large bending motion when a low electric field is applied across its thickness. Such actuators are soft, lightweight, and able to operate
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An ionic polymer-metal composite (IPMC) actuator composed of a thin perfluorinated ionomer membrane with electrodes plated on both surfaces undergoes a large bending motion when a low electric field is applied across its thickness. Such actuators are soft, lightweight, and able to operate in solutions and thus show promise with regard to a wide range of applications, including MEMS sensors, artificial muscles, biomimetic systems, and medical devices. However, the variations induced by changing the type of anion on the device deformation properties are not well understood; therefore, the present study investigated the effects of different anions on the ion exchange process and the deformation behavior of IPMC actuators with palladium electrodes. Ion exchange was carried out in solutions incorporating various anions and the actuator tip displacement in deionized water was subsequently measured while applying a step voltage. In the step voltage response measurements, larger anions such as nitrate or sulfate led to a more pronounced tip displacement compared to that obtained with smaller anions such as hydroxide or chloride. In AC impedance measurements, larger anions generated greater ion conductivity and a larger double-layer capacitance at the cathode. Based on these mechanical and electrochemical measurements, it is concluded that the presence of larger anions in the ion exchange solution induces a greater degree of double-layer capacitance at the cathode and results in enhanced tip deformation of the IPMC actuators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electroactive Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle Reversible pH Stimulus-Response Material Based on Amphiphilic Block Polymer Self-Assembly and Its Electrochemical Application
Materials 2016, 9(6), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060478
Received: 19 February 2016 / Revised: 5 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
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Abstract
Stimulus-responsive microporous solid thin films were successfully fabricated by simple molecular self-assembly via an amphiphilic block polymer, polystryene–b–polyacrylic acid (PS–b–PAA). The solid thin films exhibit different surface morphologies in response to external stimuli, such as environments with different pH
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Stimulus-responsive microporous solid thin films were successfully fabricated by simple molecular self-assembly via an amphiphilic block polymer, polystryene–b–polyacrylic acid (PS–b–PAA). The solid thin films exhibit different surface morphologies in response to external stimuli, such as environments with different pH values in aqueous solutions. The experiments have successfully applied atomic force microscope (AFM) technology to observe in-situ surface morphological changes. There is a reversible evolution of the microstructures in buffer solutions over a pH range of 2.4–9.2. These observations have been explained by positing that there is no conventional PAA swelling but that the PAA chains in the micropores stretch and contract with changes in the pH of the solution environment. The hydrophobicity of the solid thin film surface was transformed into super-hydrophilicity, as captured by optical contact angle measurements. The stimulus-responsive dynamics of pore sizes was described by a two-stage mechanism. A promising electrochemical application of this film is suggested via combination with an electrochemical impedance technique. This study is aimed at strategies for the functionalization of stimulus-responsive microporous solid thin films with reversible tunable surface morphologies, and exploring new smart materials with switch-on/switch-off behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Porous Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Magnesium Modifies the Structural Features of Enzymatically Mineralized Collagen Gels Affecting the Retraction Capabilities of Human Dermal Fibroblasts Embedded within This 3D System
Materials 2016, 9(6), 477; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060477
Received: 14 May 2016 / Revised: 7 June 2016 / Accepted: 8 June 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (8774 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Mineralized collagen gels have been developed as in vitro models to better understand the mechanisms regulating the calcification process and the behavior of a variety of cell types. The vast majority of data are related to stem cells and to osteoblast-like cells, whereas
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Mineralized collagen gels have been developed as in vitro models to better understand the mechanisms regulating the calcification process and the behavior of a variety of cell types. The vast majority of data are related to stem cells and to osteoblast-like cells, whereas little information is available for dermal fibroblasts, although these cells have been associated with ectopic calcification and consequently to a number of pathological conditions. Therefore, we developed and characterized an enzymatically mineralized collagen gel in which fibroblasts were encapsulated within the 3D structure. MgCl2 was also added during gel polymerization, given its role as (i) modulator of ectopic calcification; (ii) component of biomaterials used for bone replacement; and (iii) constituent of pathological mineral deposits. Results demonstrate that, in a short time, an enzymatically mineralized collagen gel can be prepared in which mineral deposits and viable cells are homogeneously distributed. MgCl2 is present in mineral deposits and significantly affects collagen fibril assembly and organization. Consequently, cell shape and the ability of fibroblasts to retract collagen gels were modified. The development of three-dimensional (3D) mineralized collagen matrices with both different structural features and mineral composition together with the use of fibroblasts, as a prototype of soft connective tissue mesenchymal cells, may pave new ways for the study of ectopic calcification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterials)
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Open AccessReview Bio-Inspired Functional Surfaces Based on Laser-Induced Periodic Surface Structures
