Materials2016, 9(6), 404; doi:10.3390/ma9060404 (registering DOI) - published 26 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The synthesis, characterization, and electropolymerization of a series of extended fused-ring thieno[3,4-b]pyrazine-based terthienyls are reported. The target terthienyls contain a central extended thieno[3,4-b]pyrazine analogue containing 2-thienyl units at the reactive α-positions of the central thiophene. The extended fused-ring thieno[3,4-b]pyrazine analogues studied include acenaphtho[1,2-b]thieno[3,4-e]pyrazine, dibenzo[f,h]thieno[3,4-b]quinoxaline, and thieno[3′,4′:5,6]-pyrazino[2,3-f][1,10]phenanthroline. Comparison of the electrochemical and photophysical properties to simple thieno[3,4-b]pyrazine-based terthienyls and their polymeric analogues are reported in order to provide structure-function relationships within this series of compounds and materials.
Materials2016, 9(6), 411; doi:10.3390/ma9060411 - published 25 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Multidrug-resistant organisms are increasingly implicated in acute and chronic wound infections, thus compromising the chance of therapeutic options. The resistance to conventional antibiotics demonstrated by some bacterial strains has encouraged new approaches for the prevention of infections in wounds and burns, among them the use of silver compounds and nanocrystalline silver. Recently, silver wound dressings have become widely accepted in wound healing centers and are commercially available. In this work, novel antibacterial wound dressings have been developed through a silver deposition technology based on the photochemical synthesis of silver nanoparticles. The devices obtained are completely natural and the silver coatings are characterized by an excellent adhesion without the use of any binder. The silver-treated cotton gauzes were characterized through scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA) in order to verify the distribution and the dimension of the silver particles on the cotton fibers. The effectiveness of the silver-treated gauzes in reducing the bacterial growth and biofilm proliferation has been demonstrated through agar diffusion tests, bacterial enumeration test, biofilm quantification tests, fluorescence and SEM microscopy. Moreover, potential cytotoxicity of the silver coating was evaluated through 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide colorimetric assay (MTT) and the extract method on fibroblasts and keratinocytes. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was performed in order to determine the silver release in different media and to relate the results to the biological characterization. All the results obtained were compared with plain gauzes as a negative control, as well as gauzes treated with a higher silver percentage as a positive control.
Materials2016, 9(6), 409; doi:10.3390/ma9060409 - published 25 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: It is long known that for high-velocity fluid flow in porous media, the relation between the pressure drop and the superficial velocity is not linear. Indeed, the classical Darcy law for shear stress dominated flow needs to be extended with a quadratic term, resulting in the empirical Darcy–Forchheimer model. Another approach is to simulate the foam numerically through the volume averaging technique. This leads to a natural separation of the total drag force into the contribution of the shear forces and the contribution of the pressure forces. Both representations of the total drag lead to the same result. The physical correspondence between both approaches is investigated in this work. The contribution of the viscous and pressure forces on the total drag is investigated using direct numerical simulations. Special attention is paid to the dependency on the velocity of these forces. The separation of the drag into its constituent terms on experimental grounds and for the volume average approach is unified. It is shown that the common approach to identify the linear term with the viscous forces and the quadratic term with the pressure forces is not correct.
Materials2016, 9(6), 408; doi:10.3390/ma9060408 - published 25 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A group of plastic Zr-Al-Ni-Cu bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) with low Zr content was developed and their thermal and mechanical properties were investigated. The results show that these Zr-based BMGs have a single crystallization event for all heating rates in the studied temperature region. The glass transition temperature Tg decreases with increasing Zr content for all heating rates. There are two melting procedures for the BMGs whose Zr content is less than 52 at %, while three melting procedures for the other Zr-based BMGs. The second melting procedure is split into two melting procedures for Zr52.5Al12.2Ni12.6Cu22.7 and Zr53Al11.6Ni11.7Cu23.7 BMGs, while the first melting procedure is split into two melting procedures for the other BMGs. The activation energy decreases with increasing sensitivity index β for the studied Zr-based BMGs. The plastic strain εp is in the region of 0.2%–19.1% for these Zr-based BMGs. Both yield strength σy and fracture strength σf are smallest for Zr55Al8.9Ni7.3Cu28.8 BMG whose εp is largest among all studied Zr-based BMGs and reaches up to 19.1%. In addition, the mechanism for the large difference of the plasticity among the studied Zr-based BMGs is also discussed.
Materials2016, 9(6), 413; doi:10.3390/ma9060413 - published 25 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Orthodontic treatments often lead to biofilm buildup and white spot lesions due to enamel demineralization. The objectives of this study were to develop a novel bioactive orthodontic cement to prevent white spot lesions, and to determine the effects of cement compositions on biofilm growth and acid production. 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC), nanoparticles of silver (NAg), and dimethylaminohexadecyl methacrylate (DMAHDM) were incorporated into a resin-modified glass ionomer cement (RMGI). Enamel shear bond strength (SBS) was determined. Protein adsorption was determined using a micro bicinchoninic acid method. A dental plaque microcosm biofilm model with human saliva as inoculum was used to investigate metabolic activity, colony-forming units (CFU) and lactic acid production. Incorporating 3% of MPC, 1.5% of DMAHDM, and 0.1% of NAg into RMGI, and immersing in distilled water at 37 °C for 30 days, did not decrease the SBS, compared to control (p > 0.1). RMGI with 3% MPC + 1.5% DMAHDM + 0.1% NAg had protein amount that was 1/10 that of control. RMGI with triple agents (MPC + DMAHDM + NAg) had much stronger antibacterial property than using a single agent or double agents (p < 0.05). Biofilm CFU on RMGI with triple agents was reduced by more than 3 orders of magnitude, compared to commercial control. Biofilm metabolic activity and acid production were also greatly reduced. In conclusion, adding MPC + DMAHDM + NAg in RMGI substantially inhibited biofilm viability and acid production, without compromising the orthodontic bracket bond strength to enamel. The novel bioactive cement is promising for orthodontic applications to hinder biofilms and plaque buildup and enamel demineralization.
Materials2016, 9(6), 414; doi:10.3390/ma9060414 (registering DOI) - published 25 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Root caries prevention has been a challenge for clinicians due to its special anatomical location, which favors the accumulation of dental plaque. Researchers are looking for anti-biofouling material to inhibit bacterial growth on exposed root surfaces. This study aimed to develop polydopamine-induced-polyethylene glycol (PEG) and to study its anti-biofouling effect against a multi-species cariogenic biofilm on the root dentine surface. Hydroxyapatite disks and human dentine blocks were divided into four groups for experiments. They received polydopamine-induced-PEG, PEG, polydopamine, or water application. Contact angle, quartz crystal microbalance, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were used to study the wetting property, surface affinity, and an infrared spectrum; the results indicated that PEG was induced by polydopamine onto a hydroxyapatite disk. Salivary mucin absorption on hydroxyapatite disks with polydopamine-induced-PEG was confirmed using spectrophotometry. The growth of a multi-species cariogenic biofilm on dentine blocks with polydopamine-induced-PEG was assessed and monitored by colony-forming units, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. The results showed that dentine with polydopamine-induced-PEG had fewer bacteria than other groups. In conclusion, a novel polydopamine-induced-PEG coating was developed. Its anti-biofouling effect inhibited salivary mucin absorption and cariogenic biofilm formation on dentine surface and thus may be used for the prevention of root dentine caries.