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Polymers, Volume 4, Issue 1 (March 2012), Pages 1-888

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Open AccessArticle Hydrodynamic Behavior of Dendrigraft Polylysines in Water and Dimethylformamide
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 20-31; doi:10.3390/polym4010020
Received: 2 November 2011 / Revised: 20 December 2011 / Accepted: 23 December 2011 / Published: 2 January 2012
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (406 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The four first generations of dendrigraft poly-L-lysine have been studied in dimethylformamide (aprotic solvent) and in 0.2 M NaCl aqueous solutions by isothermal translation diffusion, 1H NMR and viscometry methods. The relationships between diffusion coefficient, intrinsic viscosity and molar mass have [...] Read more.
The four first generations of dendrigraft poly-L-lysine have been studied in dimethylformamide (aprotic solvent) and in 0.2 M NaCl aqueous solutions by isothermal translation diffusion, 1H NMR and viscometry methods. The relationships between diffusion coefficient, intrinsic viscosity and molar mass have been determined for dendrigraft poly-L-lysines, and the scaling index values have been compared to classical trifunctional dendrimers. Dendrimers and dendrigraft poly-L-lysines exhibited similitudes in their hydrodynamic behaviors. Nevertheless, dendrigraft poly-L-lysines displayed a specific behavior in solution. In contrast to dendrimers, a significant change of hydrodynamic dimension of dendrigraft poly-L-lysines according to the nature of the solvent has been observed. In aprotic solvent, the dendrigraft poly-L-lysine dimensions are about two times lower than in aqueous media (i.e., the hydrodynamic volume is contracted by a factor 8 in dimethylformamide), revealing the softness of dendrigraft poly-L-lysine compared to classical trifunctional dendrimers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dendrimers and Hyperbranched Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle Solution Properties of Water-Soluble “Smart” Poly(N-acryloyl-N′-ethyl piperazine-co-methyl methacrylate)
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 32-45; doi:10.3390/polym4010032
Received: 28 November 2011 / Revised: 21 December 2011 / Accepted: 5 January 2012 / Published: 5 January 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (397 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water-soluble copolymers of N-acryloyl-N′-ethylpiperazine (AcrNEP) with methyl methacrylate (MMA) were synthesized to high conversion by free-radical solution polymerization. The composition of the copolymers was determined using Fourier Transform Infra-red Spectroscopy (FTIR). Copolymers containing AcrNEP content above 44 mol% were [...] Read more.
Water-soluble copolymers of N-acryloyl-N′-ethylpiperazine (AcrNEP) with methyl methacrylate (MMA) were synthesized to high conversion by free-radical solution polymerization. The composition of the copolymers was determined using Fourier Transform Infra-red Spectroscopy (FTIR). Copolymers containing AcrNEP content above 44 mol% were readily soluble in water and exhibited the critical solution temperature behavior. The copolymers were strongly responsive to changes in pH of the external medium due to the presence of tertiary amine functions that could be protonated at low pH. The influence of various factors such as copolymer composition, pH, temperature, salt and surfactant concentration on the LCST of the copolymers were systematically studied. The intrinsic viscosity of the copolymers in dimethyl formamide decreased with increase in temperature due to a decrease in thermodynamic affinity between polymer chains and solvent molecules. The viscosity behavior of the copolymers in sodium chloride solution was similar to that of classical polyelectrolytes and hydrophobically modified polyacrylate systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water-Soluble Polymers)
Open AccessArticle The Mechanical Properties of Epoxy Composites Filled with Rubbery Copolymer Grafted SiO2
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 187-210; doi:10.3390/polym4010187
Received: 17 December 2011 / Revised: 5 January 2012 / Accepted: 6 January 2012 / Published: 16 January 2012
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (2281 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study demonstrated a method for toughening a highly crosslinked anhydride cured DGEBA epoxy using rubbery block copolymer grafted SiO2 nanoparticles. The particles were synthesized by a sequential reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. The inner rubbery block poly(n-hexyl methacrylate) (PHMA) [...] Read more.
This study demonstrated a method for toughening a highly crosslinked anhydride cured DGEBA epoxy using rubbery block copolymer grafted SiO2 nanoparticles. The particles were synthesized by a sequential reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. The inner rubbery block poly(n-hexyl methacrylate) (PHMA) had a glass transition temperature below room temperature. The outer block poly(glycidyl methacrylate) (PGMA) was matrix compatible. A rubbery interlayer thickness of 100% and 200% of the particle core radius was achieved by grafting a 20 kg/mol and a 40 kg/mol PHMA at a graft density of 0.7 chains/nm2 from the SiO2 surface. The 20 kg/mol rubbery interlayer transferred load more efficiently to the SiO2 cores than the 40 kg/mol rubbery interlayer and maintained the epoxy modulus up to a loading of 10 vol% of the rubbery interlayer. Both systems enabled cavitation or plastic dilatation. Improvement of the strain-to-break and the tensile toughness was found in both systems. We hypothesize that plastic void growth in the matrix is the primary mechanism causing the improvement of the ductility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Inorganic Hybrids and Their Applications)
Open AccessArticle Conformational Effects in Non-Stoichiometric Complexes of Two Hyperbranched Molecules with a Linear Polyelectrolyte
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 240-255; doi:10.3390/polym4010240
Received: 9 December 2011 / Revised: 22 December 2011 / Accepted: 14 January 2012 / Published: 17 January 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1726 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We report results from Brownian dynamics computer simulations of systems comprised by two terminally charged hyperbranched molecules preferentially branched in the periphery, with an oppositely charged linear chain of varying length. Comparison of the findings from the present study to stoichiometric counterparts [...] Read more.
We report results from Brownian dynamics computer simulations of systems comprised by two terminally charged hyperbranched molecules preferentially branched in the periphery, with an oppositely charged linear chain of varying length. Comparison of the findings from the present study to stoichiometric counterparts and to analogous dendrimer-based complexes, reveal that the presence of the second hyperbranched molecule incurs significant changes in the conformational characteristics of both components of the complex. Instead of step-like changes in the average size and shape of the hyperbranched component that were noted in the previously studied stoichiometric systems, a rather smooth change is observed upon increase of the length of the linear component. In addition, a markedly different behavior is also noticed in the conformational characteristics of the linear chain when compared to that in similar dendrimer-based systems. The above findings are consistent with the higher degree of deformability of the peripherally branched molecules which allow appropriate rearrangements in shape in order to accommodate the favorable Coulombic interactions between the two components of the complex. This behavior offers new insight towards the design of more efficient hyperbranched-based systems which can take advantage of the multifunctionality and the structural properties of the highly branched polymer components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dendrimers and Hyperbranched Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle Shrinkage Characteristics of Experimental Polymer Containing Composites under Controlled Light Curing Modes
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 256-274; doi:10.3390/polym4010256
Received: 14 December 2011 / Revised: 4 January 2012 / Accepted: 14 January 2012 / Published: 18 January 2012
PDF Full-text (593 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The adsorption of polymethylmethacrylate polymer of different molecular weight at the aerosil/ethyleneglycol- or 1,3 butanediol-dimethacrylate interfaces was determined to provide microstructured networks. Their structural characteristics were determined to be controlled by the amount of polymer initially supplied to the system. The sediment [...] Read more.
