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Polymers, Volume 10, Issue 4 (April 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Chitin deacetylases (CDAs) catalyze the hydrolysis of acetamido groups in GlcNAc residues of [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Compression Properties of Interlayer and Intralayer Carbon/Glass Hybrid Composites
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 343; doi:10.3390/polym10040343
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 16 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
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Abstract
The compression properties and mechanisms of interlayer and intralayer Carbon/Glass (C/G) hybrid composites were investigated in this work. As revealed from the experimental results, the compression modulus increases linearly with the increase of carbon fiber content, following the rule of mixtures (ROM). The
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The compression properties and mechanisms of interlayer and intralayer Carbon/Glass (C/G) hybrid composites were investigated in this work. As revealed from the experimental results, the compression modulus increases linearly with the increase of carbon fiber content, following the rule of mixtures (ROM). The C/G hybrid ratio is regarded as the decisive factor for the compression modulus of hybrid composites. The positive mixing effect exists on compression strength for interlayer and intralayer hybrid composites, whereas the experimental values are above the theoretical calculation values. The compressive strength of interlayer hybrid composites taking on various hybrid structures differs largely at the same mixed ratio, at which the compressive strength of glass fiber sandwiching carbon fiber is higher than that of carbon fiber sandwiching glass fiber. Through comparing interlayer and intralayer hybrid composites, the impact exerted by layer structures on the compressive strength of interlayer hybrid composites is higher than that of intralayer hybrid composites, which leads to more designable characteristics for interlayer hybrid composites. This work makes it possible to optimize the compression strength of interlayer hybrid structures so that it achieves or basically exceeds pure carbon fiber composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Textile and Textile-Based Materials)
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Open AccessArticle The Influence of Adhesive Compounds Biochemical Modification on the Mechanical Properties of Adhesive Joints
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 344; doi:10.3390/polym10040344
Received: 21 February 2018 / Revised: 12 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
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Abstract
The main purpose of this paper was to determine the effect of biochemical modification of epoxy adhesive compounds on the mechanical properties of hot-dip galvanized steel sheet DX51+Z275 adhesive joints. The epoxy adhesives (resin and curing agent) were biochemically modified by lyophilized fungal
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The main purpose of this paper was to determine the effect of biochemical modification of epoxy adhesive compounds on the mechanical properties of hot-dip galvanized steel sheet DX51+Z275 adhesive joints. The epoxy adhesives (resin and curing agent) were biochemically modified by lyophilized fungal metabolites (in the form of lyophilized fungal fractions or materials preparation containing low molecular weight secondary metabolites of lignocellulose-degrading white rot fungi (WRF) Pycnoporus sanguineus (L.) Murrill and prepared by two methods). The epoxy adhesives (epoxy resin Epidian 53 and poliaminoamide curing agent PAC) were biochemical modified by lyophilized fungal metabolites and prepared by two methods. In the first method (Method I), the epoxy resin and the curing agent were mixed with the fungal material in the desired concentration. In the second method (Method II), the resin was mixed with mortar-grounded lyophilized post-culture liquid of the desired concentration and after following thorough mixing, a suitable amount of the poliaminoamide curing agent was added. The single-lap adhesive joints were prepared by modified epoxy adhesive compounds and were cured in various climatic factors. The specimens of adhesive joints were cured at single stage at the same temperature and humidity as during adhesive bonding (Variant A and Variant B). At the second stage, Method I adhesive joints were seasoned for two months at the temperature of 50 °C and 50% humidity in a climate test chamber (Variant C). The shear strength tests of the single-lap adhesive joints were performed using a Zwick/Roell Z150 testing machine in accordance with the DIN EN 1465 standard. The analysis of results revealed that the addition of the biological modifier can lead to reduced adhesive joint strength in ambient conditions, yet at elevated temperature and the higher humidity it results in a significant increase in adhesive joint strength. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Polymeric Adhesives)
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Open AccessArticle Long Range Polymer Chain Dynamics of Highly Flexible Polysiloxane in Solution Probed by Pyrene Excimer Fluorescence
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 345; doi:10.3390/polym10040345
Received: 22 February 2018 / Revised: 15 March 2018 / Accepted: 16 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
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Abstract
A poly(dimethylsiloxane-co-(3-aminopropyl)methylsiloxane) polymer (PDMS with 20.3 mol % of (3-aminopropyl)methyl siloxane monomer) has been labeled randomly with 1-pyreneacetyl groups to generate a series of polysiloxanes (Py-PDMS) with pyrenyl contents ranging from 0.7 mol % to 5.2 mol % of the total
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A poly(dimethylsiloxane-co-(3-aminopropyl)methylsiloxane) polymer (PDMS with 20.3 mol % of (3-aminopropyl)methyl siloxane monomer) has been labeled randomly with 1-pyreneacetyl groups to generate a series of polysiloxanes (Py-PDMS) with pyrenyl contents ranging from 0.7 mol % to 5.2 mol % of the total number of structural units. The remainder of the amino groups were acetylated to avoid intra-chain quenching of the excited singlet states of pyrene via exciplex formation with free amino groups while allowing the formation of excimers to proceed. The fluorescence spectra and temporal decays of the Py-PDMS samples were acquired in tetrahydrofuran (THF), N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF), and dioxane. <kMF>blob, the average rate constant for intra-chain pyrene excimer formation, was determined from the analysis of the fluorescence decays. <kMF>blob was found to equal 1.16 (±0.13) × 109, 1.14 (±0.12) × 109, and 0.99 (±0.10) × 109 s−1 in THF, DMF, and dioxane, respectively, at room temperature. They are the largest values found to date for any polymeric backbone in these solvents. The qualitative relationship found here between <kMF>blob and the chemical structures of the polymers indicates that the luminescence characteristics of randomly labeled polymers is a very useful method to probe the long range dynamics of chains of almost any polymer that is amenable to substitution by a lumophore. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Characterization)
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Open AccessArticle Modification of Polyamide-Urethane (PAUt) Thin Film Composite Membrane for Improving the Reverse Osmosis Performance
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 346; doi:10.3390/polym10040346
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 14 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
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Abstract
In the current study, the poly (amide-urethane) (PAUt) membranes were successfully fabricated by interfacial polymerization of m-phenylenediamine (MPD) and 5-choroformyloxyisophaloyl chloride (CFIC) on the polysulfone substrates. Two modification methods based on layer-by-layer assembly were applied to modify the PAUt membrane surface to achieve
[...] Read more.
In the current study, the poly (amide-urethane) (PAUt) membranes were successfully fabricated by interfacial polymerization of m-phenylenediamine (MPD) and 5-choroformyloxyisophaloyl chloride (CFIC) on the polysulfone substrates. Two modification methods based on layer-by-layer assembly were applied to modify the PAUt membrane surface to achieve antifouling property: 1. Chitosan (CS) was directly self-assembled on the PAUt membrane (i.e., PAUt-CS); and 2. polydimethyl diallyl ammonium chloride (PDDA), polystyrene sulfonate (PSS), and CS were successively self-assembled on the membrane surface (i.e., PAUt-PDDA/PSS/CS). The resultant membranes were symmetrically characterized by Attenuated Total Reflection Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and Contact Angle Meter (CAM), respectively. The results indicated that the modified membranes had much smoother and more hydrophilic surfaces as compared to the nascent PAUt membrane. Meanwhile, the modified membranes exhibited better reverse osmosis performance in terms of water permeability and salt rejection. After the modified membranes were fouled by lake water, the PAUt-PDDA/PSS/CS membrane presented the best antifouling performance among the three types of membranes. Combining the reverse osmosis performance with the anti-fouling property obviously, the PAUt-PDDA/PSS/CS membrane behaved as a promising candidate to be used in real applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymerizations from Surfaces)
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Open AccessArticle Poly(Ionic Liquid): A New Phase in a Thermoregulated Phase Separated Catalysis and Catalyst Recycling System of Transition Metal-Mediated ATRP
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 347; doi:10.3390/polym10040347
Received: 25 February 2018 / Revised: 14 March 2018 / Accepted: 16 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
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Abstract
Poly(ionic liquid)s (PILs) have become the frontier domains in separation science because of the special properties of ionic liquids as well as their corresponding polymers. Considering their function in separation, we designed and synthesized a thermoregulated PIL. That is, this kind of PIL
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Poly(ionic liquid)s (PILs) have become the frontier domains in separation science because of the special properties of ionic liquids as well as their corresponding polymers. Considering their function in separation, we designed and synthesized a thermoregulated PIL. That is, this kind of PIL could separate with an organic phase which dissolves the monomers at ambient temperature. When heated to the reaction temperature, they become a homogeneous phase, and they separate again when the temperature falls to the ambient temperature after polymerization. Based on this, a thermoregulated phase separated catalysis (TPSC) system for Cu-based atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) was constructed. The copper catalyst (CuBr2) used here is easily separated and recycled in situ just by changing the temperature in this system. Moreover, even when the catalyst had been recycled five times, the controllability over resultant polymers is still satisfying. Finally, only 1~2 ppm metal catalyst was left in the polymer solution phase, which indicates the really high recycling efficiency. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Carbon Nanotubes/Graphene Nanoplatelets Hybrid Systems on the Structure and Properties of Polyetherimide-Based Foams
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 348; doi:10.3390/polym10040348
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 9 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
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Abstract
Foams based on polyetherimide (PEI) with carbon nanotubes (CNT) and PEI with graphene nanoplatelets (GnP) combined with CNT were prepared by water vapor induced phase separation. Prior to foaming, variable amounts of only CNT (0.1–2.0 wt %) or a combination of GnP (0.0–2.0
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Foams based on polyetherimide (PEI) with carbon nanotubes (CNT) and PEI with graphene nanoplatelets (GnP) combined with CNT were prepared by water vapor induced phase separation. Prior to foaming, variable amounts of only CNT (0.1–2.0 wt %) or a combination of GnP (0.0–2.0 wt %) and CNT (0.0–2.0 wt %) for a total amount of CNT-GnP of 2.0 wt %, were dispersed in a solvent using high power sonication, added to the PEI solution, and intensively mixed. While the addition of increasingly higher amounts of only CNT led to foams with more heterogeneous cellular structures, the incorporation of GnP resulted in foams with finer and more homogeneous cellular structures. GnP in combination with CNT effectively enhanced the thermal stability of foams by delaying thermal decomposition and mechanically-reinforced PEI. The addition of 1.0 wt % GnP in combination with 1.0 wt % CNT resulted in foams with extremely high electrical conductivity, which was related to the formation of an optimum conductive network by physical contact between GnP layers and CNT, enabling their use in electrostatic discharge (ESD) and electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding applications. The experimental electrical conductivity values of foams containing only CNT fitted well to a percolative conduction model, with a percolation threshold of 0.06 vol % (0.1 wt %) CNT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Graphene-Polymer Composites)
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Open AccessArticle Photonic Molecularly Imprinted Polymer Film for the Detection of Testosterone in Aqueous Samples
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 349; doi:10.3390/polym10040349
Received: 26 February 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
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Abstract
The detection of testosterone in aqueous solutions is a difficult task due to the low concentration levels that are relevant in environmental and physiological samples. Current analytical methods are expensive and/or complex. To address this issue, we fabricated a molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP)
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The detection of testosterone in aqueous solutions is a difficult task due to the low concentration levels that are relevant in environmental and physiological samples. Current analytical methods are expensive and/or complex. To address this issue, we fabricated a molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) photonic film for the detection of testosterone in water. The films were obtained using colloidal crystals as templates for the pore morphology. Monodispersed silica particles with an average diameter 330 nm were used to obtain the colloidal crystal by vertical deposition. A solution of acrylic acid with testosterone as the imprinted template was infiltrated in the colloidal crystal and polymerized via bulk polymerization; the particles were then removed by acid etching and the testosterone eluted by a suitable solvent. The material was characterized by FTIR, swelling experiments and microscopy; MIPs were investigated by equilibrium rebinding, kinetics and reuse experiments. The results showed that the MIPs exhibited selectivity to the template, a 30-min equilibration time and stability after at least six cycles of use and regeneration. After incubation, the reflectance spectra of the films showed a shift of the Bragg diffraction peak that correlated with testosterone concentration in the 5–100 ppb range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecularly Imprinted Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle A Highly Efficient Aromatic Amine Ligand/Copper(I) Chloride Catalyst System for the Synthesis of Poly(2,6-dimethyl-1,4-phenylene ether)
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 350; doi:10.3390/polym10040350
Received: 19 February 2018 / Revised: 18 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
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Abstract
Highly active catalyst systems for polymerizing 2,6-dimethylphenol were studied by using aromatic amine ligands and copper(I) chloride. The aromatic amine ligands employed were pyridine, 1-methylimidazole, 2-aminopyridine, 3-aminopyridine, and 4-aminopyridine. A mixture of chloroform and methanol (9:1, v/v) was used as
[...] Read more.
Highly active catalyst systems for polymerizing 2,6-dimethylphenol were studied by using aromatic amine ligands and copper(I) chloride. The aromatic amine ligands employed were pyridine, 1-methylimidazole, 2-aminopyridine, 3-aminopyridine, and 4-aminopyridine. A mixture of chloroform and methanol (9:1, v/v) was used as a polymerization solvent. All experiments were performed with oxygen uptake measurement apparatus, while the reaction rate for each aromatic amine ligand-Cu catalyst system and the amount of by-product, 3,3′,5,5′-Tetramethyl-4,4′diphenoquinone (DPQ), were measured to determine the efficiency of the catalyst systems. The 4-aminopyridine/Cu (I) catalyst system was found to be extremely efficient in poly(2,6-dimethyl-1,4-phenylene ether) (PPE) synthesis; it had the fastest reaction rate of 6.98 × 10−4 mol/L·s and the lowest DPQ production. The relatively high basicity of 4-aminopyridne and the less steric hindrance arising from a coordination of Cu and 4-aminopyridine in this catalyst are responsible for the fast polymerization rate. When 2-aminoprydine (an isomer of 4-aminopyridine) was used as a ligand, however, no polymerization occurred probably due to steric hindrance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymerization Kinetics)
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Polyaniline (PANI) Coating via Dielectric-Barrier Discharge (DBD) Plasma on Conductivity and Air Drag of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Yarn
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 351; doi:10.3390/polym10040351
Received: 21 February 2018 / Revised: 12 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
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Abstract
In this paper, a simple method to prepare PANI-coated conductive PET yarn is reported, which involves pre-applying aniline and HCl vapors on PET surface and subsequent dielectric-barrier discharge (DBD) plasma treatment of the coated yarn under atmospheric pressure. The volume resistivity of the
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In this paper, a simple method to prepare PANI-coated conductive PET yarn is reported, which involves pre-applying aniline and HCl vapors on PET surface and subsequent dielectric-barrier discharge (DBD) plasma treatment of the coated yarn under atmospheric pressure. The volume resistivity of the optimal sample was about 1.8 × 105 times lower than that of the control. Moreover, with the increase of coating amount of PANI, the air drag of PET yarns improved gradually. The surface chemistry of the treated yarn was analyzed by Fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), while the morphology was observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). This study offers a new method to prepare conductive fabric via air-jet loom and is expected to increase the weaving efficiency of air-jet loom. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymerizations from Surfaces)
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Open AccessArticle Novel Processing Technique to Produce Three Dimensional Polyvinyl Alcohol/Maghemite Nanofiber Scaffold Suitable for Hard Tissues
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 353; doi:10.3390/polym10040353
Received: 22 February 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
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Abstract
Fabrication of three dimensional (3D) tissue engineering scaffolds, particularly for hard tissues remains a challenge. Electrospinning has been used to fabricate scaffolds made from polymeric materials which are suitable for hard tissues. The electrospun scaffolds also have structural arrangement that mimics the natural
[...] Read more.
