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Special Issue "Biodegradable Materials"

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A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Green Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Carl J. Schaschke

Head of School of Science, Engineering and Technology, Abertay University, Bell Street, Dundee, DD1 1HG, Scotland
Guest Editor
Dr. Jean-Luc Audic (Website)

Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Rennes, CNRS, UMR 6226, 11 Allée de Beaulieu, CS 50837, 35708 Rennes Cedex 7, France
Interests: biobased polymers; biodegradable polymers; polymer characterisation; formulation; plasticisation; size exclusion chromatography; protein based materials; by-products; non-food uses of agricultural products; protein based packaging materials; polyesters; polyhydroxyalkanoates; PHB; PHBV; oils and epoxidized oils; exsudation and extraction; permeability (O2 , CO2, water vapour...)

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

During the last 30 years, the development of natural biodegradable polymers has attached significant and increasing scientific and industrial attention particularly in terms of meeting the growing demand for sustainable development. Environmentally friendly polymer materials obtained from natural polymers such as proteins, polysaccharides, lipids or through synthesis from renewable resources have received considerable attention in an effort to replace petroleum-derived polymers with macromolecules whose ecological footprints is relatively low. The special issue of International Journal of Material Science will focus on such new biomaterials, and we are seeking contributions underlying the recent findings in the field of biodegradable/bio-based materials and their applications.

Professor Carl Schaschke
Dr. Jean-Luc Audic
Guest Editors

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • bio-based plastics and polymers
  • biodegradability
  • product uses
  • applications
  • materials testing

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (18 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Editorial: Biodegradable Materials
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(11), 21468-21475; doi:10.3390/ijms151121468
Received: 30 October 2014 / Accepted: 18 November 2014 / Published: 21 November 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (632 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This Special Issue “Biodegradable Materials” features research and review papers concerning recent advances on the development, synthesis, testing and characterisation of biomaterials. These biomaterials, derived from natural and renewable sources, offer a potential alternative to existing non-biodegradable materials with application to the [...] Read more.
This Special Issue “Biodegradable Materials” features research and review papers concerning recent advances on the development, synthesis, testing and characterisation of biomaterials. These biomaterials, derived from natural and renewable sources, offer a potential alternative to existing non-biodegradable materials with application to the food and biomedical industries amongst many others. In this Special Issue, the work is expanded to include the combined use of fillers that can enhance the properties of biomaterials prepared as films. The future application of these biomaterials could have an impact not only at the economic level, but also for the improvement of the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle Waste Soybean Oil and Corn Steep Liquor as Economic Substrates for Bioemulsifier and Biodiesel Production by Candida lipolytica UCP 0998
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(10), 1608; doi:10.3390/ijms17101608
Received: 27 June 2016 / Revised: 2 September 2016 / Accepted: 6 September 2016 / Published: 23 September 2016
PDF Full-text (1630 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Almost all oleaginous microorganisms are available for biodiesel production, and for the mechanism of oil accumulation, which is what makes a microbial approach economically competitive. This study investigated the potential that the yeast Candida lipolytica UCP0988, in an anamorphous state, has to [...] Read more.
