Polymers2015, 7(5), 836-850; doi:10.3390/polym7050836 (registering DOI) - published 28 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In this study, the effect of zinc on insulin stability during the primary emulsification step of poly(lactide-co-glycolide) microspheres preparation by the water-in-oil-in-water (w/o/w) double emulsion solvent evaporation technique was evaluated. Insulin was emulsified at homogenization speeds of 5000 and 10,000 rpm. Insulin was extracted from the primary w/o emulsion by a method previously reported from our laboratory and analyzed by comprehensive analytical techniques. The differential scanning calorimetry thermograms of insulin with zinc showed a single peak around 83 °C with calorimetric enthalpy values similar to native insulin. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) of extracted insulin showed a single intense band around 6 kDa, demonstrating the preservation of primary structure. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis revealed that no degradation products were formed during the homogenization process. Insulin aggregates residing at the w/o interfaces were found to be of non-covalent nature. In addition, observation of a single characteristic peak for insulin at m/z 5808 in the matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrum confirmed the absence of insulin degradation products and covalent dimers. Presence of zinc preserved the secondary structure of insulin as indicated by circular dichroism. In conclusion, these results show that with the addition of zinc, insulin stability can be improved during the primary emulsification step.
Polymers2015, 7(5), 819-835; doi:10.3390/polym7050819 (registering DOI) - published 28 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In high-conversion atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), all the reactions, such as radical termination, radical deactivation, dormant chain activation, monomer propagation, etc. could become diffusion controlled sooner or later, depending on relative diffusivities of the involved reacting species. These diffusion-controlled reactions directly affect the rate of polymerization and the control of polymer molecular weight. A model is developed to investigate the influence of diffusion-controlled reactions on the high conversion ATRP kinetics. Model simulation reveals that diffusion-controlled termination slightly increases the rate, but it is the diffusion-controlled deactivation that causes auto-acceleration in the rate (“gel effect”) and loss of control. At high conversions, radical chains are “trapped” because of high molecular weight. However, radical centers can still migrate through (1) radical deactivation–activation cycles and (2) monomer propagation, which introduce “residual termination” reactions. It is found that the “residual termination” does not have much influence on the polymerization kinetics. The migration of radical centers through propagation can however facilitate catalytic deactivation of radicals, which improves the control of polymer molecular weight to some extent. Dormant chain activation and monomer propagation also become diffusion controlled and finally stop the polymerization when the system approaches its glass state.
Abstract: A new process for modifying a polymeric material for use as a hole injection transport layer in organic light-emitting diodes has been studied, which is through 2π + 2π photodimerization of a DNA-mimetic π-conjugated poly(triphenylamine-carbazole) presenting pendent uracil groups (PTC-U) under 1 h of UV irradiation. Multilayer florescence OLED (Organic light-emitting diodes) device with the PTC-U-1hr as a hole injection/transport layer (ITO (Indium tin oxide)/HITL (hole-injection/transport layer) (15 nm)/N,N'-di(1-naphthyl)- N,N'-diphenyl-(1,1'-biphenyl)-4,4'-diamine (NPB) (15 nm)/Tris-(8-hydroxyquinoline) aluminum (Alq3) (60 nm)/LiF (1 nm)/Al (100 nm)) is fabricated, a remarkable improvement in performance (Qmax (external quantum efficiency) = 2.65%, Bmax (maximum brightness) = 56,704 cd/m2, and LE(luminance efficiency)max = 8.9 cd/A) relative to the control PTC-U (Qmax = 2.40%, Bmax = 40,490 cd/m2, and LEmax = 8.0 cd/A). Multilayer phosphorescence OLED device with the PTC-U-1hr as a hole injection/transport layer (ITO/HITL (15 nm)/Ir(ppy)3:PVK (40 nm)/BCP (10nm)/Alq3 (40 nm)/LiF (1 nm)/Al (100 nm)) is fabricated by successive spin-coating processes, a remarkable improvement in performance (Qmax = 9.68%, Bmax = 41,466 cd/m2, and LEmax = 36.6 cd/A) relative to the control PTC-U (Qmax = 8.35%, Bmax = 34,978 cd/m2, and LEmax = 30.8 cd/A) and the commercial product (poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):polystyrenesulfonate) PEDOT:PSS (Qmax = 4.29%, Bmax = 15,678 cd/m2, and LEmax = 16.2 cd/A) has been achieved.