Fabrication of three dimensional (3D) tissue engineering scaffolds, particularly for hard tissues remains a challenge. Electrospinning has been used to fabricate scaffolds made from polymeric materials which are suitable for hard tissues. The electrospun scaffolds also have structural arrangement that mimics the natural extracellular matrix. However, electrospinning has a limitation in terms of scaffold layer thickness that it can fabricate. Combining electrospinning with other processes is the way forward, and in this proposed technique, the basic shape of the scaffold is obtained by a fused deposition modelling (FDM) three dimensional (3D) printing machine using the partially hydrolysed polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) as the filament material. The 3D printed PVA becomes a template to be placed inside a mould which is then filled with the fully hydrolysed PVA/maghemite (γ-Fe2O3) solution. After the content in the mould solidified, the mould is opened and the content is freeze dried and immersed in water to dissolve the template. The 3D structure made of PVA/maghemite is then layered by electrospun PVA/maghemite fibers, resulting in 3D tissue engineering scaffold made from PVA/maghemite. The morphology and mechanical properties (strength and stiffness) were analysed and in vitro tests by degradation test and cell penetration were also performed. It was revealed that internally, the 3D scaffold has milli- and microporous structures whilst externally; it has a nanoporous structure as a result of the electrospun layer. The 3D scaffold has a compressive strength of 78.7 ± 0.6 MPa and a Young’s modulus of 1.43 ± 0.82 GPa, which are within the expected range for hard tissue engineering scaffolds. Initial biocompatibility tests on cell penetration revealed that the scaffold can support growth of human fibroblast cells. Overall, the proposed processing technique which combines 3D printing process, thermal inversion phase separation (TIPS) method and electrospinning process has the potential for producing hard tissue engineering 3D scaffolds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospinning of Nanofibres)
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Open AccessArticle Surface Modification of Wood Flour via ARGET ATRP and Its Application as Filler in Thermoplastics
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 354; doi:10.3390/polym10040354
Received: 21 February 2018 / Revised: 13 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
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Abstract
Wood flour is particularly suitable as a filler in thermoplastics because it is environmentally friendly, readily available, and offers a high strength-to-density ratio. To overcome the insufficient interfacial adhesion between hydrophilic wood and a hydrophobic matrix, a thermoplastic polymer was grafted from wood
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Wood flour is particularly suitable as a filler in thermoplastics because it is environmentally friendly, readily available, and offers a high strength-to-density ratio. To overcome the insufficient interfacial adhesion between hydrophilic wood and a hydrophobic matrix, a thermoplastic polymer was grafted from wood flour via surface-initiated activators regenerated by electron transfer-atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ARGET ATRP). Wood particles were modified with an ATRP initiator and subsequently grafted with methyl acrylate for different polymerization times in the absence of a sacrificial initiator. The successful grafting of poly(methyl acrylate) (PMA) was demonstrated using attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and water contact angle (WCA) measurements. To confirm the control over the polymerization, a cleavable ATRP initiator was immobilized on the particles, allowing the detachment of the grafted polymer under mild conditions. The grafted particles were incorporated into a PMA matrix using solvent casting and their influence on the mechanical properties (Young’s modulus, yield strength, and toughness) of the composite was investigated. Tensile testing showed that the mechanical properties improved with increasing polymerization time and increasing ratio of incorporated grafted particles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymerizations from Surfaces)
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Open AccessArticle Investigation and Characterization of Plasma-Treated Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) and Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) Biopolymers for an In Vitro Cellular Study of Mouse Adipose-Derived Stem Cells
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 355; doi:10.3390/polym10040355
Received: 5 February 2018 / Revised: 13 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
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Abstract
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are a type of thermoprocessable and biodegradable polyester, which represent a potential sustainable replacement for fossil-fuel synthetic polymers, such as polypropylene and polyethylene. In recent years, copolymers of PHAs, i.e., poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) and poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV), have received attention for
[...] Read more.
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are a type of thermoprocessable and biodegradable polyester, which represent a potential sustainable replacement for fossil-fuel synthetic polymers, such as polypropylene and polyethylene. In recent years, copolymers of PHAs, i.e., poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) and poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV), have received attention for medical and packaging industrial applications, due to their biodegradable, toxic-free, and biocompatible nature. This study investigated and characterized plasma-treated PHB and PHBV films fermented with Ralstonia eutropha H16. The X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and water contact angle analyses on the plasma-treated PHB and PHBV film surfaces revealed an increase in the number of functional groups and contact angle degree, respectively, compared to that of the untreated films. In addition, an in vitro experiment of mouse adipose-derived stem cells showed better growth and adhesion of the cells on the surface of plasma-treated PHBV film. Overall, these results reveal that plasma surface modifications are useful in biomaterial development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable and Biobased Polyesters)
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Open AccessArticle Flexible Adhesive in Composite-to-Brick Strengthening—Experimental and Numerical Study
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 356; doi:10.3390/polym10040356
Received: 16 February 2018 / Revised: 12 March 2018 / Accepted: 18 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
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Abstract
This paper investigates composite-to-brick strengthening systems with flexible adhesive made of polyurethane (Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polyurethane (CFRPU) and Steel Reinforced Polyurethane (SRPU)) and epoxy resin (Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) and Steel Reinforced Polymer (SRP). The specimens were tested in a single lap
[...] Read more.
This paper investigates composite-to-brick strengthening systems with flexible adhesive made of polyurethane (Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polyurethane (CFRPU) and Steel Reinforced Polyurethane (SRPU)) and epoxy resin (Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) and Steel Reinforced Polymer (SRP). The specimens were tested in a single lap shear test (SLST). LVDT displacement transducers (LVDT – Linear Variable Differential Transformer) and digital image correlation method (DIC) based measurement systems were used to measure displacements and strains. The obtained results were applied in a numerical analysis of the 3D model of the SLST specimen, with flexible adhesives modeled as a hyper-elastic model. The DIC and LVDT based systems demonstrated a good correlation. Experimental and numerical analysis confirmed that composite-to-brick strengthening systems with flexible adhesives are more effective on brittle substrates than stiff ones, as they are able to reduce stress concentrations and more evenly distribute stress along the entire bonded length, thus having a higher load carrying capacity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from "SMAR 2017")
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Open AccessArticle Phase Transition Effects on Mechanical Properties of NIPA Hydrogel
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 358; doi:10.3390/polym10040358
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 8 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
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Abstract
Due to its excellent temperature sensitivity, the Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (NIPA) hydrogel has attracted great interest for a wide variety of applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. NIPA hydrogel undergoes an abrupt volume phase transition at a lower critical solution temperature (LCST)
[...] Read more.
Due to its excellent temperature sensitivity, the Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (NIPA) hydrogel has attracted great interest for a wide variety of applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. NIPA hydrogel undergoes an abrupt volume phase transition at a lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of 30–35 °C. However, the mechanical behaviors of NIPA hydrogel induced by phase transition are still not well understood. In this study, phase transition effects on mechanical properties of NIPA hydrogel are quantitatively studied from experimental studies. The mechanical properties of NIPA hydrogel with the LSCT around 35 °C are systemically studied with varying temperatures (31–39 °C) under a tensile test. We find that the mechanical properties of NIPA hydrogel are greatly influenced by phase transition during the tension process. The maximum nominal stress and maximum stretch above the LCST are larger than those of below the LCST. The Young’s modulus of NIPA hydrogel is around 13 kPa at 31 °C and approximately 28 kPa at 39 °C. A dramatic increase of Young’s modulus values is observed as the temperature increases through the phase transition. The samples at a temperature around the LCST are easy to rupture, because of phase coexistent. Additionally, NIPA hydrogel displays toughening behavior under a cyclic load. Furthermore, the toughening characteristic is different between the swollen state and the collapsed state. This might originate from the internal fracture process and redistribution of polymer chains during the tension process. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Thermal, Structural, and Rheological Characterization of Waxy Starch as a Cryogel for Its Application in Food Processing
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 359; doi:10.3390/polym10040359
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
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Abstract
Starch is the major component of cereal, pulses, and root crops. Starch consists of two kinds of glucose polymers, amylose and amylopectin. Waxy starch—with 99–100% amylopectin—has distinctive properties, which define its functionality in many food applications. In this research, a novel material was
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Starch is the major component of cereal, pulses, and root crops. Starch consists of two kinds of glucose polymers, amylose and amylopectin. Waxy starch—with 99–100% amylopectin—has distinctive properties, which define its functionality in many food applications. In this research, a novel material was prepared through the cryogelification of waxy starch (WS) using four cycles of freezing and thawing in indirect contact with liquid nitrogen at −150 °C. Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) was used as a reference. The cryogels were characterized using several validation methodologies: modulated differential scanning calorimetry (MDSC), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), rheology, and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy with diffuse reflectance (DR). Based on the number of freeze–thaw cycles, significant changes were found (P < 0.05) showing important structural modifications as well as reorganization of the polymeric matrix. Two cryogelification cycles of the WS were enough to obtain the best structural and functional characteristics, similar to those of PVA, which has already been tested as a cryogel. From these results, it is concluded that WS has potential as a cryogel for application in food processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermal Properties and Applications of Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle Structural Transformations of Amino-Acid-Based Polymers: Syntheses and Structural Characterization
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 360; doi:10.3390/polym10040360
Received: 9 February 2018 / Revised: 13 March 2018 / Accepted: 17 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
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Abstract
A discrete complex [Zn(tpro)2(H2O)2] (1, Htpro = l-thioproline), and two structural isomers of coordination polymers, a 1D chain of [Zn(tpro)2]n (2) and a layered structure [Zn(tpro)2]n
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A discrete complex [Zn(tpro)2(H2O)2] (1, Htpro = l-thioproline), and two structural isomers of coordination polymers, a 1D chain of [Zn(tpro)2]n (2) and a layered structure [Zn(tpro)2]n (3), were synthesized and characterized. The discrete complex 1 undergoes a temperature-driven structural transformation, leading to the formation of a 1D helical coordination polymer 2. Compound 3 is comprised of a 2D homochiral layer network with a (4,4) topology. These layers are mutually linked through hydrogen bonding interactions, resulting in the formation of a 3D network. When 1 is heated, it undergoes nearly complete conversion to the microcrystalline form, i.e., compound 2, which was confirmed by powder X-ray diffractions (PXRD). The carboxylate motifs could be activated after removing the coordinated water molecules by heating at temperatures of up to 150 °C, their orientations becoming distorted, after which, they attacked the activation sites of the Zn(II) centers, leading to the formation of a 1D helix. Moreover, a portion of the PXRD pattern of 1 was converted into the patterns corresponding to 2 and 3, and the ratio between 2 and 3 was precisely determined by the simulation study of in-situ synchrotron PXRD expriments. Consequently, such a 0D complex is capable of underdoing structural transformations and can be converted into 1D and/or 2D amino acid-based coordination polymers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coordination Polymer)
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Open AccessArticle Comparative Analysis of Existing RC Columns Jacketed with CFRP or FRCC
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 361; doi:10.3390/polym10040361
Received: 1 March 2018 / Revised: 15 March 2018 / Accepted: 22 March 2018 / Published: 24 March 2018
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Abstract
Reinforced concrete (RC) columns typical of existing structures often exhibit premature failures during seismic events (i.e., longitudinal bars buckling and shear interaction mechanisms) due to the poor quality concrete and the absence of proper seismic details in the potential plastic hinge region. The
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Reinforced concrete (RC) columns typical of existing structures often exhibit premature failures during seismic events (i.e., longitudinal bars buckling and shear interaction mechanisms) due to the poor quality concrete and the absence of proper seismic details in the potential plastic hinge region. The Fiber Reinforced Polymers (FRP) externally bonded reinforcement is known to be a valid technique to improve the shear capacity or the ductility of existing RC columns. However, few experimental tests have proven its effectiveness in the case of columns affected by shear interaction mechanisms. In this work, the behavior of existing RC columns with border line behavior between flexure and shear have been investigated in the case of poor quality concrete and light FRP strengthening with local jacketing and medium quality concrete and strong FRP strengthening with local jacketing, in order to highlight the effect of concrete strength on the effectiveness of the retrofit intervention. As an alternative to FRP jacketing; the effectiveness of the Fiber Reinforced Cementitious Composite (FRCC) jacketing for the seismic strengthening of columns with highly deteriorated concrete cover or columns already damaged by an earthquake is also evaluated. Six full-scale RC columns have been tested under cyclic loading: one was used as a control specimen; four were strengthened in the potential plastic hinge region with carbon FRP (CFRP); and one was fully jacketed with FRCC. The comparison between poor and medium quality concrete columns showed that the CFRP local jacketing is more effective in the case of poor quality concrete. The FRCC jacketing appears to be a sound repair strategy and a suitable alternative to the FRP jacketing in case of poor quality; however, more experimental research is needed for improving this retrofit technique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from "SMAR 2017")
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Open AccessArticle Unsaturated Polyester Resin Nanocomposites Containing ZnO Modified with Oleic Acid Activated by N,N′-Carbonyldiimidazole
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 362; doi:10.3390/polym10040362
Received: 7 February 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 24 March 2018
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Abstract
Hydrophobic zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles were produced through grafting aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APS) and oleic acid (OA), which was activated by N,N′-carbonyldiimidazole (CDI). The functional group containing ZnO nanoparticles were incorporated into unsaturated polyester (UP) resin, and their dispersibility in the UP
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Hydrophobic zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles were produced through grafting aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APS) and oleic acid (OA), which was activated by N,N′-carbonyldiimidazole (CDI). The functional group containing ZnO nanoparticles were incorporated into unsaturated polyester (UP) resin, and their dispersibility in the UP matrix and effects on the properties of UP/ZnO nanocomposites were investigated. ZnO nanoparticles modified by APS and OA activated by CDI, (CDI–OA–APS–ZnO), can be homogeneously dispersed as supported by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) investigations and had been encapsulated in the UP resin. CDI–OA–APS–ZnO nanoparticles were embedded in the net structure of the UP composites through chemical bonds between oleic acid, styrene, and polyester resin, which significantly influence the cure reaction of UP resin and the properties of UP composites. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) results show that the incorporation of ZnO nanoparticles could improve the thermal stability of UP when thermal cracking temperature exceeds 365 °C. The exothermic peak and the initial temperature of cure reaction of the UP resin decreased with increasing ZnO content. The tensile strength and bending strength of UP/CDI–OA–APS–ZnO nanocomposites increased by 91.4% and 71.3% when 3 wt % CDI–OA–APS–ZnO nanoparticles was added into the composites, respectively, compared with pure UP resin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Hybrids and Composites)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Counterion Valence on Conformational Behavior of Spherical Polyelectrolyte Brushes Confined between Two Parallel Walls
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 363; doi:10.3390/polym10040363
Received: 22 February 2018 / Revised: 21 March 2018 / Accepted: 22 March 2018 / Published: 24 March 2018
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Abstract
We study the conformational behavior of spherical polyelectrolyte brushes in the presence of monovalent and trivalent counterions in a confined environment. The confinement is exerted by two parallel walls on the brushes. The enhancement of the confinement induces the extension of grafted chains.