Almost all oleaginous microorganisms are available for biodiesel production, and for the mechanism of oil accumulation, which is what makes a microbial approach economically competitive. This study investigated the potential that the yeast Candida lipolytica UCP0988, in an anamorphous state, has to produce simultaneously a bioemulsifier and to accumulate lipids using inexpensive and alternative substrates. Cultivation was carried out using waste soybean oil and corn steep liquor in accordance with 22 experimental designs with 1% inoculums (107 cells/mL). The bioemulsifier was produced in the cell-free metabolic liquid in the late exponential phase (96 h), at Assay 4 (corn steep liquor 5% and waste soybean oil 8%), with 6.704 UEA, IE24 of 96.66%, and showed an anionic profile. The emulsion formed consisted of compact small and stable droplets (size 0.2–5 µm), stable at all temperatures, at pH 2 and 4, and 2% salinity, and showed an ability to remove 93.74% of diesel oil from sand. The displacement oil (ODA) showed 45.34 cm2 of dispersion (central point of the factorial design). The biomass obtained from Assay 4 was able to accumulate lipids of 0.425 g/g biomass (corresponding to 42.5%), which consisted of Palmitic acid (28.4%), Stearic acid (7.7%), Oleic acid (42.8%), Linoleic acid (19.0%), and γ-Linolenic acid (2.1%). The results showed the ability of C. lipopytica to produce both bioemulsifier and biodiesel using the metabolic conversion of waste soybean oil and corn steep liquor, which are economic renewable sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Protection of Historical Wood against Microbial Degradation—Selection and Application of Microbiocides
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(8), 1364; doi:10.3390/ijms17081364
Received: 25 July 2016 / Revised: 10 August 2016 / Accepted: 11 August 2016 / Published: 22 August 2016
PDF Full-text (4735 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to select effective and safe microbiocides for the disinfection and protection of historical wooden surfaces at the former Auschwitz II-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp. We tested seven active compounds against bacteria and moulds, of which didecyldimethylammonium [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to select effective and safe microbiocides for the disinfection and protection of historical wooden surfaces at the former Auschwitz II-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp. We tested seven active compounds against bacteria and moulds, of which didecyldimethylammonium chloride and N-(3-aminopropyl)-N-dodecylpropane-1,3-diamine were effective even at 0.02%–2%. Subsequently, eight microbiocides containing the selected active ingredients were chosen and applied three times on the surface of wood samples colonized by bacteria and moulds. ABM-1 and ABM-2—6% solution; Rocima 101—8%; Preventol R 80—12%; Acticide 706 LV—15% and Boramon—30% were the most effective disinfectants. Under laboratory conditions, ABM-1, Boramon and Rocima 101 ensured antimicrobial protection of new wood samples for six months. In situ, 30% Boramon and 8% Rocima 101 applied by spraying effectively protected the historical wood from bacterial and mould growth for 12 and 3 months, respectively. Colour and luminance of the new wood were not altered after exposure to the biocides. Boramon and Rocima 101, applied by the spraying method, caused no significant change in the colour of the historical wood. Results from this study were used to develop a procedure for the protection of wood in historical buildings against biodeterioration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials 2016)
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Open AccessCommunication Navicula sp. Sulfated Polysaccharide Gels Induced by Fe(III): Rheology and Microstructure
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(8), 1238; doi:10.3390/ijms17081238
Received: 16 June 2016 / Revised: 14 July 2016 / Accepted: 19 July 2016 / Published: 30 July 2016
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Abstract
A sulfated polysaccharide extracted from Navicula sp. presented a yield of 4.4 (% w/w dry biomass basis). Analysis of the polysaccharide using gas chromatography showed that this polysaccharide contained glucose (29%), galactose (21%), rhamnose (10%), xylose (5%) and mannose (4%). [...] Read more.
A sulfated polysaccharide extracted from Navicula sp. presented a yield of 4.4 (% w/w dry biomass basis). Analysis of the polysaccharide using gas chromatography showed that this polysaccharide contained glucose (29%), galactose (21%), rhamnose (10%), xylose (5%) and mannose (4%). This polysaccharide presented an average molecular weight of 107 kDa. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) micrographs showed that the lyophilized Navicula sp. polysaccharide is an amorphous solid with particles of irregular shapes and sharp angles. The polysaccharide at 1% (w/v) solution in water formed gels in the presence of 0.4% (w/v) FeCl3, showing elastic and viscous moduli of 1 and 0.7 Pa, respectively. SEM analysis performed on the lyophilized gel showed a compact pore structure, with a pore size of approximately 150 nm. Very few studies on the gelation of sulfated polysaccharides using trivalent ions exist in the literature, and, to the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to describe the gelation of sulfated polysaccharides extracted from Navicula sp. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials 2016)
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Open AccessArticle The Influence of Green Surface Modification of Oil Palm Mesocarp Fiber by Superheated Steam on the Mechanical Properties and Dimensional Stability of Oil Palm Mesocarp Fiber/Poly(butylene succinate) Biocomposite
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(9), 15344-15357; doi:10.3390/ijms150915344
Received: 2 July 2014 / Revised: 28 July 2014 / Accepted: 15 August 2014 / Published: 29 August 2014
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (2285 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, superheated steam (SHS) was used as cost effective and green processing technique to modify oil palm mesocarp fiber (OPMF) for biocomposite applications. The purpose of this modification was to promote the adhesion between fiber and thermoplastic. The modification was [...] Read more.
