Polymers2016, 8(5), 172; doi:10.3390/polym8050172 (registering DOI) - published 4 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In order to predict the jetting and the subsequent buckling flow more accurately, a three dimensional melt flow model was established on a viscous, incompressible, and non-isothermal fluid, and a control volume-based finite volume method was employed to discretize the governing equations. A two-fold iterative method was proposed to decouple the dependence among pressure, velocity, and temperature so as to reduce the computation and improve the numerical stability. Based on the proposed theoretical model and numerical method, a program code was developed to simulate melt front progress and flow fields. The numerical simulations for different injection speeds, melt temperatures, and gate locations were carried out to explore the jetting mechanism. The results indicate the filling pattern depends on the competition between inertial and viscous forces. When inertial force exceeds the viscous force jetting occurs, then it changes to a buckling flow as the viscous force competes over the inertial force. Once the melt contacts with the mold wall, the melt filling switches to conventional sequential filling mode. Numerical results also indicate jetting length increases with injection speed but changes little with melt temperature. The reasonable agreements between simulated and experimental jetting length and buckling frequency imply the proposed method is valid for jetting simulation.
Polymers2016, 8(5), 181; doi:10.3390/polym8050181 (registering DOI) - published 4 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The inactivation of photosensitizers before they reach the targeted tissues can be an important factor, which limits the efficacy of photodynamic therapy (PDT). Here, we developed co-assembled nanohybrids of graphene oxide (GO) and albumin/photosensitizer that have a potential for protecting the photosensitizers from the environment and releasing them in targeted sites, allowing for an enhanced PDT. The nanohybrids were prepared by loading the pre-assembled nanoparticles of chlorin e6 (Ce6) and bovine serum albumin (BSA) on GO via non-covalent interactions. The protection to Ce6 is evident from the inhibited fluorescence and singlet oxygen generation activities of Ce6–BSA–GO nanohybrids. Importantly, compared to free Ce6 and Ce6 directly loaded by GO (Ce6–GO), Ce6–BSA–GO nanohybrids showed enhanced cellular uptake and in vitro release of Ce6, leading to an improved PDT efficiency. These results indicate that the smart photosensitizer delivery system constructed by co-assembly of GO and albumin is promising to improve the stability, biocompatibility, and efficiency of PDT.
Polymers2016, 8(5), 180; doi:10.3390/polym8050180 (registering DOI) - published 4 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Developing effective and versatile photocatalytic systems is of great potential in solar energy conversion. Here we investigate the formation of supramolecular catalysts by electrostatic self-assembly in aqueous solution: Combining positively charged porphyrins with negatively charged polyelectrolytes leads to nanoscale assemblies where, next to electrostatic interactions, π–π interactions also play an important role. Porphyrin diacid-polyelectrolyte assemblies exhibit a substantially enhanced catalytic activity for the light-driven oxidation of iodide. Aggregates with the hexavalent cationic porphyrin diacids show up to 22 times higher catalytic activity than the corresponding aggregates under neutral conditions. The catalytic activity can be increased by increasing the valency of the porphyrin and by choice of the loading ratio. The structural investigation of the supramolecular catalysts took place via atomic force microscopy and small angle neutron scattering. Hence, a new facile concept for the design of efficient and tunable self-assembled photocatalysts is presented.
Polymers2016, 8(5), 167; doi:10.3390/polym8050167 (registering DOI) - published 4 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Biomaterials based on polyelectrolyte complexation are an innovative concept of coatings and packaging production to be applied in a wide range of food products. The aim of this study was to obtain and characterize a sodium alginate–chitosan complex material with variable degree of polyion interactions by complexation of oppositely charged polysaccharides. In order to characterize polyelectrolyte complexes, theromogravimetric analysis (TGA), dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization technique with time of flight analyzer (MALDI-TOF), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were performed. TGA analysis showed that thermal decomposition temperature depends on the polymer ratio (R) and thermal resistance of samples was improved by increasing chitosan dosage. Accordingly to DMTA results, polyelectrolyte complexation led to obtain more flexible and resistant to mechanical deformation materials. Comparative analysis of the FTIR spectra of single polyelectrolytes, chitosan and alginate, and their mixtures indicated the formation of the polyelectrolyte complex without addition of reinforcing substances. MALDI-TOF analysis confirms the creation of polyelectrolyte aggregates (~197 Da) in samples with R ≥ 0.8; and their chemical stability and safety were proven by NMR analysis. The higher R the greater the number of polyanion–polycation aggregates seen in SEM as film morphology roughness.
Abstract: The formation of amyloid fibrils is considered to be one of the main causes for many neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or Huntington’s disease. Current knowledge suggests that amyloid-aggregation represents a nucleation-dependent aggregation process in vitro, where a sigmoidal growth phase follows an induction period. Here, we studied the fibrillation of amyloid β 1-40 (Aβ40) in the presence of thermoresponsive polymers, expected to alter the Aβ40 fibrillation kinetics due to their lower critical solution behavior. To probe the influence of molecular weight and the end groups of the polymer on its lower critical solution temperature (LCST), also considering its concentration dependence in the presence of buffer-salts needed for the aggregation studies of the amyloids, poly(oxazolines) (POx) with LCSTs ranging from 14.2–49.8 °C and poly(methoxy di(ethylene glycol)acrylates) with LCSTs ranging from 34.4–52.7 °C were synthesized. The two different polymers allowed the comparison of the influence of different molecular structures onto the fibrillation process. Mixtures of Aβ40 with these polymers in varying concentrations were studied via time-dependent measurements of the thioflavin T (ThT) fluorescence. The studies revealed that amyloid fibrillation was accelerated in, accompanied by an extension of the lag phase of Aβ40 fibrillation from 18.3 h in the absence to 19.3 h in the presence of the poly(methoxy di(ethylene glycol)acrylate) (3600 g/mol).
Abstract: Polymeric biomaterials based on polyurethane and polylactide blends are promising candidates for regenerative medicine applications as biocompatible, bioresorbable carriers. In current research we showed that 80/20 polyurethane/polylactide blends (PU/PLDL) with confirmed biological properties in vitro may be further improved by the addition of ZnO nanoparticles for the delivery of bioactive zinc oxide for cells. The PU/PLDL blends were doped with different concentrations of ZnO (0.001%, 0.01%, 0.05%) and undertaken for in vitro biological evaluation using human adipose stromal stem cells (ASCs) and olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs). The addition of 0.001% of ZnO to the biomaterials positively influenced the morphology, proliferation, and phenotype of cells cultured on the scaffolds. Moreover, the analysis of oxidative stress markers revealed that 0.001% of ZnO added to the material decreased the stress level in both cell lines. In addition, the levels of neural-specific genes were upregulated in OECs when cultured on sample 0.001 ZnO, while the apoptosis-related genes were downregulated in OECs and ASCs in the same group. Therefore, we showed that PU/PLDL blends doped with 0.001% of ZnO exert beneficial influence on ASCs and OECs in vitro and they may be considered for future applications in the field of regenerative medicine.