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We study the conformational behavior of spherical polyelectrolyte brushes in the presence of monovalent and trivalent counterions in a confined environment. The confinement is exerted by two parallel walls on the brushes. The enhancement of the confinement induces the extension of grafted chains. For the monovalent case, the increase of the charge fraction leads to extended brush conformation for different slit width (distance between two walls) but collapsed brush in the presence of trivalent counterions is observed. The confinement does not affect electrostatic correlation between trivalent counterions and charged monomers. However, it was found that narrow slit width contributes to stronger electrostatic correlation for the monovalent case. This is because more monovalent counterions are inside the brush at strong confinement, but almost all trivalent counterions are trapped into the brush independently of the slit width. The diffusion of counterions under the confinement is related to the electrostatic correlation. Our simulations also reveal that the brush thickness depends on the slit width nonlinearly. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Polyelectrolytes)
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Open AccessArticle Aligned P(VDF-TrFE) Nanofibers for Enhanced Piezoelectric Directional Strain Sensing
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 364; doi:10.3390/polym10040364
Received: 26 February 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 25 March 2018
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Abstract
Piezoelectric poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene) (P(VDF-TrFE)) nanofibers fabricated by electrospinning have drawn increasing levels of attention in the fields of flexible sensors and nanogenerators. However, the directional dependence of piezoelectricity of electrospun nanofibers remains elusive. In this study, the piezoelectric performances of individual nanofibers are
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Piezoelectric poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene) (P(VDF-TrFE)) nanofibers fabricated by electrospinning have drawn increasing levels of attention in the fields of flexible sensors and nanogenerators. However, the directional dependence of piezoelectricity of electrospun nanofibers remains elusive. In this study, the piezoelectric performances of individual nanofibers are characterized by piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM), while the effects of annealing on β-phase crystallinities are investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The experimental results reveal that the as-spun P(VDF-TrFE) nanofibers form higher content of β-phase compared with spin-coated films, and the content of β-phase increases by annealing. The annealed P(VDF-TrFE) nanofiber exhibits distinct vertical polarization switching characteristics. The high piezoelectric output in the thickness direction and low piezoelectric output in the longitudinal direction of the nanofiber mats further confirm that the preferential dipole orientation of electrospun P(VDF-TrFE) nanofibers is normal to the surface of the substrate. Highly aligned P(VDF-TrFE) nanofibers show directional strain sensing ability due to the piezoelectric and mechanical anisotropy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Nucleating and Plasticization Effects in Drawn Poly(Lactic Acid) Fiber during Accelerated Weathering Degradation
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 365; doi:10.3390/polym10040365
Received: 13 March 2018 / Revised: 13 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 25 March 2018
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Abstract
Changes in the polymer properties of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) fibers during drawing and degradation processes were analyzed using solid-state NMR, with the goal of elucidating morphological changes that influence fiber tensile properties. Combination of X-ray diffraction (XRD) and differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) indicated
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Changes in the polymer properties of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) fibers during drawing and degradation processes were analyzed using solid-state NMR, with the goal of elucidating morphological changes that influence fiber tensile properties. Combination of X-ray diffraction (XRD) and differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) indicated that the drawn PLA fibers consisted of different proportions of α crystalline and amorphous forms. 13C CP-MAS NMR spectra showed amorphous-like broad singlet signals, of which the full width at half maximum (FWHM) decreased with increasing crystallinity and crystal orientation. The T1H value decreased by interaction with additives and increased with increasing crystal orientation. The interaction with additives also reduced T1C values, which increased with increasing crystallinity. Use of organic clay enhanced the crystallization of high draw-ratio PLA fibers due to nucleation, which increased tensile strength; this effect gradually decreased with time during accelerated weathering. In contrast, the plasticization due to the addition of flexible polymers increased fiber elongation, which rapidly dropped during the degradation. Changes of FWHM, T1H, and T1C values indicated that the degradation occurred at sites within the amorphous portions of the PLA fibers containing organic clay, while the flexible polymers were preferentially degraded if they were present in the PLA fibers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Transport Asymmetry of Novel Bi-Layer Hybrid Perfluorinated Membranes on the Base of MF-4SC Modified by Halloysite Nanotubes with Platinum
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 366; doi:10.3390/polym10040366
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 25 March 2018
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Abstract
Three types of bi-layer hybrid nanocomposites on the base of perfluorinated cation-exchange membrane MF-4SC (Russian analogue of Nafion®-117) were synthesized and characterized. It was found that two membranes possess the noticeable asymmetry of the current–voltage curve (CVC) under changing their orientation
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Three types of bi-layer hybrid nanocomposites on the base of perfluorinated cation-exchange membrane MF-4SC (Russian analogue of Nafion®-117) were synthesized and characterized. It was found that two membranes possess the noticeable asymmetry of the current–voltage curve (CVC) under changing their orientation towards the applied electric field, despite the absence of asymmetry of diffusion permeability. These phenomena were explained in the frame of the “fine-porous model” expanded for bi-layer membranes. A special procedure to calculate the real values of the diffusion layers thickness and the limiting current density was proposed. Due to asymmetry effects of the current voltage curves of bi-layer hybrid membranes on the base of MF-4SC, halloysite nanotubes and platinum nanoparticles, it is prospective to assemble membrane switches (membrane relays or diodes) with predictable transport properties, founded upon the theory developed here. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from "ECIS 2017")
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Open AccessArticle Sorption of Hg(II) and Pb(II) Ions on Chitosan-Iron(III) from Aqueous Solutions: Single and Binary Systems
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 367; doi:10.3390/polym10040367
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 25 March 2018
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Abstract
The present work describes the study of mercury Hg(II) and lead Pb(II) removal in single and binary component systems into easily prepared chitosan-iron(III) bio-composite beads. Scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray (SEM-EDX) analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and point
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The present work describes the study of mercury Hg(II) and lead Pb(II) removal in single and binary component systems into easily prepared chitosan-iron(III) bio-composite beads. Scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray (SEM-EDX) analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and point of zero charge (pHpzc) analysis were carried out. The experimental set covered pH study, single and competitive equilibrium, kinetics, chloride and sulfate effects as well as sorption–desorption cycles. In single systems, the Langmuir nonlinear model fitted the experimental data better than the Freundlich and Sips equations. The sorbent material has more affinity to Hg(II) rather than Pb(II) ions, the maximum sorption capacities were 1.8 mmol·g−1 and 0.56 mmol·g−1 for Hg(II) and Pb(II), respectively. The binary systems data were adjusted with competitive Langmuir isotherm model. The presence of sulfate ions in the multicomponent system [Hg(II)-Pb(II)] had a lesser impact on the sorption efficiency than did chloride ions, however, the presence of chloride ions improves the selectivity towards Hg(II) ions. The bio-based material showed good recovery performance of metal ions along three sorption–desorption cycles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Chitin/Chitosan Characterization and Applications)
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Open AccessCommunication Molecular Design of Soluble Biopolyimide with High Rigidity
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 368; doi:10.3390/polym10040368
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 18 March 2018 / Accepted: 24 March 2018 / Published: 26 March 2018
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Abstract
New soluble biopolyimides were prepared from a diamine derived from an exotic amino acid (4-aminocinnamic acid) with several kinds of tetracarboxylic dianhydride. The biopolyimide molecular structural flexibility was tailored by modifying the tetracarboxylic dianhydride moiety. The obtained polyimides were soluble in various solvents
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New soluble biopolyimides were prepared from a diamine derived from an exotic amino acid (4-aminocinnamic acid) with several kinds of tetracarboxylic dianhydride. The biopolyimide molecular structural flexibility was tailored by modifying the tetracarboxylic dianhydride moiety. The obtained polyimides were soluble in various solvents such as N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone, N,N-dimethylacetamide, N,N-dimethylformamide, dimethyl sulfoxide, and even tetrahydrofuran. It was observed that the biopolyimide solubility was greatly dependent upon the structural flexibility (torsion energy). Flexible structure facilitated greater solubility. The synthesized biopolyimides were largely amorphous and had number-average molecular weight (Mn) in the range (5–8) × 105. The glass transition temperatures (Tg) of the polymers ranged from 259–294 °C. These polymers exhibited good thermal stability without significant weight loss up to 410 °C. The temperatures at 10% weight loss (Td10) for synthesized biopolyimide ranged from 375–397 °C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aromatic Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle POSS Dental Nanocomposite Resin: Synthesis, Shrinkage, Double Bond Conversion, Hardness, and Resistance Properties
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 369; doi:10.3390/polym10040369
Received: 5 March 2018 / Revised: 23 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 26 March 2018
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Abstract
Nanocomposite dental resins with 0, 2, 5, and 10 wt % methacryl polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) as filler in the resin matrix were prepared by a light curing method.The atomic force microscopy (AFM), fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), nanoindentation, and nanoscratch tests were
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Nanocomposite dental resins with 0, 2, 5, and 10 wt % methacryl polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) as filler in the resin matrix were prepared by a light curing method.The atomic force microscopy (AFM), fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), nanoindentation, and nanoscratch tests were carried out to study the effect of POSS contents on the compatibility, double bond conversion, volumetric shrinkage, hardness, modulus, and resistance of the dental resins. POSS was very uniformly dispersed and showed a good compatibility with the matrix. The double bond conversion increased and the volume reduced with the addition of POSS. As the POSS addition increased, the mechanical properties increased initially. Small addition of POSS remarkably enhanced the hardness and scratch resistance of the resin matrix. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Siloxane-Based Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle A Study on Mechanical Characteristics of Phosphor Film Containing Methyl Silicone Resin Based on Crosslinking Reaction Analysis
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 370; doi:10.3390/polym10040370
Received: 13 March 2018 / Revised: 23 March 2018 / Accepted: 24 March 2018 / Published: 26 March 2018
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Abstract
This study reveals a methodological research for predicting mechanical properties of phosphor films through the chemical crosslinking reaction of methyl silicone resin during fabrication of the phosphor films. Crosslinking point according to the type of methyl silicone resins was verified through the magnitude
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This study reveals a methodological research for predicting mechanical properties of phosphor films through the chemical crosslinking reaction of methyl silicone resin during fabrication of the phosphor films. Crosslinking point according to the type of methyl silicone resins was verified through the magnitude of the absorption peak of the functional group and the curing reaction heat. Then, we measured mechanical properties of the fabricated phosphor films. As a result, it was figured out that the number of the crosslinking point was directly proportional to the total curing reaction heat, and also affected the mechanical properties of the phosphor films. Based on the correlation of curing reaction heat and crosslinking point of the methyl silicone resins and mechanical properties of the fabricated phosphor films, we proposed a methodology that can understand and control the phosphor films in advance of finishing the fabrication of the final phosphor products. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Mg(II) Coordination Polymers Based on Flexible Isomeric Tetracarboxylate Ligands: Syntheses, Structures, Structural Transformation and Luminescent Properties
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 371; doi:10.3390/polym10040371
Received: 13 March 2018 / Revised: 23 March 2018 / Accepted: 25 March 2018 / Published: 26 March 2018
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Abstract
By using a new flexible tetracarboxylic acid, bis(3,5-dicarboxyphenyl) adipoamide, H4L1, and its isomer, bis(2,5-dicarboxyphenyl)adipoamide, H4L2, three Mg(II) coordination polymers, {[Mg2(L1)(H2O)2]·2EtOH·3H2O}n, 1,
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By using a new flexible tetracarboxylic acid, bis(3,5-dicarboxyphenyl) adipoamide, H4L1, and its isomer, bis(2,5-dicarboxyphenyl)adipoamide, H4L2, three Mg(II) coordination polymers, {[Mg2(L1)(H2O)2]·2EtOH·3H2O}n, 1, [Mg2(L1)(H2O)8]n, 2, and {[Mg2(L2)(H2O)6]·H2O}n, 3, have been hydrothermally synthesized and structurally characterized by single-crystal X-ray diffraction. Complexes 1 and 2 are the solvent ratio-dependent hydrothermally stable products. The tetracarboxylate ligand of complex 1 connects eight Mg(II) ions through nine oxygen atoms, resulting in a three-dimensional (3D) 5-connected uninodal net with a rare non-interpenetrating (44.66)-pcu-5-Pmna topology, whereas those of 2 and 3 link four Mg(II) ions through four oxygen atoms and six Mg(II) ions through six oxygen atoms, forming a 1D linear chain and a 3,6-connected 2-nodal 3D net having {4.62}2{42.610.83}-rtl topology, respectively. Complex 1 shows a series of structural transformations on heating to 200 °C and almost reversible structural transformation when the activated products were immersed in a mixture of ethanol and water or on hydrothermal. Likewise, complex 2 exhibits a reversible structural transformation on heating/hydrothermal, while 3 exhibits irreversible structural transformations. All three complexes exhibit blue light emissions, with that of complex 3 being much more intense. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Fluorescent Labeling of Polysaccharides from Masson Pine Pollen and Its Effect on RAW264.7 Macrophages
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 372; doi:10.3390/polym10040372
Received: 13 February 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 22 March 2018 / Published: 26 March 2018
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Abstract
In order to explore the immediate effect of polysaccharides and macrophages, polysaccharides from masson pine pollen (PPM60) were labeled with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) by using a chemical-derived method, and the reactant was named PPM60-Tyr-FITC. Direct interaction of PPM60-Tyr-FITC and RAW264.7 macrophages could be
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In order to explore the immediate effect of polysaccharides and macrophages, polysaccharides from masson pine pollen (PPM60) were labeled with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) by using a chemical-derived method, and the reactant was named PPM60-Tyr-FITC. Direct interaction of PPM60-Tyr-FITC and RAW264.7 macrophages could be detected by flow cytometer (FCM), and this interaction could be inhibited by Pitstop 2 (clathrin inhibitor) and TAK-242 (Toll-like receptor 4 inhibitor). The results of confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) also revealed that there was a co-localization phenomenon between PPM60-Tyr-FITC and RAW264.7 macrophage receptors, and it could be suppressed by Pitstop 2 and TAK-242. It was confirmed that PPM60 enters into RAW264.7 macrophages mainly through endocytosis, rather than the phagocytosis, and TLR4 played a mediating role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polysaccharides)
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Open AccessArticle Mechanical Measurement System and Precision Analysis for Tactile Property Evaluation of Porous Polymeric Materials
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 373; doi:10.3390/polym10040373
Received: 5 March 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 24 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
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Abstract
Tactile properties are one of the most important attributes of porous polymeric materials such as textiles, comprising a subjective evaluation index for textile materials and functional clothing, primarily affecting the sensation of comfort during the wearing of a garment. A new test method