In this paper, superheated steam (SHS) was used as cost effective and green processing technique to modify oil palm mesocarp fiber (OPMF) for biocomposite applications. The purpose of this modification was to promote the adhesion between fiber and thermoplastic. The modification was carried out in a SHS oven at various temperature (200–230 °C) and time (30–120 min) under normal atmospheric pressure. The biocomposites from SHS-treated OPMFs and poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) at a weight ratio of 70:30 were prepared by melt blending technique. The mechanical properties and dimensional stability of the biocomposites were evaluated. This study showed that the SHS treatment increased the roughness of the fiber surface due to the removal of surface impurities and hemicellulose. The tensile, flexural and impact properties, as well as dimensional stability of the biocomposites were markedly enhanced by the presence of SHS-treated OPMF. Scanning electron microscopy analysis showed improvement of interfacial adhesion between PBS and SHS-treated OPMF. This work demonstrated that SHS could be used as an eco-friendly and sustainable processing method for modification of OPMF in biocomposite fabrication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials)
Open AccessArticle The Effect of Fiber Bleaching Treatment on the Properties of Poly(lactic acid)/Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch Fiber Composites
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14728-14742; doi:10.3390/ijms150814728
Received: 19 June 2014 / Revised: 31 July 2014 / Accepted: 13 August 2014 / Published: 22 August 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (4934 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this work, biodegradable composites from poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) fiber were prepared by melt blending method. Prior to mixing, the fiber was modified through bleaching treatment using hydrogen peroxide. Bleached fiber composite showed an improvement [...] Read more.
In this work, biodegradable composites from poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and oil palm empty fruit bunch (OPEFB) fiber were prepared by melt blending method. Prior to mixing, the fiber was modified through bleaching treatment using hydrogen peroxide. Bleached fiber composite showed an improvement in mechanical properties as compared to untreated fiber composite due to the enhanced fiber/matrix interfacial adhesion. Interestingly, fiber bleaching treatment also improved the physical appearance of the composite. The study was extended by blending the composites with commercially available masterbatch colorant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials)
Open AccessArticle Synthesis and Properties of Poly(l-lactide)-b-poly (l-phenylalanine) Hybrid Copolymers
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 13247-13266; doi:10.3390/ijms150813247
Received: 19 May 2014 / Revised: 28 June 2014 / Accepted: 14 July 2014 / Published: 29 July 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3074 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hybrid materials constituted by peptides and synthetic polymers have nowadays a great interest since they can combine the properties and functions of each constitutive block, being also possible to modify the final characteristics by using different topologies. Poly(l-lactide-b-l-phenylalanine) copolymers with [...] Read more.
Hybrid materials constituted by peptides and synthetic polymers have nowadays a great interest since they can combine the properties and functions of each constitutive block, being also possible to modify the final characteristics by using different topologies. Poly(l-lactide-b-l-phenylalanine) copolymers with various block lengths were synthesized by sequential ring-opening polymerization of l-lactide and the N-carboxyanhydride of l-phenylalanine. The resulting block copolymers were characterized by NMR spectrometry, IR spectroscopy, gel permeation chromatography, MALDI-TOF and UV-vis, revealing the successful incorporation of the polyphenylalanine (PPhe) peptide into the previously formed poly(l-lactide) (PLLA) polymer chain. X-ray diffraction and DSC data also suggested that the copolymers were phase-separated in domains containing either crystalline PLLA or PPhe phases. A peculiar thermal behavior was also found by thermogravimetric analysis when polyphenylalanine blocks were incorporated into polylactide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Crosslinking Liposomes/Cells Using Cholesteryl Group-Modified Tilapia Gelatin
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(7), 13123-13134; doi:10.3390/ijms150713123
Received: 1 May 2014 / Revised: 14 July 2014 / Accepted: 15 July 2014 / Published: 23 July 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1315 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cholesteryl group-modified tilapia gelatins (Chol-T-Gltns) with various Chol contents from 3 to 69 mol % per amino group of Gltn were prepared for the assembly of liposomes and cells. Liposomes were physically crosslinked by anchoring Chol groups of Chol-T-Gltns into lipid membranes. [...] Read more.