The adsorption of polymethylmethacrylate polymer of different molecular weight at the aerosil/ethyleneglycol- or 1,3 butanediol-dimethacrylate interfaces was determined to provide microstructured networks. Their structural characteristics were determined to be controlled by the amount of polymer initially supplied to the system. The sediment (the settled phase) characteristics, determined as a function of the polymer concentration and the rate of the polymerization shrinkage determined for composite resins, obtained by extrusion of the sediment after centrifugation, were found to be correlated. The specific role of the adsorbed polymer was found to be differently perturbed with the supplementary supply of dimethacrylate based monomer additives. Particularly, the bisphenol A dimethacrylate that generated crystals within the sediment was found to impede the shrinkage along the crystal lateral faces and strongly limit the shrinkage along its basal faces. Addition of ethyleneglycol- or polyethylene-glycoldimethacrylate monomers was determined to modify the sedimentation characteristics of the aerosil suspension and the shrinkage properties of the composites. Finally, the effects of stepwise light curing methods with prolonged lighting-off periods were investigated and found to modify the development and the final values of the composite shrinkage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Oro-Dental and Cranio- Maxillo-Facial Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Selective Grafting of Primary Amines onto Carbon Nanotubes via Free-Radical Treatment in Microwave Plasma Post-Discharge
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 296-315; doi:10.3390/polym4010296
Received: 1 December 2011 / Revised: 6 January 2012 / Accepted: 10 January 2012 / Published: 30 January 2012
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (662 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A novel strategy to graft functional groups at the surface of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) is discussed. Aiming at grafting nitrogen containing groups, and more specifically primary amine covalent functionalization, CNTs were exposed under atomic nitrogen flow arising from an Ar + N [...] Read more.
A novel strategy to graft functional groups at the surface of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) is discussed. Aiming at grafting nitrogen containing groups, and more specifically primary amine covalent functionalization, CNTs were exposed under atomic nitrogen flow arising from an Ar + N2 microwave plasma. The primary amine functions were identified and quantified through chemical derivatization with 4-(trifluoromethyl)benzaldehyde and characterized through X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The increase of the selectivity in the primary amines grafting onto CNTs, up to 66.7% for treatment of CNT powder, was performed via the reduction of post-treatment oxygen contamination and the addition of hydrogen in the experimental set-up, more particularly in the plasma post-discharge chamber. The analyses of nitrogenated and primary amine functions grafting on the CNT surface suggest that atomic nitrogen (N•) and reduced nitrogen species (NH• and NH2•) react preferentially with defect sites of CNTs and, then, only atomic nitrogen continues to react on the CNT surface, creating defects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Nanotubes: Synthesis, Characterization and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Emulsion-Based Resonant Infrared Matrix Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation (RIR-MAPLE) on the Molecular Weight of Polymers
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 341-354; doi:10.3390/polym4010341
Received: 31 December 2011 / Revised: 29 January 2012 / Accepted: 30 January 2012 / Published: 1 February 2012
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (319 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The molecular weight of a polymer determines key optoelectronic device characteristics, such as internal morphology and charge transport. Therefore, it is important to ensure that polymer deposition techniques do not significantly alter the native polymer molecular weight. This work addresses polymers deposited [...] Read more.
The molecular weight of a polymer determines key optoelectronic device characteristics, such as internal morphology and charge transport. Therefore, it is important to ensure that polymer deposition techniques do not significantly alter the native polymer molecular weight. This work addresses polymers deposited by resonant infrared matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation (RIR-MAPLE). By using a novel emulsion-based target technique, the deposition of smooth, contiguous films with no evidence of chemical degradation have been enabled. However, structural degradation via a reduction in molecular weight remains an open question. The common polymer standard, PMMA, and the optoelectronic polymers, P3HT and MEH-PPV, have been characterized before and after emulsion-based RIR-MAPLE deposition via gel permeation chromatography to determine if RIR-MAPLE affects the deposited polymer molecular weight. Proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy measurements have also been conducted to verify the absence of chemical degradation. These measurements verify that there is no chemical degradation of the polymers, and that PMMA and P3HT show no structural degradation, but MEH-PPV exhibits a halving of the weight-averaged molecular weight after RIR-MAPLE deposition. Compared with competing laser deposition techniques, RIR-MAPLE is shown to have the least effect on the molecular weight of the resulting thin films. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Thin Films and Membranes)
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Open AccessArticle Degree of Branching in Hyperbranched Poly(glycerol-co-diacid)s Synthesized in Toluene
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 396-407; doi:10.3390/polym4010396
Received: 1 January 2012 / Revised: 28 January 2012 / Accepted: 31 January 2012 / Published: 6 February 2012
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (275 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
1H NMR and 13C NMR spectrometry (1-dimensional and 2-dimensional) have been used to assign chemical resonances and determine the degrees of branching for polyesters synthesized by the Lewis acid (dibutyltin(IV)oxide)-catalyzed polycondensation of glycerol with either succinic acid (n (aliphatic chain [...] Read more.
1H NMR and 13C NMR spectrometry (1-dimensional and 2-dimensional) have been used to assign chemical resonances and determine the degrees of branching for polyesters synthesized by the Lewis acid (dibutyltin(IV)oxide)-catalyzed polycondensation of glycerol with either succinic acid (n (aliphatic chain length) = 2), glutaric acid (n = 3) or azelaic acid (n = 7) in quasi-melt solutions with toluene. When 1:1 and 2:1 (diacid:glycerol) molar ratios were used, it was found that the glutaric acid-derived polymers gave the highest degree of polymer branching (31.2%, 85.6%, respectively) after the 24 h reaction period followed by the succinic acid-derived polymers (39.4%, 41.9%, respectively) and the azelaic acid-derived polymers (9.9%, 13.9%, respectively). Reactions performed at reflux for 24 h resulted in a 70.8% and 56.7% decrease in degree of branching for succinic acid and glutaric acid-derived polyesters, respectively. There is no indication that degree of branching is significantly affected by the presence or absence of solvent according to the results obtained in this research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dendrimers and Hyperbranched Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle In Situ and Ex Situ Syntheses of Magnetic Liquid Crystalline Materials: A Comparison
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 448-462; doi:10.3390/polym4010448
Received: 19 December 2011 / Revised: 30 January 2012 / Accepted: 31 January 2012 / Published: 10 February 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (694 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Magnetic hybrid liquid crystalline composites have been obtained either by thermal decomposition of a cobalt precursor in a solution containing a liquid crystal polymer or by dispersing preformed cobalt nanorods in a liquid crystal polymer matrix. The final materials are all mesomorphous [...] Read more.