Materials 2016, 9(6), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060476
Received: 28 April 2016 / Revised: 6 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
Cited by 28 | PDF Full-text (10255 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nature developed numerous solutions to solve various technical problems related to material surfaces by combining the physico-chemical properties of a material with periodically aligned micro/nanostructures in a sophisticated manner. The utilization of ultra-short pulsed lasers allows mimicking numerous of these features by generating
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Nature developed numerous solutions to solve various technical problems related to material surfaces by combining the physico-chemical properties of a material with periodically aligned micro/nanostructures in a sophisticated manner. The utilization of ultra-short pulsed lasers allows mimicking numerous of these features by generating laser-induced periodic surface structures (LIPSS). In this review paper, we describe the physical background of LIPSS generation as well as the physical principles of surface related phenomena like wettability, reflectivity, and friction. Then we introduce several biological examples including e.g., lotus leafs, springtails, dessert beetles, moth eyes, butterfly wings, weevils, sharks, pangolins, and snakes to illustrate how nature solves technical problems, and we give a comprehensive overview of recent achievements related to the utilization of LIPSS to generate superhydrophobic, anti-reflective, colored, and drag resistant surfaces. Finally, we conclude with some future developments and perspectives related to forthcoming applications of LIPSS-based surfaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired and Biomimetic Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Influence of Chlorination and Choice of Materials on Fouling in Cooling Water System under Brackish Seawater Conditions
Materials 2016, 9(6), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060475
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 25 May 2016 / Accepted: 31 May 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (11461 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Cooling systems remove heat from components and industrial equipment. Water cooling, employing natural waters, is typically used for cooling large industrial facilities, such as power plants, factories or refineries. Due to moderate temperatures, cooling water cycles are susceptible to biofouling, inorganic fouling and
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Cooling systems remove heat from components and industrial equipment. Water cooling, employing natural waters, is typically used for cooling large industrial facilities, such as power plants, factories or refineries. Due to moderate temperatures, cooling water cycles are susceptible to biofouling, inorganic fouling and scaling, which may reduce heat transfer and enhance corrosion. Hypochlorite treatment or antifouling coatings are used to prevent biological fouling in these systems. In this research, we examine biofouling and materials’ degradation in a brackish seawater environment using a range of test materials, both uncoated and coated. The fouling and corrosion resistance of titanium alloy (Ti-6Al-4V), super austenitic stainless steel (254SMO) and epoxy-coated carbon steel (Intershield Inerta160) were studied in the absence and presence of hypochlorite. Our results demonstrate that biological fouling is intensive in cooling systems using brackish seawater in sub-arctic areas. The microfouling comprised a vast diversity of bacteria, archaea, fungi, algae and protozoa. Chlorination was effective against biological fouling: up to a 10–1000-fold decrease in bacterial and archaeal numbers was detected. Chlorination also changed the diversity of the biofilm-forming community. Nevertheless, our results also suggest that chlorination enhances cracking of the epoxy coating. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofilm and Materials Science)
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Open AccessArticle Morphological and Structural Study of a Novel Porous Nurse’s A Ceramic with Osteoconductive Properties for Tissue Engineering
Materials 2016, 9(6), 474; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060474
Received: 25 May 2016 / Revised: 6 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
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Abstract
The characterization process of a new porous Nurse’s A ceramic and the physico chemical nature of the remodeled interface between the implant and the surrounding bone were studied after in vivo implantation. Scaffolds were prepared by a solid-state reaction and implanted in New
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The characterization process of a new porous Nurse’s A ceramic and the physico chemical nature of the remodeled interface between the implant and the surrounding bone were studied after in vivo implantation. Scaffolds were prepared by a solid-state reaction and implanted in New Zealand rabbits. Animals were sacrificed on days 15, 30, and 60. The porous biomaterial displayed biocompatible, bioresorbable, and osteoconductive capacity. The degradation processes of implants also encouraged osseous tissue ingrowths into the material’s pores, and drastically changed the macro- and microstructure of the implants. After 60 healing days, the resorption rates were 52.62% ± 1.12% for the ceramic and 47.38% ± 1.24% for the residual biomaterial. The elemental analysis showed a gradual diffusion of the Ca and Si ions from the materials into the newly forming bone during the biomaterial’s resorption process. The energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) analysis of the residual ceramic revealed some particle categories with different mean Ca/P ratios according to size, and indicated various resorption process stages. Since osteoconductive capacity was indicated for this material and bone ingrowth was possible, it could be applied to progressively substitute an implant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Hard and Soft Tissue Engineering: Novel Approaches)
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Open AccessArticle Microbially Induced Calcite Precipitation Employing Environmental Isolates
Materials 2016, 9(6), 468; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060468