Cholesteryl group-modified tilapia gelatins (Chol-T-Gltns) with various Chol contents from 3 to 69 mol % per amino group of Gltn were prepared for the assembly of liposomes and cells. Liposomes were physically crosslinked by anchoring Chol groups of Chol-T-Gltns into lipid membranes. The resulting liposome gels were enzymatically degraded by addition of collagenase. Liposome gels prepared using Chol-T-Gltn with high Chol content (69Chol-T-Gltn) showed slower enzymatic degradation when compared with gels prepared using Chol-T-Gltn with low Chol content (3Chol-T-Gltn). The hepatocyte cell line HepG2 showed good assembly properties and no cytotoxic effects after addition of 69Chol-T-Gltns. In addition, the number of HepG2 cells increased with concentration of 69Chol-T-Gltns. Therefore, Chol-T-Gltn, particularly, 69Chol-T-Gltn, can be used as an assembling material for liposomes and various cell types. The resulting organization can be applied to various biomedical fields, such as drug delivery systems, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials)
Open AccessArticle Cellulose Nanocrystals/ZnO as a Bifunctional Reinforcing Nanocomposite for Poly(vinyl alcohol)/Chitosan Blend Films: Fabrication, Characterization and Properties
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(6), 11040-11053; doi:10.3390/ijms150611040
Received: 4 April 2014 / Revised: 14 May 2014 / Accepted: 26 May 2014 / Published: 18 June 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (689 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, cellulose nanocrystals/zinc oxide (CNCs/ZnO) nanocomposites were dispersed as bifunctional nano-sized fillers into poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and chitosan (Cs) blend by a solvent casting method to prepare PVA/Cs/CNCs/ZnO bio-nanocomposites films. The morphology, thermal, mechanical and UV-vis absorption properties, as well [...] Read more.
In this study, cellulose nanocrystals/zinc oxide (CNCs/ZnO) nanocomposites were dispersed as bifunctional nano-sized fillers into poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and chitosan (Cs) blend by a solvent casting method to prepare PVA/Cs/CNCs/ZnO bio-nanocomposites films. The morphology, thermal, mechanical and UV-vis absorption properties, as well antimicrobial effects of the bio-nanocomposite films were investigated. It demonstrated that CNCs/ZnO were compatible with PVA/Cs and dispersed homogeneously in the polymer blend matrix. CNCs/ZnO improved tensile strength and modulus of PVA/Cs significantly. Tensile strength and modulus of bio-nanocomposite films increased from 55.0 to 153.2 MPa and from 395 to 932 MPa, respectively with increasing nano-sized filler amount from 0 to 5.0 wt %. The thermal stability of PVA/Cs was also enhanced at 1.0 wt % CNCs/ZnO loading. UV light can be efficiently absorbed by incorporating ZnO nanoparticles into a PVA/Cs matrix, signifying that these bio-nanocomposite films show good UV-shielding effects. Moreover, the biocomposites films showed antibacterial activity toward the bacterial species Salmonella choleraesuis and Staphylococcus aureus. The improved physical properties obtained by incorporating CNCs/ZnO can be useful in variety uses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials)
Open AccessArticle Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate)/ZnO Bionanocomposites with Improved Mechanical, Barrier and Antibacterial Properties
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(6), 10950-10973; doi:10.3390/ijms150610950
Received: 12 May 2014 / Revised: 2 June 2014 / Accepted: 5 June 2014 / Published: 17 June 2014
Cited by 25 | PDF Full-text (1780 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB)-based bionanocomposites incorporating different contents of ZnO nanoparticles were prepared via solution casting technique. The nanoparticles were dispersed within the biopolymer without the need for surfactants or coupling agents. The morphology, thermal, mechanical, barrier, migration and antibacterial properties of the nanocomposites [...] Read more.
Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB)-based bionanocomposites incorporating different contents of ZnO nanoparticles were prepared via solution casting technique. The nanoparticles were dispersed within the biopolymer without the need for surfactants or coupling agents. The morphology, thermal, mechanical, barrier, migration and antibacterial properties of the nanocomposites were investigated. The nanoparticles acted as nucleating agents, increasing the crystallization temperature and the degree of crystallinity of the matrix, and as mass transport barriers, hindering the diffusion of volatiles generated during the decomposition process, leading to higher thermal stability. The Young’s modulus, tensile and impact strength of the biopolymer were enhanced by up to 43%, 32% and 26%, respectively, due to the strong matrix-nanofiller interfacial adhesion attained via hydrogen bonding interactions, as revealed by the FT-IR spectra. Moreover, the nanocomposites exhibited reduced water uptake and superior gas and vapour barrier properties compared to neat PHB. They also showed antibacterial activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, which was progressively improved upon increasing ZnO concentration. The migration levels of PHB/ZnO composites in both non-polar and polar simulants decreased with increasing nanoparticle content, and were well below the current legislative limits for food packaging materials. These biodegradable nanocomposites show great potential as an alternative to synthetic plastic packaging materials especially for use in food and beverage containers and disposable applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials)
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Open AccessArticle A pH and Redox Dual Responsive 4-Arm Poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(disulfide histamine) Copolymer for Non-Viral Gene Transfection in Vitro and in Vivo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 9067-9081; doi:10.3390/ijms15059067
Received: 28 January 2014 / Revised: 6 May 2014 / Accepted: 12 May 2014 / Published: 21 May 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2224 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A novel 4-arm poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(disulfide histamine) copolymer was synthesized by Michael addition reaction of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) vinyl sulfone and amine-capped poly(disulfide histamine) oligomer, being denoted as 4-arm PEG-SSPHIS. This copolymer was able to condense DNA into nanoscale polyplexes (<200 nm in [...] Read more.
A novel 4-arm poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(disulfide histamine) copolymer was synthesized by Michael addition reaction of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) vinyl sulfone and amine-capped poly(disulfide histamine) oligomer, being denoted as 4-arm PEG-SSPHIS. This copolymer was able to condense DNA into nanoscale polyplexes (<200 nm in average diameter) with almost neutral surface charge (+(5–10) mV). Besides, these polyplexes were colloidal stable within 4 h in HEPES buffer saline at pH 7.4 (physiological environment), but rapidly dissociated to liberate DNA in the presence of 10 mM glutathione (intracellular reducing environment). The polyplexes also revealed pH-responsive surface charges which markedly increased with reducing pH values from 7.4–6.3 (tumor microenvironment). In vitro transfection experiments showed that polyplexes of 4-arm PEG-SSPHIS were capable of exerting enhanced transfection efficacy in MCF-7 and HepG2 cancer cells under acidic conditions (pH 6.3–7.0). Moreover, intravenous administration of the polyplexes to nude mice bearing HepG2-tumor yielded high transgene expression largely in tumor rather other normal organs. Importantly, this copolymer and its polyplexes had low cytotoxicity against the cells in vitro and caused no death of the mice. The results of this study indicate that 4-arm PEG-SSPHIS has high potential as a dual responsive gene delivery vector for cancer gene therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Three-Dimensional Microstructural Properties of Nanofibrillated Cellulose Films
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(4), 6423-6440; doi:10.3390/ijms15046423
Received: 14 February 2014 / Revised: 1 April 2014 / Accepted: 3 April 2014 / Published: 16 April 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (6985 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) films have potential as oxygen barriers for, e.g., food packaging applications, but their use is limited by their hygroscopic characteristics. The three-dimensional microstructure of NFC films made of Pinus radiata (Radiata Pine) kraft pulp fibres has been assessed in [...] Read more.
Nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) films have potential as oxygen barriers for, e.g., food packaging applications, but their use is limited by their hygroscopic characteristics. The three-dimensional microstructure of NFC films made of Pinus radiata (Radiata Pine) kraft pulp fibres has been assessed in this study, considering the structural development as a function of relative humidity (RH). The surface roughness, micro-porosity, thickness and their correlations were analyzed using X-ray microtomography (X–μCT) and computerized image analysis. The results are compared to those from scanning electron microscopy and laser profilometry. Based on a series of films having varying amounts of 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidinyl-1-oxyl (TEMPO)-mediated oxidated nanofibrils, it was demonstrated that X–μCT is suitable for assessing the surface and bulk 3D microstructure of the cellulose films. Additionally, one of the series was assessed at varying humidity levels, using the non-destructive capabilities of X–μCT and a newly developed humidity chamber for in-situ characterization. The oxygen transmission rate (OTR) of the films (20 g=m2) was below 3:7mLm-2 day-1 at humidity levels below 60% RH. However, the OTR increased considerably to 12:4mLm-2 day-1 when the humidity level increased to 80% RH. The increase in OTR was attributed to a change of the film porosity, which was reflected as an increase in local thickness. Hence, the characterization techniques applied in this study shed more light on the structures of NFC films and how they are affected by varying humidity levels. It was demonstrated that in increasing relative humidity the films swelled and the oxygen barrier properties decreased. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Poly(lactide-co-trimethylene carbonate) and Polylactide/Polytrimethylene Carbonate Blown Films
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(2), 2608-2621; doi:10.3390/ijms15022608
Received: 14 November 2013 / Revised: 24 January 2014 / Accepted: 8 February 2014 / Published: 14 February 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (3344 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this work, poly(lactide-co-trimethylene carbonate) and polylactide/ polytrimethylene carbonate films are prepared using a film blowing method. The process parameters, including temperature and screw speed, are studied, and the structures and properties of the P(LA-TMC) and PLA/PTMC films are investigated. [...] Read more.
