Polymers2014, 6(9), 2386-2403; doi:10.3390/polym6092386 (registering DOI) - published 19 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Polylactic acid (PLA) and montmorillonite (CB) as filler were studied as coatings for cellulose based packages. Amorphous (AM) and semi crystalline (SC) PLA were used at different concentrations according to a 2 × 6 × 3 full factorial experimental design. CB loading was three concentrations and coating was performed by casting. Contact angle (CA), water vapor (WVP) and grease permeabilities were measured for each resultant package and were compared to commercial materials (Glassine Paper, Grease Proof Papers 1 and 2 produced commercially). Significant differences were found and the main factors were the type and concentration of PLA. The best values were: for grease penetration, +1800 s; WVP from 161.36 to 237.8 g·µm·kPa−1·m−2·d−1 and CA from 69° to 73° for PLA–AM 0.5% and CB variable. These parameters are comparable to commercial packages used in the food industry. DSC revealed three different thermal events for PLA–SC and just Tg for PLA–AM. Crystallinity was also verified, obtaining a ΔHcrys of 3.7 J·g−1 for PLA–SC and 14 J·g−1 for PLA–SC–BC, evidencing clay interaction as a crystal nucleating agent. Differences found were explained on terms of the properties measured, where structural and chemical arrays of the coatings play a fundamental role for the barrier properties.
Polymers2014, 6(9), 2371-2385; doi:10.3390/polym6092371 (registering DOI) - published 19 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A cellulose derivative, carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), was synthesized by the reaction of cellulose from kenaf bast fiber with monochloroacetic acid. A series of biopolymer electrolytes comprised of the synthesized CMC and ammonium acetate (CH3COONH4) were prepared by the solution-casting technique. The biopolymer-based electrolyte films were characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy to investigate the formation of the CMC–CH3COONH4 complexes. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was conducted to obtain their ionic conductivities. The highest conductivity at ambient temperature of 5.77 × 10−4 S cm−1 was obtained for the electrolyte film containing 20 wt% of CH3COONH4. The biopolymer electrolyte film also exhibited electrochemical stability up to 2.5 V. These results indicated that the biopolymer electrolyte has great potential for applications to electrochemical devices, such as proton batteries and solar cells.
Polymers2014, 6(9), 2357-2370; doi:10.3390/polym6092357 - published 15 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In this work, amidoxime polyacrylonitrile (AOPAN) nanofibrous membrane was prepared by a reaction between PAN nanofibers and hydroxylamine hydrochloride. The AOPAN nanofibrous membranes were used for four metal ions (Fe3+, Cu2+, Ni2+, Cd2+) chelation under different conditions. Further, the competition of different metal ions coordinating with AOPAN nanofibrous membrane was also studied. The AOPAN chelated with individual metal ion (Fe3+, Cu2+, Ni2+, Cd2+) and also the four mixed metal ions were further used for laccase (Lac) immobilization. Compared with free laccase, the immobilized laccase showed better resistance to pH and temperature changes as well as improved storage stability. Among the four individual metal ion chelated membranes, the stability of the immobilized enzymes generally followed the order as Fe–AOPAN–Lac > Cu–AOPAN–Lac > Ni–AOPAN–Lac > Cd–AOPAN–Lac. In addition, the immobilized enzyme on the carrier of AOPAN chelated with four mixed metal ions showed the best properties.
Polymers2014, 6(9), 2345-2356; doi:10.3390/polym6092345 - published 12 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Cellulose woven (CW) was surface treated by means of hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide surfactant (HTAB) in aqueous solution medium at elevated temperature. The parameters of the surface treatment that have been studied are HTAB concentration (0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8 and 1.0 wt%) and treatment time (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 h). The untreated and treated CW filled low-density polyethylene (LDPE) biocomposites were prepared via compression molding technique. The tensile testing results of LDPE/CW biocomposites demonstrated that the optimum HTAB concentration for treatment of CW in 1 h was 0.4 wt%, while the optimum treatment time at 0.4 wt% HTAB was 2 h. The SEM (scanning electron microscope) images indicated that there is no significant difference in the morphology of the untreated and treated CW; however the morphology of the LDPE/treated CW biocomposite showed better interfacial adhesion as compared with the untreated ones. The FTIR (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy) spectra revealed that the presence of HTAB on the surface of treated CW and also revealed the existence of intermolecular interactions between LDPE and treated CW. In summary, HTAB could potentially be used as a treatment agent for modifying the surface of CW and consequently improved the tensile properties of LDPE/CW biocomposites.
Polymers2014, 6(9), 2332-2344; doi:10.3390/polym6092332 - published 5 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The synthesis and characterization of ZnS/PMMA (poly(methyl methacrylate)), CdS/PMMA and HgS/PMMA nanocomposites are presented. Hexadecylamine (HDA)-capped ZnS, CdS and HgS nanoparticles were synthesized using dithiocarbamate single molecule precursors at 180 °C. FTIR (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy) spectra measurement confirmed the dispersion of the metal sulfide nanoparticles in the PMMA matrices to form the metal sulfides/PMMA nanocomposites. Powder X-ray diffraction confirmed the presence of the amorphous PMMA in the nanocomposites. The ZnS and HgS particles were indexed to the cubic phase, while the HgS particles correspond to the hexagonal phase. Thermogravimetric analyses showed that the metal sulfide nanocomposites are thermally more stable than their corresponding precursor complexes. The TEM (Transmission electron microscope) analyses revealed that the ZnS nanoparticles have a particle size of 3–5 nm; the crystallite size of the CdS nanoparticles is 6–12 nm, and HgS nanoparticles are 6–12 nm.
Polymers2014, 6(9), 2309-2331; doi:10.3390/polym6092309 - published 29 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The search for a single material with ideal surface properties and necessary mechanical properties is on-going, especially with regard to cardiovascular stent materials. Since the majority of stent problems arise from surface issues rather than bulk material deficiencies, surface optimization of a material that already contains the necessary bulk properties is an active area of research. Polymers can be surface-modified using a variety of methods to increase hemocompatibilty by reducing either late-stage restenosis or acute thrombogenicity, or both. These modification methods can be extended to shape memory polymers (SMPs), in an effort to make these materials more surface compatible, based on the application. This review focuses on the role of surface modification of materials, mainly polymers, to improve the hemocompatibility of stent materials; additional discussion of other materials commonly used in stents is also provided. Although shape memory polymers are not yet extensively used for stents, they offer numerous benefits that may make them good candidates for next-generation stents. Surface modification techniques discussed here include roughening, patterning, chemical modification, and surface modification for biomolecule and drug delivery.