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Tactile properties are one of the most important attributes of porous polymeric materials such as textiles, comprising a subjective evaluation index for textile materials and functional clothing, primarily affecting the sensation of comfort during the wearing of a garment. A new test method was proposed, and a mechanical measurement system was developed to objectively characterize the tactile properties of porous polymeric materials by simulating the dynamic contact processes during human skin contact with the materials and in consideration of different aspects of tactile sensations. The measurement system can measure the bending, compression, friction, and thermal transfer properties in one apparatus, and is capable of associating the objective measurements with the subjective tactile sensations. The test and evaluation method, the components of the mechanical measurement system, the definition and grading method of the evaluation indices, and the neural network prediction model from objective test results to subjective sensations of tactile properties were presented. The experiments were conducted for the objective tests and correlation tests. Seven types of porous polymeric sheet materials from seven categories for the tactile properties were cut to a size of 200 mm × 200 mm and tested. Each index of tactile properties was significantly different (P < 0.05) between different sheet materials. The correlations of bending, compression, friction, and thermal transfer properties with Kawabata KES test methods were analyzed. An intra-laboratory test was conducted and an analysis of the variance was performed to determine the critical differences of within laboratory precisions of the measurement system. This mechanical measurement system provides a method and system for objective measurement and evaluation of tactile properties of porous polymeric sheet materials in industrial application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Textile and Textile-Based Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Finite Element Analysis of Three-Dimensional (3D) Auxetic Textile Composite under Compression
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 374; doi:10.3390/polym10040374
Received: 8 January 2018 / Revised: 14 March 2018 / Accepted: 26 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
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Abstract
This paper reports a finite element (FE) analysis of three-dimensional (3D) auxetic textile composite by using commercial software ANSYS 15 under compression. The two-dimensional (2D) FE model was first developed and validated by experiment. Then, the validated model was used to evaluate effects
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This paper reports a finite element (FE) analysis of three-dimensional (3D) auxetic textile composite by using commercial software ANSYS 15 under compression. The two-dimensional (2D) FE model was first developed and validated by experiment. Then, the validated model was used to evaluate effects of structural parameters and constituent material properties. For the comparison, 3D non-auxetic composite that was made with the same constituent materials and structural parameters, but with different yarn arrangement in the textile structure was also analyzed at the same time. The analysis results showed that the auxetic and non-auxetic composites have different compression behaviors and the auxetic composite has better the energy absorption capacity than the non-auxetic composite under the same compression stress. The study has provided us a guidance to design and fabricate auxetic composites with the required mechanical behavior by appropriately selecting structural parameters and constituent materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Textile and Textile-Based Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Fabrication of Stretchable Copper Coated Carbon Nanotube Conductor for Non-Enzymatic Glucose Detection Electrode with Low Detection Limit and Selectivity
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 375; doi:10.3390/polym10040375
Received: 13 January 2018 / Revised: 18 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 March 2018 / Published: 28 March 2018
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Abstract
The increasing demand for wearable glucose sensing has stimulated growing interest in stretchable electrodes. The development of the electrode materials having large stretchability, low detection limit, and good selectivity is the key component for constructing high performance wearable glucose sensors. In this work,
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The increasing demand for wearable glucose sensing has stimulated growing interest in stretchable electrodes. The development of the electrode materials having large stretchability, low detection limit, and good selectivity is the key component for constructing high performance wearable glucose sensors. In this work, we presented fabrication of stretchable conductor based on the copper coated carbon nanotube sheath-core fiber, and its application as non-enzymatic electrode for glucose detection with high stretchability, low detection limit, and selectivity. The sheath-core fiber was fabricated by coating copper coated carbon nanotube on a pre-stretched rubber fiber core followed by release of pre-stretch, which had a hierarchically buckled structure. It showed a small resistance change as low as 27% as strain increasing from 0% to 500% strain, and a low resistance of 0.4 Ω·cm−1 at strain of 500%. This electrode showed linear glucose concentration detection in the range between 0.05 mM and 5 mM and good selectivity against sucrose, lactic acid, uric acid, acrylic acid in phosphate buffer saline solution, and showed stable signal in high salt concentration. The limit of detection (LOD) was 0.05 mM, for the range of 0.05–5 mM, the sensitivity is 46 mA·M−1. This electrode can withstand large strain of up to 60% with negligible influence on its performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soft Materials and Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Polymerization-Driven Immobilization of dc-APGD Synthesized Gold Nanoparticles into a Quaternary Ammonium-Based Hydrogel Resulting in a Polymeric Nanocomposite with Heat-Transfer Applications
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 377; doi:10.3390/polym10040377
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 23 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published: 29 March 2018
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Abstract
A new method for the production of nanocomposites, composed of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and (vinylbenzyl)trimethylammonium chloride-co-N,N-methylene bisacrylamide (VBTAC-co-MBA) hydrogel, is described. Raw-AuNPs of defined optical and granulometric properties were synthesized using direct current atmospheric pressure
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A new method for the production of nanocomposites, composed of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and (vinylbenzyl)trimethylammonium chloride-co-N,N-methylene bisacrylamide (VBTAC-co-MBA) hydrogel, is described. Raw-AuNPs of defined optical and granulometric properties were synthesized using direct current atmospheric pressure glow discharge (dc-APGD) generated in contact with a solution of HAuCl4. Different approaches to the polymerization-driven synthesis of Au/VBTAC-co-MBA nanocomposites were tested. It was established that homogenous dispersion of AuNPs in this new nanomaterial with was achieved in the presence of NaOH in the reaction mixture. The new nanocomposite was found to have excellent heat-transfer properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from "ECIS 2017")
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Open AccessArticle An Environmentally Friendly Approach for the Fabrication of Conductive Superhydrophobic Coatings with Sandwich-Like Structures
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 378; doi:10.3390/polym10040378
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 25 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published: 30 March 2018
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Abstract
A large amount of research has been devoted to developing novel superhydrophobic coatings. However, it is still a great challenge to pursuean environmentally friendly method that leads to superhydrophobic coatings. Herein, we demonstrate for the first time, an environmentally friendly method for the
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A large amount of research has been devoted to developing novel superhydrophobic coatings. However, it is still a great challenge to pursuean environmentally friendly method that leads to superhydrophobic coatings. Herein, we demonstrate for the first time, an environmentally friendly method for the preparation of conductive superhydrophobic coatings with sandwich-like structures by using aminoethylaminopropyl polydimethylsiloxane modified waterborne polyurethane (SiWPU) and N-octadecylamine functionalized multi-wall carbon nanotubes. These environmentally friendly coatings with the sheet resistance of 1.1 ± 0.1 kΩ/sq exhibit a high apparent contact angle of 158.1° ± 2° and a low sliding angle below 1°. The influence of the surface texture before and after heat treatment on the wetting properties is discussed. In addition, the coatings can be electrically heated by 3~113 °C with a voltage of 12~72 V, and thus, can be used for deicing. Furthermore, the resulting coatings demonstrate good performance of wear resistance and ultraviolet resistance, which will have broad application potential in harsh environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface Modification and Functional Coatings for Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle The Length of Hydrophobic Chain in Amphiphilic Polypeptides Regulates the Efficiency of Gene Delivery
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 379; doi:10.3390/polym10040379
Received: 20 March 2018 / Revised: 28 March 2018 / Accepted: 28 March 2018 / Published: 1 April 2018
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Abstract
The major challenges of non-viral carriers are low transfection efficiency and high toxicity. To overcome this bottleneck, it is very important to investigate the structure-property-function (transfection efficiency) relationships of polycations. Herein, different length hydrophobic poly(l-leucine) chains in amphiphilic polypeptides were precisely
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The major challenges of non-viral carriers are low transfection efficiency and high toxicity. To overcome this bottleneck, it is very important to investigate the structure-property-function (transfection efficiency) relationships of polycations. Herein, different length hydrophobic poly(l-leucine) chains in amphiphilic polypeptides were precisely synthesized by α-amino acid N-carboxyanhydrides (NCA) ring-opening polymerization and these biocompatible polypeptides were chosen as a model to further examine the transfection in vitro. These polypeptides were characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) and size exclusion chromatography (SEC). Agarose gel electrophoresis (AGE) was employed to validate the ability of DNA condensation and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used to observe the assemblies of polyplexes. Cytotoxicity was evaluated in COS-7 cell lines and transfection was performed in normal cell COS-7 and cancer cell Hep G2. The results showed that NCA monomers were prepared and the amphiphilic polypeptides, poly(lysine(CBZ))50-block-poly(l-leucine)10, poly(l-lysine(CBZ))50-block-poly(l-leucine)15, and poly(l-lysine(CBZ))50-block-poly(l-leucine)25, were successfully synthesized with controlled molecular weight and narrow distribution. After deprotection of CBZ, these materials can condense plasmid DNA into 100 nm nanoparticles and the cellular uptake of polyplexes was as fast as 30 min. The transfection data shown these materials had a good transfection efficiency comparing to polyethylenimine (Branched, 25 kDa) while they displayed ignored cytotoxicity. More importantly, we discovered the length of hydrophobic poly(l-leucine) in amphiphilic polypeptides steadily regulates gene delivery efficiency in two kinds of cells ranking poly(l-lysine)50-block-poly(l-leucine)25 > poly(l-lysine)50-block-poly(l-leucine)15 > poly(l-lysine)50-block-poly(l-leucine)10. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polypeptide Containing Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle 3D Porous Gelatin/PVA Hydrogel as Meniscus Substitute Using Alginate Micro-Particles as Porogens
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 380; doi:10.3390/polym10040380
Received: 12 March 2018 / Revised: 28 March 2018 / Accepted: 29 March 2018 / Published: 1 April 2018
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Abstract
One of the current major challenges in orthopedic surgery is the treatment of meniscal lesions. Some of the main issues include mechanical consistency of meniscal implants, besides their fixation methods and integration with the host tissues. To tackle these aspects we realized a
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One of the current major challenges in orthopedic surgery is the treatment of meniscal lesions. Some of the main issues include mechanical consistency of meniscal implants, besides their fixation methods and integration with the host tissues. To tackle these aspects we realized a micro-porous, gelatin/polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)-based hydrogel to approach the high percentage of water present in the native meniscal tissue, recapitulating its biomechanical features, and, at the same time, realizing a porous implant, permissive to cell infiltration and tissue integration. In particular, we adopted aerodynamically-assisted jetting technology to realize sodium alginate micro-particles with controlled dimensions to be used as porogens. The porous hydrogels were realized through freezing-thawing cycles, followed by alginate particles leaching. Composite hydrogels showed a high porosity (74%) and an open porous structure, while preserving the elasticity behavior (E = 0.25 MPa) and high water content, typical of PVA-based hydrogels. The ex vivo animal model validation proved that the addition of gelatin, combined with the micro-porosity of the hydrogel, enhanced implant integration with the host tissue, allowing penetration of host cells within the construct boundaries. Altogether, these results show that the combined use of a water-insoluble micro-porogen and gelatin, as a bioactive agent, allowed the realization of a porous composite PVA-based hydrogel to be envisaged as a potential meniscal substitute. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Biocompatible Nanobioglass Reinforced Poly(ε-Caprolactone) Composites Synthesized via In Situ Ring Opening Polymerization
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 381; doi:10.3390/polym10040381
Received: 9 March 2018 / Revised: 25 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published: 1 April 2018
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Abstract
Poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) is a bioresorbable synthetic polyester widely studied as a biomaterial for tissue engineering and controlled release applications, but its low bioactivity and weak mechanical performance limits its applications. In this work, nanosized bioglasses with two different compositions (SiO2–CaO and
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Poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) is a bioresorbable synthetic polyester widely studied as a biomaterial for tissue engineering and controlled release applications, but its low bioactivity and weak mechanical performance limits its applications. In this work, nanosized bioglasses with two different compositions (SiO2–CaO and SiO2–CaO–P2O5) were synthesized with a hydrothermal method, and each one was used as filler in the preparation of PCL nanocomposites via the in situ ring opening polymerization of ε-caprolactone. The effect of the addition of 0.5, 1 and 2.5 wt % of the nanofillers on the molecular weight, structural, mechanical and thermal properties of the polymer nanocomposites, as well as on their enzymatic hydrolysis rate, bioactivity and biocompatibility was systematically investigated. All nanocomposites exhibited higher molecular weight values in comparison with neat PCL, and mechanical properties were enhanced for the 0.5 and 1 wt % filler content, which was attributed to extensive interactions between the filler and the matrix, proving the superiority of in situ polymerization over solution mixing and melt compounding. Both bioglasses accelerated the enzymatic degradation of PCL and induced bioactivity, since apatite was formed on the surface of the nanocomposites after soaking in simulated body fluid. Finally, all samples were biocompatible as Wharton jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells (WJ-MSCs) attached and proliferated on their surfaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Developments in Ring-Opening Polymerization)
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Maleated Polypropylene on the Non-Isothermal Crystallization Kinetics of Wood Fiber-Reinforced Polypropylene Composites
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 382; doi:10.3390/polym10040382
Received: 1 March 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 28 March 2018 / Published: 1 April 2018
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Abstract
The influence of maleated polypropylene (MAPP) on the non-isothermal crystallization behavior of wood fiber (WF)-reinforced PP composites (WPCs) was investigated by a differential scanning calorimeter (DSC). The results showed that MAPP as a nucleation agent accelerated the crystallization rate of the PP matrix
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The influence of maleated polypropylene (MAPP) on the non-isothermal crystallization behavior of wood fiber (WF)-reinforced PP composites (WPCs) was investigated by a differential scanning calorimeter (DSC). The results showed that MAPP as a nucleation agent accelerated the crystallization rate of the PP matrix in WPC under the cooling process. The corresponding crystallization kinetics and activation energy were further analyzed using the Avrami method, Avrami–Ozawa method, Kissinger method, and Friedman method. The results demonstrated that MAPP significantly changed the crystal growth mechanism of the PP matrix to heterogeneous nucleation for acicular and tabular crystal growth during the annealing step. A remarkably lower cooling rate can achieve a certain relative crystallinity degree at the unit crystallization time for WPC with 3 wt % MAPP (WPCM3). Similarly, the lowest crystallization activation energy was observed for the WPCM3 among all WPCs by the Kissinger method. Furthermore, based on the Friedman method, the addition of MAPP easily caused the PP matrix to crystallize in the WPC at the initial stage of relative crystallinity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Investigation on the Nanomechanics of Liposome Adsorption on Titanium Alloys: Temperature and Loading Effects
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 383; doi:10.3390/polym10040383
Received: 26 February 2018 / Revised: 27 March 2018 / Accepted: 29 March 2018 / Published: 1 April 2018
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Abstract
The mechanical properties of liposomes, determined by the lipid phase state at ambient temperature, have a close relationship with their physiological activities. Here, atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to produce images and perform force measurements on titanium alloys at two adsorbed temperatures.