Magnetic hybrid liquid crystalline composites have been obtained either by thermal decomposition of a cobalt precursor in a solution containing a liquid crystal polymer or by dispersing preformed cobalt nanorods in a liquid crystal polymer matrix. The final materials are all mesomorphous and ferromagnetic. Their magnetic characteristics are compared as a function of the synthesis method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liquid Crystalline Polymers)
Open AccessArticle Enzymatic Synthesis and Crosslinking of Novel High Molecular Weight Polyepoxyricinoleate
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 486-500; doi:10.3390/polym4010486
Received: 9 January 2012 / Revised: 24 January 2012 / Accepted: 30 January 2012 / Published: 10 February 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (447 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Methyl epoxyricinoleate was prepared in high yield by the lipase-catalyzed epoxidation of methyl ricinoleate with H2O2. A high molecular weight polyepoxyricinoleate (PER) with a maximum weight average molecular weight (Mw) of 272,000 was enzymatically prepared [...] Read more.
Methyl epoxyricinoleate was prepared in high yield by the lipase-catalyzed epoxidation of methyl ricinoleate with H2O2. A high molecular weight polyepoxyricinoleate (PER) with a maximum weight average molecular weight (Mw) of 272,000 was enzymatically prepared by the polycondensation of methyl epoxyricinoleate using immobilized lipase from Burkholderia cepacia (lipase PS-IM) in bulk at 80 °C for 5 d. PER showed good low temperature fluidability. PER was readily cured by maleic anhydride (MA) at 80 °C to produce a chloroform-insoluble PER-MA film. Both the glass transition temperature and Young’s modulus increased with increasing MA content and PER Mw. In contrast, the elongation at break decreased with increasing MA content and PER Mw. Methyl epoxyricinoleate, PER and PER-MA showed biodegradability by activated sludge, and that of the PER-MA film decreased with increasing MA content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enzymes in Monomer and Polymer Synthesis)
Open AccessArticle Versatile Route to Synthesize Heterobifunctional Poly(ethylene glycol) of Variable Functionality for Subsequent Pegylation
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 561-589; doi:10.3390/polym4010561
Received: 3 November 2011 / Revised: 31 January 2012 / Accepted: 8 February 2012 / Published: 16 February 2012
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (1221 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pegylation using heterotelechelic poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) offers many possibilities to create high-performance molecules and materials. A versatile route is proposed to synthesize heterobifunctional PEG containing diverse combinations of azide, amine, thioacetate, thiol, pyridyl disulfide, as well as activated hydroxyl end groups. Asymmetric [...] Read more.
Pegylation using heterotelechelic poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) offers many possibilities to create high-performance molecules and materials. A versatile route is proposed to synthesize heterobifunctional PEG containing diverse combinations of azide, amine, thioacetate, thiol, pyridyl disulfide, as well as activated hydroxyl end groups. Asymmetric activation of one hydroxyl end group enables the heterobifunctionalization while applying selective monotosylation of linear, symmetrical PEG as a key step. The azide function is introduced by reacting monotosyl PEG with sodium azide. A thiol end group is obtained by reaction with sodium hydrosulfide. The activation of the hydroxyl end group and subsequent reaction with potassium carbonate/thioacetic acid yields a thioacetate end group. The hydrolysis of the thioester end group by ammonia in presence of 2,2′-dipyridyl disulfide provides PEG pyridyl disulfide. Amine terminated PEG is prepared either by reduction of the azide or by nucleophilic substitution of mesylate terminated PEG using ammonia. In all cases, >95% functionalization of the PEG end groups is achieved. The PEG derivatives particularly support the development of materials for biomedical applications. For example, grafting up to 13% of the Na-alg monomer units with α-amine-ω-thiol PEG maintains the gelling capacity in presence of calcium ions but simultaneous, spontaneous disulfide bond formation reinforces the initial physical hydrogel. Full article
Open AccessArticle A New Esterase from Thermobifida halotolerans Hydrolyses Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) and Polylactic Acid (PLA)
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 617-629; doi:10.3390/polym4010617
Received: 31 December 2011 / Revised: 7 February 2012 / Accepted: 8 February 2012 / Published: 21 February 2012
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (728 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A new esterase from Thermobifida halotolerans (Thh_Est) was cloned and expressed in E. coli and investigated for surface hydrolysis of polylactic acid (PLA) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Thh_Est is a member of the serine hydrolases superfamily containing the -GxSxG- motif with 85–87% [...] Read more.
A new esterase from Thermobifida halotolerans (Thh_Est) was cloned and expressed in E. coli and investigated for surface hydrolysis of polylactic acid (PLA) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Thh_Est is a member of the serine hydrolases superfamily containing the -GxSxG- motif with 85–87% homology to an esterase from T. alba, to an acetylxylan esterase from T. fusca and to various Thermobifida cutinases. Thh_Est hydrolyzed the PET model substrate bis(benzoyloxyethyl)terephthalate and PET releasing terephthalic acid and mono-(2-hydroxyethyl) terephthalate in comparable amounts (19.8 and 21.5 mmol/mol of enzyme) while no higher oligomers like bis-(2-hydroxyethyl) terephthalate were detected. Similarly, PLA was hydrolyzed as indicated by the release of lactic acid. Enzymatic surface hydrolysis of PET and PLA led to a strong hydrophilicity increase, as quantified with a WCA decrease from 90.8° and 75.5° to 50.4° and to a complete spread of the water drop on the surface, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enzymes in Monomer and Polymer Synthesis)
Open AccessArticle Variational Models of Network Formation and Ion Transport: Applications to Perfluorosulfonate Ionomer Membranes
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 630-655; doi:10.3390/polym4010630
Received: 31 December 2011 / Revised: 13 February 2012 / Accepted: 15 February 2012 / Published: 24 February 2012
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (5904 KB)
Abstract
We present the functionalized Cahn-Hilliard (FCH) energy, a continuum characterization of interfacial energy whose minimizers describe the network morphology of solvated functionalized polymer membranes. With a small set of parameters the FCH characterizes bilayer, pore-like, and micelle network structures. The gradient flows [...] Read more.
We present the functionalized Cahn-Hilliard (FCH) energy, a continuum characterization of interfacial energy whose minimizers describe the network morphology of solvated functionalized polymer membranes. With a small set of parameters the FCH characterizes bilayer, pore-like, and micelle network structures. The gradient flows derived from the FCH describe the interactions between these structures, including the merging and pinch-off of endcaps and formation of junctions central to the generation of network morphologies. We couple the FCH gradient flow to a model of ionic transport which incorporates entropic effects to localize counter-ions, yielding a flow which dissipates a total free energy, and an expression for the excess electrochemical potential which combines electrostatic and entropic effects. We present applications to network bifurcation and membrane casting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Thin Films and Membranes)
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Open AccessArticle Fabrication and Packaging of Flexible Polymeric Microantennae for in Vivo Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 656-673; doi:10.3390/polym4010656
Received: 23 December 2011 / Revised: 14 January 2012 / Accepted: 15 February 2012 / Published: 27 February 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (568 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we detail how microantennae dedicated to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can benefit from the advantages offered by polymer substrates, especially flexibility and dielectric properties. We present a monolithic and wireless design based on the transmission lines between conductor windings [...] Read more.