Received: 3 February 2016 / Revised: 19 May 2016 / Accepted: 8 June 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
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Abstract
In this study, five microbes were employed to precipitate calcite in cohesionless soils. Four microbes were selected from calcite-precipitating microbes isolated from calcareous sand and limestone cave soils, with Sporosarcina pasteurii ATCC 11859 (standard strain) used as a control. Urease activities of the
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In this study, five microbes were employed to precipitate calcite in cohesionless soils. Four microbes were selected from calcite-precipitating microbes isolated from calcareous sand and limestone cave soils, with Sporosarcina pasteurii ATCC 11859 (standard strain) used as a control. Urease activities of the four microbes were higher than that of S. pasteurii. The microbes and urea–CaCl2 medium were injected at least four times into cohesionless soils of two different relative densities (60% and 80%), and the amount of calcite precipitation was measured. It was found that the relative density of cohesionless soils significantly affects the amount of calcite precipitation and that there is a weak correlation between urease activity and calcite precipitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle The Repetitive Detection of Toluene with Bioluminescence Bioreporter Pseudomonas putida TVA8 Encapsulated in Silica Hydrogel on an Optical Fiber
Materials 2016, 9(6), 467; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060467
Received: 11 May 2016 / Revised: 2 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 June 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
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Abstract
Living cells of the lux-based bioluminescent bioreporter Pseudomonas putida TVA8 were encapsulated in a silica hydrogel attached to the distal wider end of a tapered quartz fiber. Bioluminescence of immobilized cells was induced with toluene at high (26.5 mg/L) and low (5.3
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Living cells of the lux-based bioluminescent bioreporter Pseudomonas putida TVA8 were encapsulated in a silica hydrogel attached to the distal wider end of a tapered quartz fiber. Bioluminescence of immobilized cells was induced with toluene at high (26.5 mg/L) and low (5.3 mg/L) concentrations. Initial bioluminescence maxima were achieved after >12 h. One week after immobilization, a biofilm-like layer of cells had formed on the surface of the silica gel. This resulted in shorter response times and more intensive bioluminescence maxima that appeared as rapidly as 2 h after toluene induction. Considerable second bioluminescence maxima were observed after inductions with 26.5 mg toluene/L. The second and third week after immobilization the biosensor repetitively and semiquantitatively detected toluene in buffered medium. Due to silica gel dissolution and biofilm detachment, the bioluminescent signal was decreasing 20–32 days after immobilization and completely extinguished after 32 days. The reproducible formation of a surface cell layer on the wider end of the tapered optical fiber can be translated to various whole cell bioluminescent biosensor devices and may serve as a platform for in-situ sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Biomaterials and Biointerfaces)
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Open AccessArticle Recyclability of PET/WPI/PE Multilayer Films by Removal of Whey Protein Isolate-Based Coatings with Enzymatic Detergents
Materials 2016, 9(6), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9060473
Received: 23 March 2016 / Revised: 30 May 2016 / Accepted: 6 June 2016 / Published: 14 June 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2389 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Multilayer plastic films provide a range of properties, which cannot be obtained from monolayer films but, at present, their recyclability is an open issue and should be improved. Research to date has shown the possibility of using whey protein as a layer material
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Multilayer plastic films provide a range of properties, which cannot be obtained from monolayer films but, at present, their recyclability is an open issue and should be improved. Research to date has shown the possibility of using whey protein as a layer material with the property of acting as an excellent barrier against oxygen and moisture, replacing petrochemical non-recyclable materials. The innovative approach of the present research was to achieve the recyclability of the substrate films by separating them, with a simple process compatible with industrial procedures, in order to promote recycling processes leading to obtain high value products that will beneficially impact the packaging and food industries. Hence, polyethyleneterephthalate (PET)/polyethylene (PE) multi-layer film was prepared based on PET coated with a whey protein layer, and then the previous structure was laminated with PE. Whey proteins, constituting the coating, can be degraded by enzymes so that the coating films can be washed off from the plastic substrate layer. Enzyme types, dosage, time, and temperature optima, which are compatible with procedures adopted in industrial waste recycling, were determined for a highly-efficient process. The washing of samples based on PET/whey and PET/whey/PE were efficient when performed with enzymatic detergent containing protease enzymes, as an alternative to conventional detergents used in recycling facilities. Different types of enzymatic detergents tested presented positive results in removing the protein layer from the PET substrate and from the PET/whey/PE multilayer films at room temperature. These results attested to the possibility of organizing the pre-treatment of the whey-based multilayer film by washing with different available commercial enzymatic detergents in order to separate PET and PE, thus allowing a better recycling of the two different polymers. Mechanical properties of the plastic substrate, such as stress at yield, stress and elongation at break, evaluated by tensile testing on films before and after cleaning, were are not significantly affected by washing with enzymatic detergents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable and Bio-Based Polymers)
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