In this work, poly(lactide-co-trimethylene carbonate) and polylactide/ polytrimethylene carbonate films are prepared using a film blowing method. The process parameters, including temperature and screw speed, are studied, and the structures and properties of the P(LA-TMC) and PLA/PTMC films are investigated. The scanning electron microscope (SEM) images show that upon improving the content of TMC and PTMC, the lamellar structures of the films are obviously changed. With increasing TMC monomer or PTMC contents, the elongation at the break is improved, and the maximum is up to 525%. The water vapor permeability (WVP) results demonstrate that the WVP of the PLA/PTMC film increased with the increase in the PTMC content, whereas the WVP of the P(LA-TMC) film decreased. Thermogravimetric (TG) measurements reveal that the decomposition temperatures of the P(LA-TMC) and PLA/PTMC films decrease with increases in the TMC and PTMC contents, respectively, but the processing temperature is significantly lower than the initial decomposition temperature. P(LA-TMC) or PLA/PTMC film can extend the shelf life of apples, for instance, like commercial LDPE film used in fruit packaging in supermarkets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials)
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Review

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Open AccessReview The Ultimaster Biodegradable-Polymer Sirolimus-Eluting Stent: An Updated Review of Clinical Evidence
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(9), 1490; doi:10.3390/ijms17091490
Received: 27 July 2016 / Revised: 27 August 2016 / Accepted: 31 August 2016 / Published: 6 September 2016
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Abstract
The Ultimaster coronary stent system (Terumo Corporation, Tokyo, Japan) represents a new iteration in drug-eluting stent (DES) technology that has recently received the Conformité Européenne (CE) mark approval for clinical use. The Ultimaster is a thin-strut, cobalt chromium, biodegradable-polymer, sirolimus-eluting coronary stent. [...] Read more.
The Ultimaster coronary stent system (Terumo Corporation, Tokyo, Japan) represents a new iteration in drug-eluting stent (DES) technology that has recently received the Conformité Européenne (CE) mark approval for clinical use. The Ultimaster is a thin-strut, cobalt chromium, biodegradable-polymer, sirolimus-eluting coronary stent. The high elasticity of the biodegradable-polymer (PDLLA-PCL) and the abluminal gradient coating technology are additional novel features of this coronary device. The Ultimaster DES has undergone extensive clinical evaluation in two studies: The CENTURY I and II trials. Results from these two landmark studies suggested an excellent efficacy and safety profile of the Ultimaster DES across several lesion and patient subsets, with similar clinical outcomes to contemporary, new-generation DES. The aim of this review is to summarize the rationale behind this novel DES technology and to provide an update of available evidence about the clinical performance of the Ultimaster DES. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials 2016)
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Open AccessReview Carbon Sources for Polyhydroxyalkanoates and an Integrated Biorefinery
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(7), 1157; doi:10.3390/ijms17071157
Received: 19 May 2016 / Revised: 7 July 2016 / Accepted: 11 July 2016 / Published: 19 July 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1571 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are a group of bioplastics that have a wide range of applications. Extensive progress has been made in our understanding of PHAs’ biosynthesis, and currently, it is possible to engineer bacterial strains to produce PHAs with desired properties. The substrates [...] Read more.