In this paper, we detail how microantennae dedicated to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can benefit from the advantages offered by polymer substrates, especially flexibility and dielectric properties. We present a monolithic and wireless design based on the transmission lines between conductor windings on both sides of a dielectric substrate and its fabrication process. This last one requires specific plasma treatments to improve polymer/metal adhesion. We have led a comparative study on the effects of the ageing time on the wettability and the metal adhesion to Kapton and Teflon surfaces. Correlation between wettability (water contact angle) and adhesion (tensile strength) has been established. Then, the use of PolyDiMethylSiloxane (PDMS) as biocompatible packaging material and the optimization of its thickness allows us to conserve suitable f0 and Q values in a conducting environment such as the biological tissues. These studies allow us to perform 7 Tesla in vivo MRI of the rat brain with a high spatial resolution of 100 x 100 x 200 µm3 and a Signal to Noise Ratio of 80. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Bioimaging)
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis of Hyperbranched Glycoconjugates by the Combined Action of Potato Phosphorylase and Glycogen Branching Enzyme from Deinococcus geothermalis
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 674-690; doi:10.3390/polym4010674
Received: 2 January 2012 / Revised: 31 January 2012 / Accepted: 8 February 2012 / Published: 27 February 2012
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (581 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Potato phosphorylase is able to synthesize linear polyglucans from maltoheptaose primers. By coupling maltoheptaose to butane diamine, tris(2-aminoethyl)amine and amine functionalized amine functionalized poly ethyleneglycol (PEG), new primer molecules became available. The resulting di-, tri- and macro-primers were incubated with potato phosphorylase [...] Read more.
Potato phosphorylase is able to synthesize linear polyglucans from maltoheptaose primers. By coupling maltoheptaose to butane diamine, tris(2-aminoethyl)amine and amine functionalized amine functionalized poly ethyleneglycol (PEG), new primer molecules became available. The resulting di-, tri- and macro-primers were incubated with potato phosphorylase and glycogen branching enzyme from Deinococcus geothermalis. Due to the action of both enzymes, hyperbranched polyglucan arms were grown from the maltoheptaose derivatives with a maximum degree of branching of 11%. The size of the synthesized hyperbranched polyglucans could be controlled by the ratio monomer over primer. About 60%–80% of the monomers were incorporated in the glycoconjugates. The resulting hyperbranched glycoconjugates were subjected to Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) measurements in order to determine the hydrodynamic radius and it became obvious that the structures formed agglomerates in the range of 14–32 nm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enzymes in Monomer and Polymer Synthesis)
Open AccessArticle Papain Catalyzed (co)Oligomerization of α-Amino Acids
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 710-740; doi:10.3390/polym4010710
Received: 3 January 2012 / Revised: 6 February 2012 / Accepted: 8 February 2012 / Published: 29 February 2012
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (1543 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Four hydrophobic amino acids (Leu, Tyr, Phe, Trp) were oligomerized by the protease papain in homo-oligomerization, binary co-oligomerization and ternary co-oligomerization. After 24 h, solid polydisperse reaction products of the homo-oligomerization were obtained in yields ranging from 30–80% by weight. A DP [...] Read more.
Four hydrophobic amino acids (Leu, Tyr, Phe, Trp) were oligomerized by the protease papain in homo-oligomerization, binary co-oligomerization and ternary co-oligomerization. After 24 h, solid polydisperse reaction products of the homo-oligomerization were obtained in yields ranging from 30–80% by weight. A DPavg was calculated based on MALDI-ToF MS results using the ion counts for the chains in the product. Based on the DPavg and the yield of the homo-oligomerization it was determined that the amino acids can be ranked according to reactivity in the order: Tyr > Leu > Phe > Trp. Thermal degradation of the homo-oligomers shows two degradation steps: at 178–239 °C and at 300–330 °C. All the products left a significant amount of char ranging from 18–57% by weight at 800 °C. Binary co-oligomers were obtained as a polydisperse precipitate with a compositional distribution of the chains. Both the compositional and chain length distribution are calculated from MALDI-ToF mass spectra. By comparing the amount of each amino acid present in the chains it was determined that the amino acids are incorporated with a preference: Leu > Tyr > Phe > Trp. Ternary co-oligomers were also obtained as a precipitate and analyzed by MALDI-ToF MS. The compositional distribution and the chain length distribution were calculated from the MALDI-ToF data. The quantity of every amino acid in the chains was determined. Also determined was the influence on the DPavg when the oligomers were compared with corresponding binary co-oligomers. From the combined results it was concluded that in the co-oligomerization of three amino acids the reactivity preference is Leu > Tyr > Phe > Trp. Thermal degradation of all the co-oligomers showed a weight loss of 2 wt% before the main oligomer degradation step at 300–325 °C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enzymes in Monomer and Polymer Synthesis)
Open AccessArticle Kinetics of Model Reactions for Interfacial Polymerization
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 741-746; doi:10.3390/polym4010741
Received: 11 January 2012 / Revised: 6 February 2012 / Accepted: 23 February 2012 / Published: 29 February 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (169 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To model the rates of interfacial polycondensations, the rates of reaction of benzoyl chloride and methyl chloroformate with various aliphatic monoamines in acetonitrile were determined at 25 °C. Buffering with picric acid slowed these extremely fast reactions so the rate constants could [...] Read more.
To model the rates of interfacial polycondensations, the rates of reaction of benzoyl chloride and methyl chloroformate with various aliphatic monoamines in acetonitrile were determined at 25 °C. Buffering with picric acid slowed these extremely fast reactions so the rate constants could be determined from the rate of disappearance of picrate ion. The rates of the amine reactions correlated linearly with their Swain-Scott nucleophilicities. Full article
Open AccessArticle Antibacterial Activity of Four Human Beta-Defensins: HBD-19, HBD-23, HBD-27, and HBD-29
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 747-758; doi:10.3390/polym4010747
Received: 1 February 2012 / Revised: 21 February 2012 / Accepted: 21 February 2012 / Published: 1 March 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (418 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Human β-defensins (HBD) are a family of small antimicrobial peptides that play important roles in the innate and adaptive immune defenses against microbial infection. In this study, we predicted the mature sequences and assessed the antibacterial properties of synthetic HBD-19, HBD-23, HBD-27, [...] Read more.