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The mechanical properties of liposomes, determined by the lipid phase state at ambient temperature, have a close relationship with their physiological activities. Here, atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to produce images and perform force measurements on titanium alloys at two adsorbed temperatures. The mechanical properties were evaluated under repeated loading and unloading, suggesting a better reversibility and resistance of gel phase liposomes. The liquid phase liposomes were irreversibly damaged during the first approach while the gel phase liposomes could bear more iterations, resulting from water flow reversibly going across the membranes. The statistical data offered strong evidence that the lipid membranes in the gel phase are robust enough to resist the tip penetration, mainly due to their orderly organization and strong hydrophobic interactions between lipid molecules. This work regarding the mechanical properties of liposomes with different phases provides guidance for future clinical applications, such as artificial joints. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Structure-Function Relationships in PMA and PMAT Series Copolymers for Polymer Solar Cells
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 384; doi:10.3390/polym10040384
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 21 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published: 1 April 2018
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Abstract
Two series (PMA and PMAT) of two-dimensional donor-acceptor copolymers consisting of a 3,4-bis(4-bromophenyl)maleimide derivative and triphenylamine with a conjugated side chain were designed and synthesized to probe their structure-function relationships for use in bulk heterojunction (BHJ) polymer solar cells (PSCs). The difference between
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Two series (PMA and PMAT) of two-dimensional donor-acceptor copolymers consisting of a 3,4-bis(4-bromophenyl)maleimide derivative and triphenylamine with a conjugated side chain were designed and synthesized to probe their structure-function relationships for use in bulk heterojunction (BHJ) polymer solar cells (PSCs). The difference between PMA- and PMAT-series is the conjugated side chain length on the triphenylamine unit. By extending the side chain length, and by attaching various acceptor end groups to the side chain, the electronic and photophysical properties of these copolymers, as well as subsequent device performance, were significantly affected. Two series of copolymers showed broad absorption in the visible region with two obvious peaks. With increasing electron-withdrawing strength of the acceptor end groups, the intramolecular charge transfer peak becomes progressively red-shifted. Highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) levels in each copolymer series are similar, but lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) levels are dictated by the acceptors. BHJ PSCs composed of the copolymers as a donor and [6,6]-phenyl-C71-butyric acid methyl ester (PC71BM) as an acceptor in 1:2 weight ratio were fabricated and characterized. PSCs based on PMA- and PMAT-series copolymers had power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) ranging from 2.05–2.16% and 3.14–4.01%, respectively. These results indicate that subtle tuning of the chemical structure can significantly influence PSC device performance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Recyclable Heterogeneous Chitosan Supported Copper Catalyst for Silyl Conjugate Addition to α,β-Unsaturated Acceptors in Water
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 385; doi:10.3390/polym10040385
Received: 7 February 2018 / Revised: 21 March 2018 / Accepted: 26 March 2018 / Published: 1 April 2018
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Abstract
The first example of an environmentally-benign chitosan supported copper catalyzed conjugate silylation of α,β-unsaturated acceptors was accomplished in water under mild conditions. This protocol provides an efficient pathway to achieve an important class of β-silyl carbonyl compounds and the desired products were obtained
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The first example of an environmentally-benign chitosan supported copper catalyzed conjugate silylation of α,β-unsaturated acceptors was accomplished in water under mild conditions. This protocol provides an efficient pathway to achieve an important class of β-silyl carbonyl compounds and the desired products were obtained in good to excellent yields. Gram-scale synthesis and easy transformation of obtained β-silyl products were also been demonstrated. Remarkably, this chitosan supported copper catalyst can be easily recycled and reused six times without any significant decrease of catalytic activity. The advantages of this newly developed method include operational simplicity, good functional group tolerance, scale-up ability, ready availability, and easy recyclability of catalyst. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Chitin/Chitosan Characterization and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle New Poly(lactic acid) Active Packaging Composite Films Incorporated with Fungal Melanin
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 386; doi:10.3390/polym10040386
Received: 13 February 2018 / Revised: 23 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published: 1 April 2018
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Abstract
In this work, fungal melanin was used for the first time to prepare poly(lactic acid)-based composites. The films of various melanin concentrations (0.025%, 0.05% and 0.2% w/w) were prepared using an extrusion method. The mechanical, antioxidant, antimicrobial, water vapor and
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In this work, fungal melanin was used for the first time to prepare poly(lactic acid)-based composites. The films of various melanin concentrations (0.025%, 0.05% and 0.2% w/w) were prepared using an extrusion method. The mechanical, antioxidant, antimicrobial, water vapor and UV-Vis barrier properties, as well as available polyphenolics on the surface, were studied. FT-IR and Raman spectroscopy studies were carried out to analyze the chemical composition of the resulting films. The hydrophobicity, color response, thermal, optical properties, and opacity values were also determined. The results of this study show that the addition of fungal melanin to poly(lactic acid) (PLA) as a modifier influenced mechanical and water vapor barrier properties depending on melanin concentration. In low concentration, melanin enhanced the mechanical and barrier properties of the modified films, but in larger amounts, the properties were decreased. The UV-Vis barrier properties of PLA/melanin composites were marginally improved. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) analysis indicated that crystallinity of PLA increased by the addition of melanin, but this did not affect the thermal stability of the films. Modified PLA/melanin films showed good antioxidant activity and were active against Enterococcus faecalis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Pseudomonas putida. The addition of melanin caused changes in color values, decreasing lightness and increasing the redness and yellowness of films. Based on the results of this study, fungal melanin has good potential to be exploited as a value-added modifier that can improve the overall properties of PLA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Packaging Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Exploring the Molecular Distributions in Dilute Polymer Solutions Using a Multi-Scale Numerical Solver
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 387; doi:10.3390/polym10040387
Received: 3 February 2018 / Revised: 24 March 2018 / Accepted: 25 March 2018 / Published: 1 April 2018
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Abstract
Simulating the rheological behaviors of polymer solutions is intrinsically a multi-scale problem. To study the macroscopic and microscopic characteristics in the fluid flow of dilute polymer solutions, we designed a multi-scale solver, which couples the Brownian Configuration Fields with the macroscopic hydrodynamic governing
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Simulating the rheological behaviors of polymer solutions is intrinsically a multi-scale problem. To study the macroscopic and microscopic characteristics in the fluid flow of dilute polymer solutions, we designed a multi-scale solver, which couples the Brownian Configuration Fields with the macroscopic hydrodynamic governing equations. Numerical simulation results using the multi-scale solver exhibited good accordance with the macroscopic only approach. Through a scalar field D we also quantitatively studied the flow behaviours in 2D planar channels, and analyzed the correlation between the molecular distribution and the macroscopic fluid flow in polymer solutions. Our results verified the correctness of the solver, which could provide valuable guidance for multi-scale simulations of complex fluids based on OpenFOAM. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Improving the Mechanical and Electrical Properties of Ceramizable Silicone Rubber/Halloysite Composites and Their Ceramic Residues by Incorporation of Different Borates
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 388; doi:10.3390/polym10040388
Received: 9 March 2018 / Revised: 26 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published: 1 April 2018
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Abstract
Ceramizable silicone rubber (MVQ)/halloysite (HNT) composites were fabricated by incorporation of three different borates, including sodium tetraborate decahydrate, ammonium pentaborate, and zinc borate into MVQ matrix, respectively. The composites without any borates were also prepared as control. The effect of the borates on
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Ceramizable silicone rubber (MVQ)/halloysite (HNT) composites were fabricated by incorporation of three different borates, including sodium tetraborate decahydrate, ammonium pentaborate, and zinc borate into MVQ matrix, respectively. The composites without any borates were also prepared as control. The effect of the borates on the mechanical and electrical properties of MVQ/HNT composites was investigated. The ceramic residues were obtained from the decomposition of the composites after sintering at 1000 °C. The effect of the borates on the linear shrinkage, weight loss, and flexural and impact strength of the residues was also studied. The fracture surfaces of the composites and their corresponding residues were observed by SEM. The proposed ceramizable mechanism of the composites by incorporation of different borates was revealed by XRD analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Siloxane-Based Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle Hypoxia-Responsive Mesoporous Nanoparticles for Doxorubicin Delivery
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 390; doi:10.3390/polym10040390
Received: 20 February 2018 / Revised: 27 March 2018 / Accepted: 28 March 2018 / Published: 1 April 2018
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Abstract
Hypoxia, or low oxygen tension, is a common feature of solid tumors. Here, we report hypoxia-responsive mesoporous silica nanoparticles (HR-MSNs) with a 4-nitroimidazole-β-cyclodextrin (NI-CD) complex that is acting as the hypoxia-responsive gatekeeper. When these CD-HR-MSNs encountered a hypoxic environment, the nitroimidazole (NI) gatekeeper
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Hypoxia, or low oxygen tension, is a common feature of solid tumors. Here, we report hypoxia-responsive mesoporous silica nanoparticles (HR-MSNs) with a 4-nitroimidazole-β-cyclodextrin (NI-CD) complex that is acting as the hypoxia-responsive gatekeeper. When these CD-HR-MSNs encountered a hypoxic environment, the nitroimidazole (NI) gatekeeper portion of CD-HR-MSNs disintegrated through bioreduction of the hydrophobic NI state to the hydrophilic NI state. Under hypoxic conditions, the release rate of doxorubicin (DOX) from DOX-loaded CD-HR-MSNs (DOX-CD-HR-MSNs) increased along with the disintegration of the gatekeeper. Conversely, DOX release was retarded under normoxic conditions. In vitro experiments confirmed that DOX-CD-HR-MSNs exhibit higher toxicity to hypoxic cells when compared to normoxic cells. Confocal microscopy images indicated that DOX-CD-HR-MSNs effectively release DOX into SCC-7 cells under hypoxic conditions. These results demonstrate that CD-HR-MSNs can release drugs in a hypoxia-responsive manner, and thus are promising drug carriers for hypoxia-targeted cancer therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Micro/Nanoparticles for Bio-Medical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Single-Point Incremental Forming of Two Biocompatible Polymers: An Insight into Their Thermal and Structural Properties
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 391; doi:10.3390/polym10040391
Received: 6 March 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 28 March 2018 / Published: 1 April 2018
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Abstract
Sheets of polycaprolactone (PCL) and ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) were fabricated and shaped by the Single-Point Incremental Forming process (SPIF). The performance of these biocompatible polymers in SPIF was assessed through the variation of four main parameters: the diameter of the forming
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Sheets of polycaprolactone (PCL) and ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) were fabricated and shaped by the Single-Point Incremental Forming process (SPIF). The performance of these biocompatible polymers in SPIF was assessed through the variation of four main parameters: the diameter of the forming tool, the spindle speed, the feed rate, and the step size based on a Box–Behnken design of experiments of four variables and three levels. The design of experiments allowed us to identify the parameters that most affect the forming of PCL and UHMWPE. The study was completed by means of a deep characterization of the thermal and structural properties of both polymers. These properties were correlated to the performance of the polymers observed in SPIF, and it was found that the polymer chains are oriented as a consequence of the SPIF processing. Moreover, by X-ray diffraction it was proved that polymer chains behave differently on each surface of the fabricated parts, since the chains on the surface in contact with the forming tool are oriented horizontally, while on the opposite surface they are oriented in the vertical direction. The unit cell of UHMWPE is distorted, passing from an orthorhombic cell to a monoclinic due to the slippage between crystallites. This slippage between crystallites was observed in both PCL and UHMWPE, and was identified as an alpha star thermal transition located in the rubbery region between the glass transition and the melting point of each polymer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Processing-Structure-Properties Relationships in Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle Reversible pH-Sensitive Chitosan-Based Hydrogels. Influence of Dispersion Composition on Rheological Properties and Sustained Drug Delivery
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 392; doi:10.3390/polym10040392
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 23 March 2018 / Accepted: 29 March 2018 / Published: 1 April 2018
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Abstract
The present work deals with the synthesis of micro-structured biomaterials based on chitosan (CTS) for their applications as biocompatible carriers of drugs and bioactive compounds. Twelve dispersions were prepared by means of functional cross-linking with tricarballylic acid (TCA); they were characterized by Fourier
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The present work deals with the synthesis of micro-structured biomaterials based on chitosan (CTS) for their applications as biocompatible carriers of drugs and bioactive compounds. Twelve dispersions were prepared by means of functional cross-linking with tricarballylic acid (TCA); they were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), modulated temperature differential scanning calorimetry (MTDSC) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and their rheological properties were studied. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, no study has been carried out on the influence of CTS concentration, degree of cross-linking and drug loading on chitosan hydrogels for drug delivery systems (DDS) and is investigated herein for the first time. The influence of dispersion composition (polymer concentration and degree of cross-linking) revealed to exert a marked impact on its rheological properties, going from liquid-like to viscoelastic gels. The release profiles of a model drug, diclofenac sodium (DCNa), as well as their relationships with polymer concentration, drug loading and degree of cross-linking were evaluated. Similar to the findings on rheological properties, a wide range of release profiles was encountered. These formulations were found to display a well-controlled drug release strongly dependent on the formulation composition. Cumulative drug release under physiological conditions for 96 h ranged from 8% to 67%. For comparative purpose, Voltaren emulgel® from Novartis Pharmaceuticals was also investigated and the latter was the formulation with the highest cumulative drug release (85%). Some formulations showed similar spreadability values to the commercial hydrogel. The comparative study of three batches confirmed the reproducibility of the method, leading to systems particularly suitable for their use as drug carriers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Chitin/Chitosan Characterization and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Preparation of Maleic Anhydride Grafted Polybutene and Its Application in Isotactic Polybutene-1/Microcrystalline Cellulose Composites
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 393; doi:10.3390/polym10040393
Received: 26 February 2018 / Revised: 28 March 2018 / Accepted: 31 March 2018 / Published: 2 April 2018
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Abstract
Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) offers great potential to improve the mechanical and crystallization properties of isotactic polybutene-1 (iPB) because of its low cost, biodegradability, renewability and excellent mechanical properties. However, the compatibility of polar MCC and non-polar iPB is poor. In this study, maleic
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Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) offers great potential to improve the mechanical and crystallization properties of isotactic polybutene-1 (iPB) because of its low cost, biodegradability, renewability and excellent mechanical properties. However, the compatibility of polar MCC and non-polar iPB is poor. In this study, maleic anhydride grafted polybutene (MAPB) was prepared by the solution method and was used as a compatibilizer in the fabrication of iPB/MCC composites by using a twin screw extruder. The ultimate tensile strength, tensile modulus, flexural strength, flexural modulus of the iPB/MCC composites increased by 3.1%, 16.5%, 10.7%, 6.5%, respectively, compared with that of pure iPB. With MAPB addition, these values increased by 17.2%, 31%, 17.5% and 10%, respectively, compared with that of pure iPB. The heat-distortion temperature and thermal-decomposition temperature of all composites increased with an increased MCC content. The non-isothermal crystallization of the iPB/MCC composites shows that MCC addition can promote iPB crystallization, because the non-isothermal crystallization curve of the composites moves toward a higher temperature, especially after MAPB addition. Scanning electron micrographs indicate that the compatibility of the iPB/MCC has been enhanced significantly. Full article
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Open AccessArticle DNA Phase Transition in Charge Neutralization and Comformation Induced by Trivalent-Hydrolysed Metal Ions
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 394; doi:10.3390/polym10040394
Received: 8 February 2018 / Revised: 10 March 2018 / Accepted: 29 March 2018 / Published: 2 April 2018
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Abstract
It is well known that common trivalent counter ions can induce DNA compaction or condensation but are unable to invert DNA surface charge in a normal aqueous solution. In the present study, we found that trivalent-hydrolysed metal ions (Fe3+, Al3+
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It is well known that common trivalent counter ions can induce DNA compaction or condensation but are unable to invert DNA surface charge in a normal aqueous solution. In the present study, we found that trivalent-hydrolysed metal ions (Fe3+, Al3+) are not only capable of inducing DNA condensation, but they also invert the electrophoretic mobility of DNA by electrophoretic light scattering and single molecular techniques. In comparison with neutral trivalent cations, hydrolysed metal ions such as Fe3+ can induce DNA condensation at a much lower concentration of cations, and its corresponding morphology of condensed DNA was directly observed by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The condensing and unravelling forces of DNA condensates were measured by tethering DNA by magnetic tweezers (MT) measurements at various concentration of Fe3+ and Al3+. We found that a coil–globule transition of DNA by hydrolysed metal ions not only was observed in DNA-complex sizes, but also in the curve of electrophoretic mobility of DNA in solution. In contrast, the transition was not observed in the case of neutral trivalent cations such as La3+ and Co3+. We attribute the transition and charge inversion to the ion-specific interaction between hydrolysed metal ions and phosphates of DNA backbone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ionic Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle Antioxidant Activity and Antifungal Activity of Chitosan Derivatives with Propane Sulfonate Groups