Abstract: This review covers the preparation, characterization, properties, and applications of methylcelluloses (MC). In particular, the influence of different chemical modifications of cellulose (under both heterogeneous and homogeneous conditions) is discussed in relation to the physical properties (solubility, gelation) of the methylcelluloses. The molecular weight (MW) obtained from the viscosity is presented together with the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis required for the determination of the degree of methylation. The influence of the molecular weight on the main physical properties of methylcellulose in aqueous solution is analyzed. The interfacial properties are examined together with thermogelation. The surface tension and adsorption at interfaces are described: surface tension in aqueous solution is independent of molecular weight but the adsorption at the solid interface depends on the MW, the higher the MW the thicker the polymeric layer adsorbed. The two-step mechanism of gelation is confirmed and it is shown that the elastic moduli of high temperature gels are not dependent on the molecular weight but only on polymer concentration. Finally, the main applications of MC are listed showing the broad range of applications of these water soluble cellulose derivatives.
Abstract: The reduction of polylactide acid (PLA) molecular weight for amorphous and semicrystalline grade nanocomposites with 5 wt% load of organomodified montmorillonite Cloisite30B (C30B) was investigated in periods of up to 360 h under artificial weathering. A correlation between artificial and natural weathering was established. The nanocomposites were prepared by mixing the C30B in PLA matrix using two stages of extrusion followed by injection molding. In addition, we also studied materials without C30B in PLA matrix prepared by a single stage of injection, as well as with two stages of extrusion followed by injection, in order to assess thermal effects. XRD (X-ray diffraction) and TEM (Transmission electron microscope) were used to determine the layer dispersion of the C30B within the PLA. An increase in the interlayer spacing of a sandwich structure corresponding to a partial exfoliation of the C30B was found, leading to the creation of small particles at nanoscale of one (1.29 nm) to eight (11.76 nm) platelets. Also, GPC (Gel permeation chromatography) was used to evaluate the molecular weight decay of neat PLA and its nanocomposites due to thermal processing and subsequent artificial weathering exposure. From thermal processing, a more significant decrease of polydispersity in amorphous PLA than in semicrystalline PLA counterparts could be observed. First order fitting of molecular weight decay of samples versus time of exposure under artificial weathering was found for all materials tested. It was observed that the addition of clay favored PLA degradation in amorphous PLA, in comparison with semicrystalline PLA in both thermal processing and artificial weathering. Moreover, a possible effect of C30B interactions with PLA chains under artificial weathering could be postulated.
Abstract: Castor oil-based polyurethane as a renewable resource polymer has been synthesized for application as a host in polymer electrolyte for electrochemical devices. The polyurethane was added with LiI and NaI in different wt% to form a film of polymer electrolytes. The films were characterized by using attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, dynamic mechanical analysis, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, linear sweep voltammetry and transference number measurement. The highest conductivity of 1.42 × 10−6 S cm−1 was achieved with the addition of 30 wt% LiI and 4.28 × 10−7 S·cm−1 upon addition of 30 wt% NaI at room temperature. The temperature dependence conductivity plot indicated that both systems obeyed Arrhenius law. The activation energy for the PU-LiI and PU-NaI systems were 0.13 and 0.22 eV. Glass transition temperature of the synthesized polyurethane decreased from −15.8 °C to ~ −26 to −28 °C upon salts addition. These characterizations exhibited the castor oil-based polyurethane polymer electrolytes have potential to be used as alternative membrane for electrochemical devices.