Human β-defensins (HBD) are a family of small antimicrobial peptides that play important roles in the innate and adaptive immune defenses against microbial infection. In this study, we predicted the mature sequences and assessed the antibacterial properties of synthetic HBD-19, HBD-23, HBD-27, and HBD-29 against three species of clinically relevant bacteria: Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We also examined the cytotoxicity of each β-defensin to human cells. HBD-19 exhibited modest antibacterial effects against E. coli and S. aureus but had little effect on the growth of P. aeruginosa. HBD-23 exhibited substantial antibacterial effects against all three bacterial species and was particularly potent against the Gram-negative species, E. coli and P. aeruginosa. HBD-27 exerted modest antibacterial activity only towards S. aureus while HBD-29 had modest antibacterial activity for E. coli and P. aeruginosa. HBD-23 and HBD-27 showed little or no toxicity to human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, while HBD-19 and HBD-29 decreased cell viability by 20% at 30 μg/mL. Full article
Open AccessArticle Spiral Assembly of the 1D Chain Sheet of Fe(NCBH3)2(bpa)2·(biphenyl) (bpa = 1,2-bis(4-pyridyl)ethane) and its Stepwise Spin-Crossover Phenomenon
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 880-888; doi:10.3390/polym4010880
Received: 18 January 2012 / Revised: 13 February 2012 / Accepted: 2 March 2012 / Published: 7 March 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (635 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The assembled complex, Fe(NCBH3)2(bpa)2, enclathrating biphenyl has been synthesized, the skeleton of which is a 1D chain. Several 1D chains gather together to form 1D chain sheet. The 1D chain sheet is stacked spirally to form novel spiral assembly. The average Fe-N [...] Read more.
The assembled complex, Fe(NCBH3)2(bpa)2, enclathrating biphenyl has been synthesized, the skeleton of which is a 1D chain. Several 1D chains gather together to form 1D chain sheet. The 1D chain sheet is stacked spirally to form novel spiral assembly. The average Fe-N distances were 2.020(2), 2.083(2), and 2.191(2) Å at 100, 175, and 298 K, respectively, reflecting spin-state change of the iron ion. The assembly showed a stepwise spin-crossover phenomenon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coordination Polymers)

Review

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Open AccessReview Polymer-Nanocrystal Hybrid Materials for Light Conversion Applications
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 1-19; doi:10.3390/polym4010001
Received: 31 October 2011 / Revised: 13 December 2011 / Accepted: 21 December 2011 / Published: 27 December 2011
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (1076 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract In this mini-review we report on current developments of hybrid materials based on semiconductor nanocrystals integrated into polymer matrices for direct light conversion, their present limitations, as well as their high potential for future applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Inorganic Hybrids and Their Applications)
Open AccessReview Antimicrobial Polymers in Solution and on Surfaces: Overview and Functional Principles
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 46-71; doi:10.3390/polym4010046
Received: 28 November 2011 / Revised: 23 December 2011 / Accepted: 4 January 2012 / Published: 9 January 2012
Cited by 147 | PDF Full-text (2413 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The control of microbial infections is a very important issue in modern society. In general there are two ways to stop microbes from infecting humans or deteriorating materials—disinfection and antimicrobial surfaces. The first is usually realized by disinfectants, which are a considerable [...] Read more.
The control of microbial infections is a very important issue in modern society. In general there are two ways to stop microbes from infecting humans or deteriorating materials—disinfection and antimicrobial surfaces. The first is usually realized by disinfectants, which are a considerable environmental pollution problem and also support the development of resistant microbial strains. Antimicrobial surfaces are usually designed by impregnation of materials with biocides that are released into the surroundings whereupon microbes are killed. Antimicrobial polymers are the up and coming new class of disinfectants, which can be used even as an alternative to antibiotics in some cases. Interestingly, antimicrobial polymers can be tethered to surfaces without losing their biological activity, which enables the design of surfaces that kill microbes without releasing biocides. The present review considers the working mechanisms of antimicrobial polymers and of contact-active antimicrobial surfaces based on examples of recent research as well as on multifunctional antimicrobial materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired Polymers)
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Open AccessReview Phase Diagrams for Systems Containing Hyperbranched Polymers
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 72-115; doi:10.3390/polym4010072
Received: 2 November 2011 / Revised: 15 December 2011 / Accepted: 4 January 2012 / Published: 9 January 2012
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (741 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hyperbranched polymers show an outstanding potential for applications ranging from chemistry over nanotechnology to pharmacy. In order to take advantage of this potential, the underlying phase behaviour must be known. From the thermodynamic point of view, the modelling of these phase diagrams [...] Read more.
Hyperbranched polymers show an outstanding potential for applications ranging from chemistry over nanotechnology to pharmacy. In order to take advantage of this potential, the underlying phase behaviour must be known. From the thermodynamic point of view, the modelling of these phase diagrams is quite challenging, because the thermodynamic properties depend on the architecture of the hyperbranched polymer as well as on the number and kind of present functional end groups. The influence of architecture can be taken into account via the lattice cluster theory (LCT) as an extension of the well-known Flory–Huggins theory. Whereas the Flory–Huggins theory is limited to linear polymer chains, the LCT can be applied to an arbitrary chain architecture. The number and the kind of functional groups can be handled via the Wertheim perturbation theory, applicable for directed forces between the functional groups and the surrounding solvent molecules. The combination of the LCT and the Wertheim theory can be established for the modelling or even prediction of the liquid-liquid equilibria (LLE) of polymer solutions in a single solvent or in a solvent mixture or polymer blends, where the polymer can have an arbitrary structure. The applied theory predicts large demixing regions for mixtures of linear polymers and hyperbranched polymers, as well as for mixtures made from two hyperbranched polymers. The introduction of empty lattice sites permits the theoretical investigation of pressure effects on phase behaviour. The calculated phase diagrams were compared with own experimental data or to experimental data taken from literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dendrimers and Hyperbranched Polymers)
Open AccessReview Preparation and Applications of Amylose Supramolecules by Means of Phosphorylase-Catalyzed Enzymatic Polymerization
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 116-133; doi:10.3390/polym4010116
Received: 2 December 2011 / Revised: 30 December 2011 / Accepted: 7 January 2012 / Published: 9 January 2012
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (531 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper reviews preparation and applications of amylose supramolecules by means of phosphorylase-catalyzed enzymatic polymerization. When the enzymatic polymerization of α-d-glucose 1-phosphate (G-1-P) as a monomer was carried out in the presence of poly(tetrahydrofuran) (PTHF) of a hydrophobic polyether as a guest [...] Read more.