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 395; doi:10.3390/polym10040395
Received: 5 February 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 28 March 2018 / Published: 3 April 2018
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Abstract
We successfully synthesized the water-soluble chitosan derivatives propane sulfonated chitosan (PSCS) and dipropane sulfonated chitosan (DPSCS) in this paper. These derivatives were characterized by FTIR, 1H NMR, and 13C NMR. Moreover, the antioxidant activity of the chitosan derivatives was evaluated by
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We successfully synthesized the water-soluble chitosan derivatives propane sulfonated chitosan (PSCS) and dipropane sulfonated chitosan (DPSCS) in this paper. These derivatives were characterized by FTIR, 1H NMR, and 13C NMR. Moreover, the antioxidant activity of the chitosan derivatives was evaluated by free radical scavenging ability (against DPPH-radical, hydroxyl-radical, and superoxide-radical) and ferric reducing power. Meanwhile, inhibitory effects against two fungi were also tested. Our results suggested antioxidant abilities and antifungal properties were in order of DPSCS > PSCS > CS, which were consistent with the number of propane sulfonated groups. The scavenging activity of DPSCS against superoxide-radical and DPPH-radical were 94.1% and 100% at 1.6 mg/mL, respectively. The inhibitory indices of DPSCS against P. asparagi and F. oxysporum were up to 82.2% and 94% at 1.0 mg/mL, respectively. Obviously, the number of propane sulfonated groups of chitosan derivatives not only contributes to antioxidant activity, but also to antifungal activity. Therefore, DPSCS with more propane sulfonated groups endowed with antioxidant and antifungal activity that can be used as a candidate material in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Incorporation of Coumarin-Based Fluorescent Monomers into Co-Oligomeric Molecules
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 396; doi:10.3390/polym10040396
Received: 23 March 2018 / Revised: 24 March 2018 / Accepted: 1 April 2018 / Published: 3 April 2018
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Abstract
With the purpose of modifying organic fluorescent dyes based on the coumarin scaffold, and developing and evaluating a route to its incorporation into a polymeric backbone, a study was conducted on the co-polymerization of 3-vinylcoumarins with styrene and methyl acrylate using 2,2-azobis(isobutyronitrile) (AIBN)
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With the purpose of modifying organic fluorescent dyes based on the coumarin scaffold, and developing and evaluating a route to its incorporation into a polymeric backbone, a study was conducted on the co-polymerization of 3-vinylcoumarins with styrene and methyl acrylate using 2,2-azobis(isobutyronitrile) (AIBN) as the radical initiator. The structural and photophysical characterization proved the incorporation of the coumarin monomers into the polymeric chain and further showed a decrease in the fluorescence quantum yields in the co-oligomers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Optical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Ionizing Radiation on the Chemical Structure and the Physical Properties of Polycaprolactones of Different Molecular Weight
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 397; doi:10.3390/polym10040397
Received: 9 March 2018 / Revised: 30 March 2018 / Accepted: 1 April 2018 / Published: 3 April 2018
PDF Full-text (9927 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Polymers used in the biomedical sector can be exposed to ionizing radiation (X-ray, gamma) in vivo as implants or ex vivo for sterilization purposes (gamma, electron beam). This ionizing radiation can, at certain levels, cause degradation of the polymer. Polycaprolactones (PCL) of different
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Polymers used in the biomedical sector can be exposed to ionizing radiation (X-ray, gamma) in vivo as implants or ex vivo for sterilization purposes (gamma, electron beam). This ionizing radiation can, at certain levels, cause degradation of the polymer. Polycaprolactones (PCL) of different molecular weights were irradiated with electron beam and the changes in their chemical structure and physical properties with the dose were evaluated. Electron beam irradiation produced crosslinking and chain scission in the PCL chain without significant predominance of one mechanism over the other. Minimum dose for gelation decreased with the increase in PCL molecular weight whereas crosslinking efficiency was almost independent of PCL molecular weight. Carboxylic groups, hydroxyl groups and new saturated hydrocarbon species were detected by proton nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). These species were consistent with a mechanism where chain scission could take place at any bond in the PCL chain with preference in the –COO–CH2– bond. Crosslinking decreased significantly the crystallization temperature of PCL. Tensile properties decreased continuously with the increase in dose. Irradiation with gamma rays produced a faster decay in mechanical properties than electron beam. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle A Facile, One-Pot, Surfactant-Free Nanoprecipitation Method for the Preparation of Nanogels from Polyglycerol–Drug Conjugates that Can Be Freely Assembled for Combination Therapy Applications
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 398; doi:10.3390/polym10040398
Received: 15 February 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published: 3 April 2018
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Abstract
A well-established strategy to treat drug resistance is the use of multiple therapeutics. Polymer-based drug delivery systems (DDS) can facilitate a simultaneous delivery of two or more drugs. In this study, we developed and synthesized a dendritic polyglycerol (PG) nanogel (NG) system that
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A well-established strategy to treat drug resistance is the use of multiple therapeutics. Polymer-based drug delivery systems (DDS) can facilitate a simultaneous delivery of two or more drugs. In this study, we developed and synthesized a dendritic polyglycerol (PG) nanogel (NG) system that allows for free combination of different fixed ratios of active compound conjugates within a single NG particle. As a proof of concept, we synthesized NGs bearing the chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin (DOX) and paclitaxel (PTX) in different ratios, as well as conjugated dye molecules. Our combination PG NGs were formed by simply mixing PG–drug/dye conjugates bearing free thiol groups with PG-acrylate in an inverse surfactant-free nanoprecipitation method. With this method we obtained PG-NGs in the size range of 110–165 nm with low polydispersity indices. Solubility of hydrophobic PTX was improved without the need for additional solubilizing agents such as polyethylene glycol (PEG). Interestingly, we found that our NGs made from PG-DOX conjugates have a high quenching efficiency for DOX, which could be interesting for theranostic purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Therapy and Diagnostics)
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis of a Flexible Freestanding Sulfur/Polyacrylonitrile/Graphene Oxide as the Cathode for Lithium/Sulfur Batteries
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 399; doi:10.3390/polym10040399
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 25 March 2018 / Accepted: 31 March 2018 / Published: 3 April 2018
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Abstract
Rechargeable lithium/sulfur (Li/S) batteries have received quite significant attention over the years because of their high theoretical specific capacity (1672 mAh·g−1) and energy density (2600 mAh·g−1) which has led to more efforts for improvement in their electrochemical performance. Herein,
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Rechargeable lithium/sulfur (Li/S) batteries have received quite significant attention over the years because of their high theoretical specific capacity (1672 mAh·g−1) and energy density (2600 mAh·g−1) which has led to more efforts for improvement in their electrochemical performance. Herein, the synthesis of a flexible freestanding sulfur/polyacrylonitrile/graphene oxide (S/PAN/GO) as the cathode for Li/S batteries by simple method via vacuum filtration is reported. The S/PAN/GO hybrid binder-free electrode is considered as one of the most promising cathodes for Li/S batteries. Graphene oxide (GO) slice structure provides effective ion conductivity channels and increases structural stability of the ternary system, resulting in excellent electrochemical properties of the freestanding S/PAN/GO cathode. Additionally, graphene oxide (GO) membrane was able to minimize the polysulfides’ dissolution and their shuttle, which was attributed to the electrostatic interactions between the negatively-charged species and the oxygen functional groups on GO. Furthermore, these oxygen-containing functional groups including carboxyl, epoxide and hydroxyl groups provide active sites for coordination with inorganic materials (such as sulfur). It exhibits the initial reversible specific capacity of 1379 mAh·g−1 at a constant current rate of 0.2 C and maintains 1205 mAh·g−1 over 100 cycles (~87% retention). In addition, the freestanding S/PAN/GO cathode displays excellent coulombic efficiency (~100%) and rate capability, delivering up to 685 mAh·g−1 capacity at 2 C. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Microstructure Development and Its Influence on the Properties of Styrene-Ethylene-Butylene-Styrene/Polystyrene Blends
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 400; doi:10.3390/polym10040400
Received: 6 March 2018 / Revised: 27 March 2018 / Accepted: 29 March 2018 / Published: 4 April 2018
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Abstract
The present work is a novel attempt to understand the microstructure of styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene (SEBS)/polystyrene (PS) blends not only through morphological studies, but also thermal, mechanical and rheological characterizations. SEBS/PS blends containing 10, 30 and 50 wt % PS were processed in a micro-compounder
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The present work is a novel attempt to understand the microstructure of styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene (SEBS)/polystyrene (PS) blends not only through morphological studies, but also thermal, mechanical and rheological characterizations. SEBS/PS blends containing 10, 30 and 50 wt % PS were processed in a micro-compounder and characterized. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies, with selective staining of the PS phase, revealed the presence of PS as nanometer-sized domains, as well as phase-separated micrometer-sized aggregates. Blends with 30 and 50 wt % PS exhibited a fibrillar microstructure, obeying Hirsch’s model of short fiber composites. A remarkable increase in glass transition temperature indicated a strong interaction of the fibrils with SEBS. All blends showed two modes of relaxation corresponding to the two phases. A single mode of relaxation of the PS phase has been attributed to combined effects of the partial miscibility of the added PS, along with the interaction of the fibrils with SEBS. The long relaxation time of the elastomeric phase indicated the tendency of these materials to undergo time-dependent shrinkage in secondary processing operations. An increase in PS content resulted in the lowering of the shear viscosity and energy requirement for mixing, indicating the ease of processing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Thermo-Mechanical Performance of Polylactide Composites Reinforced with Alkali-Treated Bamboo Fibers
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 401; doi:10.3390/polym10040401
Received: 20 March 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 2 April 2018 / Published: 4 April 2018
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Abstract
In this study, polylactide acid (PLA) is filled with bamboo fibers (BFs) to fabricate a biodegradable natural composite for industrial applications. The influence of pre-treatment of BFs using 4 wt % sodium hydroxide (NaOH) solution at room temperature for 1 h on thermal
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In this study, polylactide acid (PLA) is filled with bamboo fibers (BFs) to fabricate a biodegradable natural composite for industrial applications. The influence of pre-treatment of BFs using 4 wt % sodium hydroxide (NaOH) solution at room temperature for 1 h on thermal and mechanical properties of resultant composites is systematically investigated. Differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis demonstrate that the incorporation of treated BFs promotes higher glass transition and crystallization temperatures of the resultant composites relative to untreated fiber composites, whereas alkali treatment results in superior thermal stability. Furthermore, the fracture surfaces are characterized by scanning electron microscopy. The changes in morphology reveal the possible dissolution of hemicellulose and lignin by alkalization with NaOH, indicative of an improved interfacial adhesion. An increment in the tensile strength of composites is achieved through the reinforcement with treated fibers. However, a lower tensile modulus is found for composites reinforced with chemically modified BFs, which might be due to the partial conversion of cellulose I into II. The results highlight that the use of BFs could be a feasible candidate as reinforcements for the development of biodegradable composites. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Isocyanate-Free Polyurethane Coatings and Adhesives from Mono- and Di-Saccharides
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 402; doi:10.3390/polym10040402
Received: 11 February 2018 / Revised: 29 March 2018 / Accepted: 3 April 2018 / Published: 4 April 2018
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Abstract
Mostly biosourced non-isocyanate polyurethanes (NIPU) were prepared from mono- and disaccharides, namely glucose and sucrose, reacted with dimethyl carbonate and hexamethylene diamine. The main aim of this research was to show that NIPU can be prepared from mono- and disaccharides, this just being
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Mostly biosourced non-isocyanate polyurethanes (NIPU) were prepared from mono- and disaccharides, namely glucose and sucrose, reacted with dimethyl carbonate and hexamethylene diamine. The main aim of this research was to show that NIPU can be prepared from mono- and disaccharides, this just being an initial exploratory work and its sole main aim. The oligomers obtained were detected by MALDI-ToF, CP-MAS 13C NMR, and FTIR spectrometries. The glucose-derived NIPU were shown to harden at a markedly lower temperature than the sucrose-derived ones and to be easier to handle and spread. The NIPU obtained were applied as wood and steel surface coatings and tested by the sessile drop test (on wood) and cross-cut test (on steel) with encouraging results. The glucose NIPU gave good surface coating results already at 103 °C, while the sucrose NIPU yielded good results only at a markedly higher temperature of hardening. The NIPU saccharide resins were also tested as thermosetting wood joint adhesives with the glucose NIPU yielding very encouraging results. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Polymeric Adhesives)
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Alkali Treatment on Properties of Dopamine Modification of Bamboo Fiber/Polylactic Acid Composites
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 403; doi:10.3390/polym10040403
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published: 4 April 2018
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Abstract
In this study, a synergistic treatment including dopamine (DA) modification and alkali pretreatment on bamboo fiber (BF) was used as reinforcement in a polylactic acid (PLA) matrix to improve the mechanical and thermal properties of BF/PLA composites. The effects of the sodium hydroxide
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In this study, a synergistic treatment including dopamine (DA) modification and alkali pretreatment on bamboo fiber (BF) was used as reinforcement in a polylactic acid (PLA) matrix to improve the mechanical and thermal properties of BF/PLA composites. The effects of the sodium hydroxide loading rate on the performance of mussel-inspired dopamine-modified bamboo fiber and the BF/PLA composites were evaluated using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), mechanical testing (examining flexural, tensile, and impact properties), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Analysis of the composites suggested that the optimal condition was treatment with a 4 wt % solution of NaOH and a 1 wt % concentration of dopamine. Compared with the untreated bamboo fiber/polylactic acid composites, the synergistic treatment improved the thermal properties and mechanical properties; flexural, tensile, and impact strengths increased by 16.1%, 34.4%, and 3.7%, respectively. It was further verified that appropriate alkali treatment was a promising approach in promoting the effect of dopamine-modified coating while maintaining the crystal structure of the cellulose. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Facile and Eco-Friendly Fabrication of Colored and Bioactive Silk Materials Using Silver Nanoparticles Synthesized by Two Flavonoids
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 404; doi:10.3390/polym10040404
Received: 18 March 2018 / Revised: 1 April 2018 / Accepted: 2 April 2018 / Published: 4 April 2018
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Abstract
Recently, there has been an increasing tendency towards the functionalization of silk using silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) to inhibit bacterial multiplication and disease spread. Considering environmental factors and sustainable development, the preparation of AgNPs using natural extracts is becoming a research hotspot. This study
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Recently, there has been an increasing tendency towards the functionalization of silk using silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) to inhibit bacterial multiplication and disease spread. Considering environmental factors and sustainable development, the preparation of AgNPs using natural extracts is becoming a research hotspot. This study aims at fabricating colored and bioactive silk fabric using AgNPs synthesized by two representative flavonoids (quercetin and rutin). The effects of pH, temperature, and flavonoid concentration on the yield and particle size of AgNPs were studied. The color features and functionalities of the AgNPs-treated silk were also evaluated. The results showed that the AgNPs synthesized by quercetin were generated faster but displayed poorer size uniformity than those prepared by rutin. The as-prepared AgNPs showed good stability. The AgNPs prepared by rutin displayed a more uniform distribution on silk than those synthesized by quercetin. The antibacterial activity of AgNPs-treated silk remained over 90% against E. coli and S. aureus even after 30 washing cycles. The antioxidant activity of the treated silk gradually decreased during washing. The present research proposes a facile and eco-friendly method for the preparation of AgNPs-coated silk material using flavonoids, which can serve as hygiene-related and medical textile materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Textile and Textile-Based Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Low-Cost Advanced Hydrogels of Calcium Alginate/Carbon Nanofibers with Enhanced Water Diffusion and Compression Properties
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 405; doi:10.3390/polym10040405
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 23 March 2018 / Accepted: 3 April 2018 / Published: 4 April 2018
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Abstract
A series of alginate films was synthesised with several calcium chloride cross-linker contents (from 3 to 18% w/w) with and without a very low amount (0.1% w/w) of carbon nanofibers (CNFs) in order to reduce the production costs as much as
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A series of alginate films was synthesised with several calcium chloride cross-linker contents (from 3 to 18% w/w) with and without a very low amount (0.1% w/w) of carbon nanofibers (CNFs) in order to reduce the production costs as much as possible. The results of this study showed a very significant enhancement of liquid water diffusion and mechanical compressive modulus for high calcium chloride contents when this minuscule amount of CNFs is incorporated into calcium alginate hydrogels. These excellent results are attributed to a double cross-linking process, in which calcium cations are capable of cross-linking both alginate chains and CNFs creating a reinforced structure exhibiting ultrafast water diffusion through carbon nanochannels. Thus, these excellent results render these new alginate composites very promising for many bioengineering fields in need of low-cost advanced hydrogels with superior water diffusion and compression properties. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Crystalline Modification and Its Effects on Dielectric Breakdown Strength and Space Charge Behavior in Isotactic Polypropylene
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 406; doi:10.3390/polym10040406
Received: 10 February 2018 / Revised: 29 March 2018 / Accepted: 3 April 2018 / Published: 5 April 2018
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Abstract
Adding nucleating agents (NAs) is one of the most efficient ways to obtain improved mechanical, optical, and thermal properties of isotactic polypropylene (iPP). While it is well appreciated that electrical property is critically affected by crystalline modification, the role between them remains unclear.