This paper reviews preparation and applications of amylose supramolecules by means of phosphorylase-catalyzed enzymatic polymerization. When the enzymatic polymerization of α-d-glucose 1-phosphate (G-1-P) as a monomer was carried out in the presence of poly(tetrahydrofuran) (PTHF) of a hydrophobic polyether as a guest polymer, the supramolecule, i.e., an amylose-PTHF inclusion complex, was formed in the process of polymerization. Because the representation of propagation in the polymerization is similar to the way that vines of plants grow twining around rods, this polymerization method for the preparation of amylose-polymer inclusion complexes was proposed to be named “vine-twining polymerization”. Various hydrophobic polyethers, polyesters, poly(ester-ether), and polycarbonates were also employed as the guest polymer in the vine-twining polymerization to produce the corresponding inclusion complexes. To obtain the inclusion complex from a strongly hydrophobic guest polymer, the parallel enzymatic polymerization system was developed as an advanced extension of the vine-twining polymerization. In addition, it was found that amylose selectively includes one side of the guest polymer from a mixture of two resemblant guest polymers, as well as a specific range in molecular weights of the guest PTHF. Amylose also exhibited selective inclusion behavior toward stereoisomers of poly(lactide)s. Moreover, the preparation of hydrogels through the formation of inclusion complexes of amylose in vine-twining polymerization was achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enzymes in Monomer and Polymer Synthesis)
Open AccessReview Color-Tunable Etalons Assembled from Poly (N-Isopropylacrylamide) Based Microgels
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 134-149; doi:10.3390/polym4010134
Received: 18 November 2011 / Revised: 21 December 2011 / Accepted: 5 January 2012 / Published: 9 January 2012
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (821 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Photonic materials (PMs) that are capable of manipulating and controlling light in systems have immense potential for the computing and communications industries. These materials are formed by assembling components of differing refractive indices in a periodic array. Light then interacts with this [...] Read more.
Photonic materials (PMs) that are capable of manipulating and controlling light in systems have immense potential for the computing and communications industries. These materials are formed by assembling components of differing refractive indices in a periodic array. Light then interacts with this assembly, which results in constructive and destructive interference, and hence color. While many three-dimensional PMs have been reported, and have the most potential for the applications mentioned above, one-dimensional PMs have a multitude of potential uses, e.g., light filtration. In this review, we focus on one-dimensional PMs; specifically poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) microgel based etalons. The etalons can be fabricated to exhibit a single bright color, and because the diameter of the microgels is dependent on temperature and pH, the mirror-mirror spacing can be dynamically tuned; therefore the etalon’s color is dynamically tunable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stimuli-Responsive Polymers and Colloids)
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Open AccessReview Optical and Physical Applications of Photocontrollable Materials: Azobenzene-Containing and Liquid Crystalline Polymers
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 150-186; doi:10.3390/polym4010150
Received: 5 December 2011 / Revised: 28 December 2011 / Accepted: 7 January 2012 / Published: 9 January 2012
Cited by 35 | PDF Full-text (996 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Photocontrol of molecular alignment is an exceptionally-intelligent and useful strategy. It enables us to control optical coefficients, peripheral molecular alignments, surface relief structure, and actuation of substances by means of photoirradiation. Azobenzene-containing polymers and functionalized liquid crystalline polymers are well-known photocontrollable materials. [...] Read more.
Photocontrol of molecular alignment is an exceptionally-intelligent and useful strategy. It enables us to control optical coefficients, peripheral molecular alignments, surface relief structure, and actuation of substances by means of photoirradiation. Azobenzene-containing polymers and functionalized liquid crystalline polymers are well-known photocontrollable materials. In this paper, we introduce recent applications of these materials in the fields of mechanics, self-organized structuring, mass transport, optics, and photonics. The concepts in each application are explained based on the mechanisms of photocontrol. The interesting natures of the photocontrollable materials and the conceptual applications will stimulate novel ideas for future research and development in this field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liquid Crystalline Polymers)
Open AccessReview Internal Dynamics of Dendritic Molecules Probed by Pyrene Excimer Formation
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 211-239; doi:10.3390/polym4010211
Received: 5 December 2011 / Revised: 2 January 2012 / Accepted: 12 January 2012 / Published: 17 January 2012
Cited by 31 | PDF Full-text (399 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review exposes the current poor understanding of the internal segmental chain dynamics of dendrimers in solution probed by monitoring the process of excimer formation between pyrene labels covalently attached to the chain ends of dendrimers. The review begins by covering the [...] Read more.
This review exposes the current poor understanding of the internal segmental chain dynamics of dendrimers in solution probed by monitoring the process of excimer formation between pyrene labels covalently attached to the chain ends of dendrimers. The review begins by covering the bases of fluorescence and the kinetics of pyrene excimer formation before describing a procedure based on the Model Free (MF) analysis that is used to analyze quantitatively the fluorescence decays acquired for dendrimers, the ends of which have been fully and covalently labeled with pyrene. Comparison of the various trends obtained by different research groups describing the efficiency of pyrene excimer formation with the generation number of dendrimers illustrates the lack of consensus between the few studies devoted to the topic. One possible reason for this disagreement might reside in the presence of minute amounts of unattached pyrene labels which act as potent fluorescent impurities and affect the analysis of the fluorescence spectra and decays in an uncontrolled manner. The review points out that the MF analysis of the fluorescence decays acquired with pyrene-labeled dendrimers enables one to account for the presence of unattached pyrene and to retrieve information about the internal segmental dynamics of the dendrimer. It provides guidelines that should enable future studies on pyrene-labeled dendrimers to yield results that are more straightforward to interpret. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dendrimers and Hyperbranched Polymers)
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Open AccessReview Dispersion of Carbon Nanotubes: Mixing, Sonication, Stabilization, and Composite Properties
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 275-295; doi:10.3390/polym4010275
Received: 1 December 2011 / Revised: 9 January 2012 / Accepted: 9 January 2012 / Published: 23 January 2012
Cited by 134 | PDF Full-text (1264 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Advances in functionality and reliability of carbon nanotube (CNT) composite materials require careful formulation of processing methods to ultimately realize the desired properties. To date, controlled dispersion of CNTs in a solution or a composite matrix remains a challenge, due to the [...] Read more.
Advances in functionality and reliability of carbon nanotube (CNT) composite materials require careful formulation of processing methods to ultimately realize the desired properties. To date, controlled dispersion of CNTs in a solution or a composite matrix remains a challenge, due to the strong van der Waals binding energies associated with the CNT aggregates. There is also insufficiently defined correlation between the microstructure and the physical properties of the composite. Here, we offer a review of the dispersion processes of pristine (non-covalently functionalized) CNTs in a solvent or a polymer solution. We summarize and adapt relevant theoretical analysis to guide the dispersion design and selection, from the processes of mixing/sonication, to the application of surfactants for stabilization, to the final testing of composite properties. The same approaches are expected to be also applicable to the fabrication of other composite materials involving homogeneously dispersed nanoparticles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Nanotubes: Synthesis, Characterization and Applications)
Open AccessReview Nanoparticle-Liquid Crystalline Elastomer Composites
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 316-340; doi:10.3390/polym4010316
Received: 30 November 2011 / Revised: 10 January 2012 / Accepted: 14 January 2012 / Published: 30 January 2012
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (821 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Liquid crystalline elastomers (LCEs) exhibit a number of remarkable physical effects, including a uniquely high-stroke reversible mechanical actuation triggered by external stimuli. Fundamentally, all such stimuli affect the degree of liquid crystalline order in the polymer chains cross-linked into an elastic network. [...] Read more.
Liquid crystalline elastomers (LCEs) exhibit a number of remarkable physical effects, including a uniquely high-stroke reversible mechanical actuation triggered by external stimuli. Fundamentally, all such stimuli affect the degree of liquid crystalline order in the polymer chains cross-linked into an elastic network. Heat and the resulting thermal actuation act by promoting entropic disorder, as does the addition of solvents. Photo-isomerization is another mechanism of actuation, reducing the orientational order by diminishing the fraction of active rod-like mesogenic units, mostly studied for azobenzene derivatives incorporated into the LCE composition. Embedding nanoparticles provides a new, promising strategy to add functionality to LCEs and ultimately enhance their performance as sensors and actuators. The motivation for the combination of nanoparticles with LCEs is to provide better-controlled actuation stimuli, such as electric and magnetic fields, and broad-spectrum light, by selecting and configuring the appropriate nanoparticles in the LCE matrix. Here we give an overview of recent advances in this area with a focus on preparation, physical properties and actuation performance of the resultant nanocomposites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liquid Crystalline Polymers)
Open AccessReview Dendronization: A Useful Synthetic Strategy to Prepare Multifunctional Materials
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 355-395; doi:10.3390/polym4010355
Received: 31 October 2011 / Revised: 21 January 2012 / Accepted: 29 January 2012 / Published: 2 February 2012
Cited by 39 | PDF Full-text (1893 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Dendronization is a synthetic methodology that offers important advantages. The resulting products, which are called dendronized materials, present new and specific properties. This review shows numerous examples in which individual dendrons are used as building blocks to prepare more complex arrays via [...] Read more.
Dendronization is a synthetic methodology that offers important advantages. The resulting products, which are called dendronized materials, present new and specific properties. This review shows numerous examples in which individual dendrons are used as building blocks to prepare more complex arrays via covalent or non-covalent interactions. In particular, it points out how the structural information programmed into the dendritic architecture can be used in the dendronization process to generate nanostructures with specific tailored properties. We emphasize the use of different dendrons, with diverse chemical structure and size, to functionalize diverse substrates like linear polymers, and plane and curved inorganic surfaces. Apart from this, the review also demonstrates that self-assembly represents an ideal approach to create well-defined hyperbranched surfaces and it includes some discussion about the ability of both organic and inorganic building blocks to direct this process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dendrimers and Hyperbranched Polymers)
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Open AccessReview Polysilane Dendrimers
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 408-447; doi:10.3390/polym4010408
Received: 15 December 2011 / Revised: 21 January 2012 / Accepted: 29 January 2012 / Published: 9 February 2012
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (2568 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The synthesis, structure and electronic properties of polysilane dendrimers, a relatively new class of highly branched and silicon-rich molecular architectures is reviewed. After a detailed discussion of main synthetic strategies to well-defined single-core and double-core polysilane dendrimers, important structural and conformational features [...] Read more.
The synthesis, structure and electronic properties of polysilane dendrimers, a relatively new class of highly branched and silicon-rich molecular architectures is reviewed. After a detailed discussion of main synthetic strategies to well-defined single-core and double-core polysilane dendrimers, important structural and conformational features determined by single crystal X-ray crystallography and 29Si-NMR spectroscopy are presented. The last part highlights the most interesting photochemical properties of polysilane dendrimers such as UV absorption and emission behavior, which are compared with those of linear and branched polysilanes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dendrimers and Hyperbranched Polymers)
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Open AccessReview Multiscale Modeling for Host-Guest Chemistry of Dendrimers in Solution
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 463-485; doi:10.3390/polym4010463
Received: 15 December 2011 / Revised: 31 January 2012 / Accepted: 6 February 2012 / Published: 10 February 2012
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (8858 KB)
Abstract
Dendrimers have been widely used as nanostructured carriers for guest species in a variety of applications in medicine, catalysis, and environmental remediation. Theory and simulation methods are an important complement to experimental approaches that are designed to develop a fundamental understanding about [...] Read more.
Dendrimers have been widely used as nanostructured carriers for guest species in a variety of applications in medicine, catalysis, and environmental remediation. Theory and simulation methods are an important complement to experimental approaches that are designed to develop a fundamental understanding about how dendrimers interact with guest molecules. This review focuses on computational studies aimed at providing a better understanding of the relevant physicochemical parameters at play in the binding and release mechanisms between polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers and guest species. We highlight recent contributions that model supramolecular dendrimer-guest complexes over the temporal and spatial scales spanned by simulation methods ranging from all-atom molecular dynamics to statistical field theory. The role of solvent effects on dendrimer-guest interactions and the importance of relating model parameters across multiple scales is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dendrimers and Hyperbranched Polymers)
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Open AccessReview Synthetic Strategies towards Fullerene-Rich Dendrimer Assemblies
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 501-538; doi:10.3390/polym4010501
Received: 16 December 2011 / Revised: 1 February 2012 / Accepted: 8 February 2012 / Published: 14 February 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1208 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The sphere-shaped fullerene has attracted considerable interest not least due to the peculiar electronic properties of this carbon allotrope and the fascinating materials emanating from fullerene-derived structures. The rapid development and tremendous advances in organic chemistry allow nowadays the modification of C [...] Read more.
The sphere-shaped fullerene has attracted considerable interest not least due to the peculiar electronic properties of this carbon allotrope and the fascinating materials emanating from fullerene-derived structures. The rapid development and tremendous advances in organic chemistry allow nowadays the modification of C60 to a great extent by pure chemical means. It is therefore not surprising that the fullerene moiety has also been part of dendrimers. At the initial stage, fullerenes have been examined at the center of the dendritic structure mainly aimed at possible shielding effects as exerted by the dendritic environment and light-harvesting effects due to multiple chromophores located at the periphery of the dendrimer. In recent years, also many research efforts have been devoted towards fullerene-rich nanohybrids containing multiple C60 units in the branches and/or as surface functional groups. In this review, synthetic efforts towards the construction of dendritic fullerene-rich nanostructures have been compiled and will be summarized herein. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dendrimers and Hyperbranched Polymers)
Open AccessReview Antimicrobial Peptides: Multifunctional Drugs for Different Applications
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 539-560; doi:10.3390/polym4010539
Received: 25 December 2011 / Revised: 9 February 2012 / Accepted: 10 February 2012 / Published: 16 February 2012
Cited by 36 | PDF Full-text (832 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Antimicrobial peptides (APs) are an important part of the innate immune system in epithelial and non-epithelial surfaces. So far, many different antimicrobial peptides from various families have been discovered in non-vertebrates and vertebrates. They are characterized by antibiotic, antifungal and antiviral activities [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial peptides (APs) are an important part of the innate immune system in epithelial and non-epithelial surfaces. So far, many different antimicrobial peptides from various families have been discovered in non-vertebrates and vertebrates. They are characterized by antibiotic, antifungal and antiviral activities against a variety of microorganisms. In addition to their role as endogenous antimicrobials, APs participate in multiple aspects of immunity. They are involved in septic and non-septic inflammation, wound repair, angiogenesis, regulation of the adaptive immune system and in maintaining homeostasis. Due to those characteristics AP could play an important role in many practical applications. Limited therapeutic efficiency of current antimicrobial agents and the emerging resistance of pathogens require alternate antimicrobial drugs. The purpose of this review is to highlight recent literature on functions and mechanisms of APs. It also shows their current practical applications as peptide therapeutics and bioactive polymers and discusses the possibilities of future clinical developments. Full article
Open AccessReview Characterizations of Polyamidoamine Dendrimers with Scattering Techniques
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 600-616; doi:10.3390/polym4010600
Received: 20 December 2011 / Revised: 20 January 2012 / Accepted: 10 February 2012 / Published: 21 February 2012
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (875 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Dendrimers are highly branched, open, covalent assemblies of branch cells (monomers) radially attached to a core in successive layers or generations. Major types of dendrimers include polyamidoamine, polypropylenimine, multiple antigen peptide, chiral, and Fréchet-type dendrimers. Their structure and dynamics can be explored [...] Read more.