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Adding nucleating agents (NAs) is one of the most efficient ways to obtain improved mechanical, optical, and thermal properties of isotactic polypropylene (iPP). While it is well appreciated that electrical property is critically affected by crystalline modification, the role between them remains unclear. Here, we address this issue by incorporating commercial α-NA and β-NA into iPP, both of which exhibit strong nucleation ability, e.g., reducing the size of crystalline agglomerates from 45.3 μm (Pure-iPP) to 2.5 μm (α-iPP) and 7.6 μm (β-iPP), respectively. Mechanical testing results show that while β-modification decreases the tensile strength a little, it does enhance the elongation at break (200%) and toughness (25.3% higher), relative to its unfilled counterparts. Moreover, a well-dispersed β-iPP system obtains a comprehensive improvement of electrical properties, including dielectric breakdown strength, space charge suppression, and internal field distortion under a high external field (−100 kV/mm) due to newly-generated deep charge trapping sites. This crystalline modification strategy is attractive for future development of many engineering insulating polymers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phase Behavior in Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle Polyethylene-Grafted Gold and Silver Nanoparticles Using Catalyzed Chain Growth (CCG)
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 407; doi:10.3390/polym10040407
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 27 March 2018 / Accepted: 1 April 2018 / Published: 6 April 2018
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Abstract
We report an efficient synthesis route for the formation of gold/silver-core–PE-shell nanohybrids in a simple self-assembly approach using PE with strong aurophilicity and argentophilicity, via thiol- and trithiocarbonate terminated moieties. This united the unique properties of polyethylene (PE) with gold and silver nanoparticles,
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We report an efficient synthesis route for the formation of gold/silver-core–PE-shell nanohybrids in a simple self-assembly approach using PE with strong aurophilicity and argentophilicity, via thiol- and trithiocarbonate terminated moieties. This united the unique properties of polyethylene (PE) with gold and silver nanoparticles, using the well-defined end-group design of PE. These nanocomposites showed a similar solubility as PE, as confirmed by dynamic light scattering, and could be fully incorporated into a polyethylene matrix with different particle contents, as visualized by transmission electron microscopy. Using UV/vis-spectroscopy, we observed reversible, thermoresponsive aggregation/deaggregation properties in the nanohybrids, validating the strong and effective anchoring of PE on gold/silver surfaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymerizations from Surfaces)
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Open AccessArticle Active Ester Containing Surfmer for One-Stage Polymer Nanoparticle Surface Functionalization in Mini-Emulsion Polymerization
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 408; doi:10.3390/polym10040408
Received: 19 February 2018 / Revised: 23 March 2018 / Accepted: 30 March 2018 / Published: 6 April 2018
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Abstract
Functional surface active monomers (surfmers) are molecules that combine the functionalities of surface activity, polymerizability, and reactive groups. This study presents an improved pathway for the synthesis of the active ester containing surfmer p-(11-acrylamido)undecanoyloxyphenyl dimethylsulfonium methyl sulfate (AUPDS). Further, the preparation of
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Functional surface active monomers (surfmers) are molecules that combine the functionalities of surface activity, polymerizability, and reactive groups. This study presents an improved pathway for the synthesis of the active ester containing surfmer p-(11-acrylamido)undecanoyloxyphenyl dimethylsulfonium methyl sulfate (AUPDS). Further, the preparation of poly(methyl methacrylate) and polystyrene nanoparticles (NPs) by mini-emulsion polymerization using AUPDS is investigated, leading to NPs with active ester groups on their surface. By systematically varying reaction parameters and reagent concentrations, it was found that AUPDS feed concentrations between 2–4 mol% yielded narrowly distributed and stable spherical particles with average sizes between 83 and 134 nm for non-cross-linked NPs, and up to 163 nm for cross-linked NPs. By basic hydrolysis of the active ester groups in aqueous dispersion, the positive ζ-potential (ZP) was converted into a negative ZP and charge quantities determined by polyelectrolyte titrations before and after hydrolysis were in the same range, indicating that the active ester groups were indeed accessible in aqueous suspension. Increasing cross-linker amounts over 10 mol% also led to a decrease of ZP of NPs, probably due to internalization of the AUPDS during polymerization. In conclusion, by using optimized reaction conditions, it is possible to prepare active ester functionalized NPs in one stage using AUPDS as a surfmer in mini-emulsion polymerization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from "ECIS 2017")
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Open AccessArticle Effect of SiO2 Content on the Extended Creep Behavior of SiO2-Based Wood-Inorganic Composites Derived via the Sol–Gel Process Using the Stepped Isostress Method
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 409; doi:10.3390/polym10040409
Received: 12 March 2018 / Revised: 30 March 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 6 April 2018
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Abstract
In this study, methyltrimethoxysilane (MTMOS) was used as a reagent to prepare SiO2-based wood-inorganic composites (WICSiO2) via the sol-gel process, and subsequently, the extended creep behaviors of WICSiO2 with weight percent gains (WPGs) of 10%, 20%,
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In this study, methyltrimethoxysilane (MTMOS) was used as a reagent to prepare SiO2-based wood-inorganic composites (WICSiO2) via the sol-gel process, and subsequently, the extended creep behaviors of WICSiO2 with weight percent gains (WPGs) of 10%, 20%, and 30% were estimated using the stepped isostress method (SSM). The results revealed that the density of all samples ranged from 426 to 513 kg/m3, and no significant difference in the modulus of elasticity (MOE) was noted among all of the samples (10.5–10.7 GPa). However, the MOR of WICSiO2 with a WPG of 20% (102 MPa) was significantly greater than that of untreated wood (87 MPa). In addition, according to the result using the SSM, the SSM-predicted creep master curve fitted well with the experimental data for the untreated wood and WICSiO2. This result demonstrated that the SSM could be a useful method to evaluate long-term creep behaviors of wood and WICSiO2. Furthermore, the activation volume (V*) of the specimens was calculated from the linear slope of Eyring plots, and the resulting V* of all of the WICSiO2 (0.754–0.842 nm3) was lower than that of untreated wood (0.856 nm3). On the other hand, the modulus reduction of untreated wood showed 39%, 45%, 48%, and 51% at 5, 15, 30, and 50 years, respectively. In contrast, the modulus reduction of the WICSiO2 with a WPG of 10% decreased to 25%, 31%, 35%, and 38% at 5, 15, 30, and 50 years, respectively. Similar trends were also observed for other WICSiO2 with different WPGs. Of these, the WICSiO2 with a WPG of 20% exhibited the lowest reduction in time-dependent modulus (31%) over a 50-year period. Accordingly, the creep resistance of the wood could be effectively enhanced under the MTMOS treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modification of Natural Fibres to Improve Biocomposites Performances)
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Open AccessArticle Low-Dissipation Thermosets Derived from Oligo(2,6-Dimethyl Phenylene Oxide)-Containing Benzoxazines
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 411; doi:10.3390/polym10040411
Received: 14 March 2018 / Revised: 29 March 2018 / Accepted: 2 April 2018 / Published: 7 April 2018
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Abstract
Poly(2,6-dimethyl phenyl oxide) (PPO) is known for its low dissipation factor. To achieve insulating materials with low dissipation factors for high-frequency communication applications, a telechelic oligomer-type benzoxazine (P-APPO) and a main-chain type benzoxazine polymer (BPA-APPO) were prepared from an amine end-capped oligo (2,6-dimethyl
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Poly(2,6-dimethyl phenyl oxide) (PPO) is known for its low dissipation factor. To achieve insulating materials with low dissipation factors for high-frequency communication applications, a telechelic oligomer-type benzoxazine (P-APPO) and a main-chain type benzoxazine polymer (BPA-APPO) were prepared from an amine end-capped oligo (2,6-dimethyl phenylene oxide) (APPO). The APPO was prepared from a nucleophilic substitution of a phenol-end capped oligo (2,6-dimethyl phenylene oxide) (a commercial product, SA 90) with fluoronitrobenzene, and followed by catalytic hydrogenation. After self-curing or curing with a dicyclopentadiene-phenol epoxy (HP 7200), thermosets with high-Tg and low-dissipation factor can be achieved. Furthermore, the resulting epoxy thermosets show better thermal and dielectric properties than those of epoxy thermoset cured from its precursor SA90, demonstrating it is a successful modification in simultaneously enhancing the thermal and dielectric properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Developments in Ring-Opening Polymerization)
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Open AccessArticle How Glycerol and Water Contents Affect the Structural and Functional Properties of Starch-Based Edible Films
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 412; doi:10.3390/polym10040412
Received: 10 February 2018 / Revised: 12 March 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 8 April 2018
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Abstract
As starch is an inexpensive, filmogenic, easily processable and a widely available material, it is a material that can be utilized in the creation of biodegradable films and containers, presenting as a viable alternative to polymers derived from petrol. Moreover, starch could also
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As starch is an inexpensive, filmogenic, easily processable and a widely available material, it is a material that can be utilized in the creation of biodegradable films and containers, presenting as a viable alternative to polymers derived from petrol. Moreover, starch could also be used to create edible coatings for fresh foods in order to extend shelf life. As such, wheat starch films with two glycerol contents were formulated to mimic the effects of compounds currently used to coat fruit. Their structural and functional properties were characterized. This study found that the transfer properties of starch films containing 33% of plasticizer was less effective than film comprised of 50% glycerol. Water diffusivity, oxygen permeability, and water vapor permeability at two different humidity gradients, surface tension, works of surface adhesion and cohesion, and moisture sorption were tested. Glycerol content does not play a significant role on the color or mechanical properties. This work shows that glycerol can strongly affect the functional properties of starch-based coatings and films. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Experimental Study of the Effect of Internal Defects on Stress Waves during Automated Fiber Placement
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 413; doi:10.3390/polym10040413
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 3 April 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 9 April 2018
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Abstract
The detection technique of component defects is currently only realized to detect offline defects and online surface defects during automated fiber placement (AFP). The characteristics of stress waves can be effectively applied to identify and detect internal defects in material structure. However, the
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The detection technique of component defects is currently only realized to detect offline defects and online surface defects during automated fiber placement (AFP). The characteristics of stress waves can be effectively applied to identify and detect internal defects in material structure. However, the correlation mechanism between stress waves and internal defects remains unclear during the AFP process. This paper proposes a novel experimental method to test stress waves, where continuous loading induced by process itself is used as an excitation source without other external excitation. Twenty-seven groups of thermosetting prepreg laminates under different processing parameters are manufactured to obtain different void content. In order to quantitatively estimate the void content in the prepreg structure, the relation model between the void content and ultrasonic attenuation coefficient is revealed using an A-scan ultrasonic flaw detector and photographic methods by optical microscope. Furthermore, the high-frequency noises of stress waves are removed using Haar wavelet transform. The peaks, the Manhattan distance and mean stress during the laying process are analyzed and evaluated. Partial conclusions in this paper could provide theoretical support for online real-time detection of internal defects based on stress wave characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Hybrids and Composites)
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Open AccessCommunication Huge Enhancement of Luminescence from a Coaxial-Like Heterostructure of Poly(3-methylthiophene) and Au
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 414; doi:10.3390/polym10040414
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 30 March 2018 / Accepted: 7 April 2018 / Published: 9 April 2018
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Abstract
Recently, the light-matter interaction at nanoscale has attracted great interest from physicists, chemists and material scientists, as it gives peculiar optical properties that couldn’t be observed at the bulk scale. The synthesis and characterization of organic-inorganic heterostructures forming quantum dots, nanowires or nanotubes
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Recently, the light-matter interaction at nanoscale has attracted great interest from physicists, chemists and material scientists, as it gives peculiar optical properties that couldn’t be observed at the bulk scale. The synthesis and characterization of organic-inorganic heterostructures forming quantum dots, nanowires or nanotubes provide opportunities to understand their photophysical mechanism and to apply optoelecronic devices. Herein, we report a huge enhanced luminescence in a coaxial-like heterostructured poly (3-methylthiophene) (P3MT) with Au. We electrochemically synthesized P3MT nanowires (NWs) on a nanoporous template, and sequentially deposited Au on the surface of P3MT NWs. The diameter of heterostructured P3MT/Au NWs was about 200 nm, where the cladding-shape Au were about 10 nm. The visible range absorbance, with two new absorption peaks of P3MT/Au NWs, was significantly increased compared with that of P3MT NWs. Accordingly, the photoluminescence (PL) of a P3MT/Au NW was enormously increased; up to 170 times compared to that of P3MT NWs. More interestingly, an unexpected enhancement of PL was observed from cross-junction point of P3MT/Au NWs. The abnormal PL properties of P3MT/Au NWs were attributed to the charge transfer and the surface plasmon resonance between the cladding-shape Au and the core-shape P3MT, which resulted in the enhanced quantum yield. This incites us to reconsider the light-matter interaction in polymer-metal hybrid structures applicable for high-performance optoelectronic devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Optical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Fabrication and In Vitro Characterization of Electrochemically Compacted Collagen/Sulfated Xylorhamnoglycuronan Matrix for Wound Healing Applications
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 415; doi:10.3390/polym10040415
Received: 20 March 2018 / Revised: 4 April 2018 / Accepted: 5 April 2018 / Published: 9 April 2018
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Abstract
Skin autografts are in great demand due to injuries and disease, but there are challenges using live tissue sources, and synthetic tissue is still in its infancy. In this study, an electrocompaction method was applied to fabricate the densely packed and highly ordered
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Skin autografts are in great demand due to injuries and disease, but there are challenges using live tissue sources, and synthetic tissue is still in its infancy. In this study, an electrocompaction method was applied to fabricate the densely packed and highly ordered collagen/sulfated xylorhamnoglycuronan (SXRGlu) scaffold which closely mimicked the major structure and components in natural skin tissue. The fabricated electrocompacted collagen/SXRGlu matrices (ECLCU) were characterized in terms of micromorphology, mechanical property, water uptake ability and degradability. The viability, proliferation and morphology of human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs) cells on the fabricated matrices were also evaluated. The results indicated that the electrocompaction process could promote HDFs proliferation and SXRGlu could improve the water uptake ability and matrices’ stability against collagenase degradation, and support fibroblast spreading on the ECLCU matrices. Therefore, all these results suggest that the electrocompacted collagen/SXRGlu scaffold is a potential candidate as a dermal substitute with enhanced biostability and biocompatibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein Biopolymer)
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Open AccessCommunication In Situ Raman Spectroscopy as a Tool for Structural Insight into Cation Non-Ionomeric Polymer Interactions during Ion Transport
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 416; doi:10.3390/polym10040416
Received: 11 March 2018 / Revised: 30 March 2018 / Accepted: 6 April 2018 / Published: 9 April 2018
PDF Full-text (3877 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Low-modified liquid-crystalline polyether (CP36), as a model compound, was synthesised with the purpose of preparing a membrane with columnar ionic channels. A free-standing cation permselective biomimetic membrane was successfully prepared and found to have channels made of polymeric columns homeotropically oriented, which was
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Low-modified liquid-crystalline polyether (CP36), as a model compound, was synthesised with the purpose of preparing a membrane with columnar ionic channels. A free-standing cation permselective biomimetic membrane was successfully prepared and found to have channels made of polymeric columns homeotropically oriented, which was confirmed in X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. A first insight into a real-time interaction between two selected cations: H+ and Na+, and polyether during transport through the polymeric membrane was demonstrated using joined chronoamperometry and Raman spectroscopy techniques. Raman studies unveiled the possibility for smaller protons to bypass the usual ionic pathway via polyetheric chain and use outer part of ionic channel for conduction thanks to ester bonds. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Selenide-Containing Polyimides with an Ultrahigh Intrinsic Refractive Index
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 417; doi:10.3390/polym10040417
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 1 April 2018 / Accepted: 6 April 2018 / Published: 9 April 2018
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Abstract
This work developed novel selenium-containing polyimides with a high intrinsic refractive index. Four polyimides with different selenium contents and repeat unit structures were designed and synthesized via amine-dianhydride polycondensation of one of two diamines, i.e., 4,4′-oxydianiline or bis(4-aminophenyl)selanide, with one of two
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This work developed novel selenium-containing polyimides with a high intrinsic refractive index. Four polyimides with different selenium contents and repeat unit structures were designed and synthesized via amine-dianhydride polycondensation of one of two diamines, i.e., 4,4′-oxydianiline or bis(4-aminophenyl)selanide, with one of two dianhydrides, i.e., bis(4-(3,4-dicarboxylbenzoyloxy)phenyl) ester dianhydride or 1,1′-bis(4-(3,4-dicarboxylbenzoyloxy)phenyl) selenide dianhydride. Various techniques, e.g., nuclear magnetic resonance, Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy, and wide-angle X-ray diffraction, were used to characterize the polymers’ structures. Differential scanning calorimetry, thermogravimetric analysis, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, and spectroscopic ellipsometry were used to characterize the properties of the polymers. The selenium contents showed a positive effect on the refractive index of the final polymer. In addition, the refractive index can reach up to 1.968 at 633 nm, which was the highest intrinsic refractive index of a polyimide ever reported. Because of the high intrinsic refractive index, the reflective ratio of visible light on the surface of a silicon wafer was significantly reduced, indicating the potentially utility of the polymer in an anti-reflection coating. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Preliminary Structural Characteristics of Polysaccharides from Pomelo Peels and Their Antitumor Mechanism on S180 Tumor-Bearing Mice
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 419; doi:10.3390/polym10040419
Received: 11 March 2018 / Revised: 5 April 2018 / Accepted: 7 April 2018 / Published: 9 April 2018
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Abstract
In this study, the polysaccharides (PPs) from pomelo peels were investigated for their structural characteristics and antitumor mechanism on sarcoma S180-bearing mice. Components, FT-IR, and GC analysis showed that PPs, mainly composed of glucose, were typical acid polysaccharides with α-d-pyranoid glucose
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In this study, the polysaccharides (PPs) from pomelo peels were investigated for their structural characteristics and antitumor mechanism on sarcoma S180-bearing mice. Components, FT-IR, and GC analysis showed that PPs, mainly composed of glucose, were typical acid polysaccharides with α-d-pyranoid glucose containing 74.52% carbohydrate and 16.33% uronic acid. The in vivo antitumor tests revealed that PPs could effectively suppress the transplanted S180 tumors growth, as well as protect the immune organs, improve proliferation ability of splenic lymphocytes and killing activity of NK cells in tumor-bearing mice. Furthermore, the levels of serum cytokines (IL-2, IFN-γ and TNF-α) and the proportion of CD4+ T cells in peripheral blood of mice bearing S180 tumors were also significantly increased after treatment with PPs. Meanwhile, the transplanted S180 tumor cells exhibited obvious apoptotic phenotype after PPs treatment by arresting the cell cycle in S phase, down-regulating the Bcl-2 expressions and up-regulating the Bax levels. These data showed that PPs were mainly composed of glucose with α-d-pyranoid ring and could induce apoptosis of solid tumor cells by enhancing the antitumor immunity of tumor-bearing mice, which would provide a theoretical basis for the practical application in food and medical industries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Polysiloxanes on Roughness and Durability of Basalt Fibres–Reinforced Cement Mortar
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 420; doi:10.3390/polym10040420
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 6 April 2018 / Accepted: 7 April 2018 / Published: 9 April 2018
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Abstract
The influence of roughness and the way it affects the adhesion properties and surface free energy (SFE) of polysiloxanes hydrophobised basalt fibres–reinforced cement mortars were determined in this article. The physical properties of mortars were investigated in the experimental part, which also explored
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The influence of roughness and the way it affects the adhesion properties and surface free energy (SFE) of polysiloxanes hydrophobised basalt fibres–reinforced cement mortars were determined in this article. The physical properties of mortars were investigated in the experimental part, which also explored the impact of hydrophobisation and basalt fibres (BF) addition on SFE, frost resistance, contact angle (CA), and roughness. A device capable of calculating all parameters was used to indicate the surface roughness and 3D topography. Prior to and after conducting surface and weight hydrophobisation, the contact angle of mortars was specified. Subsequently, it was used for carrying out SFE calculation by means of Neumann’s method, enabling us to characterize the adhesion properties and wettability of mortars. The research indicated that the surface roughness was substantially decreased, in turn raising the frost resistance. The corrosion resistance drops when the surface roughness, water absorption, and number of fibres in the mortar increase. The SEM images presenting the structure of polysiloxane coating and mortars were provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Siloxane-Based Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle The Influence of Accelerated UV-A and Q-SUN Irradiation on the Antibacterial Properties of Hydrophobic Coatings Containing Eucomis comosa Extract
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 421; doi:10.3390/polym10040421
Received: 2 March 2018 / Revised: 31 March 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 9 April 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this research was to examine the antimicrobial properties against Gram-positive bacteria, as well as the water vapour characteristic of polylactic acid (PLA) films covered with a methyl–hydroxypropyl–cellulose (MHPC)/cocoa butter carrier containing Eucomis comosa extract as an active substance. The second
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The purpose of this research was to examine the antimicrobial properties against Gram-positive bacteria, as well as the water vapour characteristic of polylactic acid (PLA) films covered with a methyl–hydroxypropyl–cellulose (MHPC)/cocoa butter carrier containing Eucomis comosa extract as an active substance. The second purpose of the study was to evaluate the influence of accelerated UV-A and Q-SUN irradiation (UV-aging) on the antimicrobial properties and the barrier characteristic of the coatings. The results of the study revealed that MHPC/cocoa butter coatings had no influence on the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, and Bacillus atrophaeus. MHPC/cocoa butter coatings containing E. comosa extract reduced the number of bacterial strains. MHPC/cocoa butter coatings also decreased the water vapour permeability of PLA. It was shown that accelerated UV-A and Q-SUN irradiations altered the chemical composition of the coatings containing cocoa butter. Despite the alteration of the chemical composition of the layers, the accelerated Q-SUN and UV-A irradiation had no influence on the antimicrobial properties of E. comosa extract coatings against S. aureus and B. cereus. It was found that only Q-SUN irradiation decreased the coating activity with an extract against B. atrophaeus, though this was to a small degree. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Polymer-Based Materials for Food Packaging Applications)
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Open AccessArticle A Study of the Polycondensation of (Tetrahydroxy)(Tetraaryl)Cyclotetrasiloxanes under Equilibrium and Non-Equilibrium Conditions in the Presence and Absence of Montmorillonite
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 422; doi:10.3390/polym10040422
Received: 22 February 2018 / Revised: 30 March 2018 / Accepted: 3 April 2018 / Published: 9 April 2018
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Abstract
Oligo- and polycyclosiloxanes were obtained by the polycondensation of (tetrahydroxy)(tetraaryl)cyclotetrasiloxanes in equilibrium and non-equilibrium conditions in the presence and absence of montmorillonite (MMT). Their composition and the structures of their components were investigated by infrared (IR) spectroscopy, 29Si nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)
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Oligo- and polycyclosiloxanes were obtained by the polycondensation of (tetrahydroxy)(tetraaryl)cyclotetrasiloxanes in equilibrium and non-equilibrium conditions in the presence and absence of montmorillonite (MMT). Their composition and the structures of their components were investigated by infrared (IR) spectroscopy, 29Si nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) mass spectrometry, powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), and gel-penetrating chromatography (GPC). Also, a comparison of polymers formed in the presence of MMT and via anionic polymerization was performed showing differences in their structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precision Polymer Synthesis)
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Open AccessArticle KnowVolution of the Polymer-Binding Peptide LCI for Improved Polypropylene Binding
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 423; doi:10.3390/polym10040423
Received: 22 March 2018 / Revised: 4 April 2018 / Accepted: 7 April 2018 / Published: 10 April 2018
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Abstract
The functionalization of polymer surfaces by polymer-binding peptides offers tremendous opportunities for directed immobilization of enzymes, bioactive peptides, and antigens. The application of polymer-binding peptides as adhesion promoters requires reliable and stable binding under process conditions. Molecular modes of interactions between material surfaces,
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The functionalization of polymer surfaces by polymer-binding peptides offers tremendous opportunities for directed immobilization of enzymes, bioactive peptides, and antigens. The application of polymer-binding peptides as adhesion promoters requires reliable and stable binding under process conditions. Molecular modes of interactions between material surfaces, peptides, and solvent are often not understood to an extent that enables (semi-) rational design of polymer-binding peptides, hindering the full exploitation of their potential. Knowledge-gaining directed evolution (KnowVolution) is an efficient protein engineering strategy that facilitates tailoring protein properties to application demands through a combination of directed evolution and computational guided protein design. A single round of KnowVolution was performed to gain molecular insights into liquid chromatography peak I peptide, 47 aa (LCI)-binding to polypropylene (PP) in the presence of the competing surfactant Triton X-100. KnowVolution yielded a total of 8 key positions (D19, S27, Y29, D31, G35, I40, E42, and D45), which govern PP-binding in the presence of Triton X-100. The recombination of two of the identified amino acid substitutions (Y29R and G35R; variant KR-2) yielded a 5.4 ± 0.5-fold stronger PP-binding peptide compared to LCI WT in the presence of Triton X-100 (1 mM). The LCI variant KR-2 shows a maximum binding capacity of 8.8 ± 0.1 pmol/cm2 on PP in the presence of Triton X-100 (up to 1 mM). The KnowVolution approach enables the development of polymer-binding peptides, which efficiently coat and functionalize PP surfaces and withstand surfactant concentrations that are commonly used, such as in household detergents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polypeptide Containing Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle Morphology, Nucleation, and Isothermal Crystallization Kinetics of Poly(Butylene Succinate) Mixed with a Polycarbonate/MWCNT Masterbatch
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 424; doi:10.3390/polym10040424
Received: 21 March 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 10 April 2018
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Abstract
In this study, nanocomposites were prepared by melt blending poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) with a polycarbonate (PC)/multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) masterbatch, in a twin-screw extruder. The nanocomposites contained 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 wt% MWCNTs. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS)
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In this study, nanocomposites were prepared by melt blending poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) with a polycarbonate (PC)/multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) masterbatch, in a twin-screw extruder. The nanocomposites contained 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 wt% MWCNTs. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and wide angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) results indicate that the blends are partially miscible, hence they form two phases (i.e., PC-rich and PBS-rich phases). The PC-rich phase contained a small amount of PBS chains that acted as a plasticizer and enabled crystallization of the PC component. In the PBS-rich phase, the amount of the PC chains present gave rise to increases in the glass transition temperature of the PBS phase. The presence of two phases was supported by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) analysis, where most MWCNTs aggregated in the PC-rich phase (especially at the high MWCNTs content of 4 wt%) and a small amount of MWCNTs were able to diffuse to the PBS-rich phase. Standard DSC scans showed that the MWCNTs nucleation effects saturated at 0.5 wt% MWCNT content on the PBS-rich phase, above this content a negative nucleation effect was observed. Isothermal crystallization results indicated that with 0.5 wt% MWCNTs the crystallization rate was accelerated, but further increases in MWCNTs loading (and also in PC content) resulted in progressive decreases in crystallization rate. The results are explained by increased MWCNTs aggregation and reduced diffusion rates of PBS chains, as the masterbatch content in the blends increased. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Hybrids and Composites)
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Open AccessArticle Novel Nano-Liposome Formulation for Dry Eyes with Components Similar to the Preocular Tear Film
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 425; doi:10.3390/polym10040425
Received: 14 March 2018 / Revised: 4 April 2018 / Accepted: 6 April 2018 / Published: 11 April 2018
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Abstract
Dry eye is commonly treated with artificial tears; however, developing artificial tears similar to natural tears is difficult due to the complex nature of tears. We characterized and evaluated a novel artificial tear formulation with components similar to the lipid and aqueous constituents
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Dry eye is commonly treated with artificial tears; however, developing artificial tears similar to natural tears is difficult due to the complex nature of tears. We characterized and evaluated a novel artificial tear formulation with components similar to the lipid and aqueous constituents of natural tears. Nano-liposomes, composed in part of phosphatidylcholine, were dispersed in an aqueous solution of bioadhesive sodium hyaluronate. Liposome size, zeta potential, and physicochemical properties of the fresh and stored (4 °C) liposomal formulation were analyzed. In vitro tolerance was tested using human corneal and conjunctival cell lines by exposures of 15 min to 4 h. The tolerance of the liposomal formulation was evaluated in animals (rabbits). The average liposome size was 186.3 ± 7.0 nm, and the zeta potential was negative. The osmolarity of the formulation was 198.6 ± 1.7 mOsm, with a surface tension of 36.5 ± 0.4 mN/m and viscosity of 3.05 ± 0.02 mPa·s. Viability values in the human corneal and conjunctival cell lines were always >80%, even after liposomal formulation storage for 8 weeks. Discomfort and clinical signs after instillation in rabbit eyes were absent. The new formulation, based on phosphatidylcholine-liposomes dispersed in sodium hyaluronate has suitable components and characteristics, including high in vitro cell viability and good in vivo tolerance, to serve as a tear substitute. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from "ECIS 2017")
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