Dendrimers are highly branched, open, covalent assemblies of branch cells (monomers) radially attached to a core in successive layers or generations. Major types of dendrimers include polyamidoamine, polypropylenimine, multiple antigen peptide, chiral, and Fréchet-type dendrimers. Their structure and dynamics can be explored by various techniques, such as scattering, spectrometry, and microscopy techniques. Specifically, the scattering techniques include small-angle neutron scattering (SANS), quasi-elastic neutron scattering (QENS), small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), and light scattering. Examples of their properties that can be explored by scattering techniques include: inter-molecular structure, intra-molecular cavity, radius-of-gyration (RG), hydrodynamic radius (RH), molecular weight, effective charge number of a single dendrimer molecule, water penetration into the interior of the dendrimers, and the internal dynamics. Of these properties, the hydrodynamic radius and molecular weight may be explored by DLS; the internal dynamics of dendrimers may be studied by QENS; and the others may be explored through SAXS and SANS. During the past several years, SANS and QENS have been used to study the structural properties and internal dynamics of various generations of polyamidoamine dendrimers (PAMAMs). Their potential prospects as anticancer polymer drug carriers are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dendrimers and Hyperbranched Polymers)
Open AccessReview Human Defensins: Potential Tools for Clinical Applications
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 691-709; doi:10.3390/polym4010691
Received: 15 January 2012 / Revised: 31 January 2012 / Accepted: 10 February 2012 / Published: 28 February 2012
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (1401 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
As components of the innate immune system, antimicrobial peptides in the form of human defensins play an important role in host defense by serving as the epithelial layer’s biochemical barrier against local infections. Recent studies have shown these molecules to have far [...] Read more.
As components of the innate immune system, antimicrobial peptides in the form of human defensins play an important role in host defense by serving as the epithelial layer’s biochemical barrier against local infections. Recent studies have shown these molecules to have far more additional cellular functions besides their antimicrobial activity. Defensins play a role in cell division, attraction and maturation of immune cells, differentiation and reorganization of epithelial tissues, wound healing and tumor suppression. This multitude of function makes human defensins appear to be excellent tools for therapeutic approaches. These antimicrobial peptides may be used directly as a remedy against bacterial and viral infections. Furthermore, the application of human defensins can be used to promote wound healing and epithelial reorganization. In particular, human β-defensins have a strong impact on osteoblast proliferation and differentiation. Human β-defensins have already been applied as a vaccination against HIV-1. Another potentially useful characteristic of defensins is their suitability as diagnostic markers in cancer therapy. In particular, α-defensins have already been used for this purpose. Human α-defensin-3, for example, has been described as a tumor marker for lymphocytes. High gene expression levels of α-defensin-3 and -4 have been detected in benign oral neoplasia, α-defensin-6 is considered to be a tumor marker for colon cancer. Full article
Open AccessReview Enzyme Initiated Radical Polymerizations
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 759-793; doi:10.3390/polym4010759
Received: 30 January 2012 / Revised: 27 February 2012 / Accepted: 28 February 2012 / Published: 6 March 2012
Cited by 58 | PDF Full-text (1541 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biocatalysis is propagating into practically every area of organic chemistry, amongst them radical polymerizations. A review of the recent developments of this dynamic and quickly evolving area of research is presented together with a critical evaluation of its potential to yield novel [...] Read more.
Biocatalysis is propagating into practically every area of organic chemistry, amongst them radical polymerizations. A review of the recent developments of this dynamic and quickly evolving area of research is presented together with a critical evaluation of its potential to yield novel polymers and/or environmentally more benign synthetic procedures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enzymes in Monomer and Polymer Synthesis)
Open AccessReview Polyester Dendrimers
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 794-879; doi:10.3390/polym4010794
Received: 29 January 2012 / Revised: 1 March 2012 / Accepted: 2 March 2012 / Published: 7 March 2012
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (1162 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Polyester dendrimers have been comprehensively reviewed starting from their first synthesis in the early 1990s by Hawker and Fréchet. Polyester dendrimers have attracted and continue to attract extensive interest because they are comparatively easy to make and because, whenever they have been [...] Read more.
Polyester dendrimers have been comprehensively reviewed starting from their first synthesis in the early 1990s by Hawker and Fréchet. Polyester dendrimers have attracted and continue to attract extensive interest because they are comparatively easy to make and because, whenever they have been tested, they have been found to be non-toxic. A number of different strategies for their synthesis have been examined and the methods employed for formation of the ester bond during dendrimer assembly have been summarized. The newest approaches, including the use of bifunctional orthogonally reacting dendrons and accelerated synthesis have been surveyed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dendrimers and Hyperbranched Polymers)

Other

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Open AccessCommentary Reinforced Materials Based on Chitosan, TiO2 and Ag Composites
Polymers 2012, 4(1), 590-599; doi:10.3390/polym4010590
Received: 30 December 2011 / Revised: 30 January 2012 / Accepted: 8 February 2012 / Published: 16 February 2012
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (2085 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study investigates the mechanical reinforcement of chitosan with TiO2 and Ag nanoparticles, as well as their water vapour transmission rates and water resistance behaviour. The mechanical properties of chitosan were improved by addition of TiO2 or Ag, with significant [...] Read more.
This study investigates the mechanical reinforcement of chitosan with TiO2 and Ag nanoparticles, as well as their water vapour transmission rates and water resistance behaviour. The mechanical properties of chitosan were improved by addition of TiO2 or Ag, with significant increases in Young’s modulus (from 25 MPa to ~300 MPa), tensile strength (from 6 MPa to 18–35 MPa) and toughness (from 1.3 J g−1 to 7–8 J g−1). The water vapour transmission rates (368–413 g m−2 d−1) were found to be similar for both materials. Inclusion of Ag reduced the water resistance (from 823% to 1,000%), while inclusion of TiO2 yielded significant improvement in water resistance (from 823% to 100%). Full article

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