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are a group of bioplastics that have a wide range of applications. Extensive progress has been made in our understanding of PHAs’ biosynthesis, and currently, it is possible to engineer bacterial strains to produce PHAs with desired properties. The substrates for the fermentative production of PHAs are primarily derived from food-based carbon sources, raising concerns over the sustainability of their production in terms of their impact on food prices. This paper gives an overview of the current carbon sources used for PHA production and the methods used to transform these sources into fermentable forms. This allows us to identify the opportunities and restraints linked to future sustainable PHA production. Hemicellulose hydrolysates and crude glycerol are identified as two promising carbon sources for a sustainable production of PHAs. Hemicellulose hydrolysates and crude glycerol can be produced on a large scale during various second generation biofuels’ production. An integration of PHA production within a modern biorefinery is therefore proposed to produce biofuels and bioplastics simultaneously. This will create the potential to offset the production cost of biofuels and reduce the overall production cost of PHAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials 2016)
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Open AccessReview Polyester-Based (Bio)degradable Polymers as Environmentally Friendly Materials for Sustainable Development
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(1), 564-596; doi:10.3390/ijms16010564
Received: 2 October 2014 / Accepted: 11 December 2014 / Published: 29 December 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (2597 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This review focuses on the polyesters such as polylactide and polyhydroxyalkonoates, as well as polyamides produced from renewable resources, which are currently among the most promising (bio)degradable polymers. Synthetic pathways, favourable properties and utilisation (most important applications) of these attractive polymer families [...] Read more.
This review focuses on the polyesters such as polylactide and polyhydroxyalkonoates, as well as polyamides produced from renewable resources, which are currently among the most promising (bio)degradable polymers. Synthetic pathways, favourable properties and utilisation (most important applications) of these attractive polymer families are outlined. Environmental impact and in particular (bio)degradation of aliphatic polyesters, polyamides and related copolymer structures are described in view of the potential applications in various fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials)
Open AccessReview Recent Advances in Food-Packing, Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Applications of Zein and Zein-Based Materials
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(12), 22438-22470; doi:10.3390/ijms151222438
Received: 24 September 2014 / Revised: 27 October 2014 / Accepted: 7 November 2014 / Published: 4 December 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2224 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Zein is a biodegradable and biocompatible material extracted from renewable resources; it comprises almost 80% of the whole protein content in corn. This review highlights and describes some zein and zein-based materials, focusing on biomedical applications. It was demonstrated in this review [...] Read more.
Zein is a biodegradable and biocompatible material extracted from renewable resources; it comprises almost 80% of the whole protein content in corn. This review highlights and describes some zein and zein-based materials, focusing on biomedical applications. It was demonstrated in this review that the biodegradation and biocompatibility of zein are key parameters for its uses in the food-packing, biomedical and pharmaceutical fields. Furthermore, it was pointed out that the presence of hydrophilic-hydrophobic groups in zein chains is a very important aspect for obtaining material with different hydrophobicities by mixing with other moieties (polymeric or not), but also for obtaining derivatives with different properties. The physical and chemical characteristics and special structure (at the molecular, nano and micro scales) make zein molecules inherently superior to many other polymers from natural sources and synthetic ones. The film-forming property of zein and zein-based materials is important for several applications. The good electrospinnability of zein is important for producing zein and zein-based nanofibers for applications in tissue engineering and drug delivery. The use of zein’s hydrolysate peptides for reducing blood pressure is another important issue related to the application of derivatives of zein in the biomedical field. It is pointed out that the biodegradability and biocompatibility of zein and other inherent properties associated with zein’s structure allow a myriad of applications of such materials with great potential in the near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials)
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Open AccessReview Synthesis, Properties and Applications of Biodegradable Polymers Derived from Diols and Dicarboxylic Acids: From Polyesters to Poly(ester amide)s
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7064-7123; doi:10.3390/ijms15057064
Received: 27 February 2014 / Revised: 31 March 2014 / Accepted: 31 March 2014 / Published: 25 April 2014
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (3012 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Poly(alkylene dicarboxylate)s constitute a family of biodegradable polymers with increasing interest for both commodity and speciality applications. Most of these polymers can be prepared from biobased diols and dicarboxylic acids such as 1,4-butanediol, succinic acid and carbohydrates. This review provides a current [...] Read more.
Poly(alkylene dicarboxylate)s constitute a family of biodegradable polymers with increasing interest for both commodity and speciality applications. Most of these polymers can be prepared from biobased diols and dicarboxylic acids such as 1,4-butanediol, succinic acid and carbohydrates. This review provides a current status report concerning synthesis, biodegradation and applications of a series of polymers that cover a wide range of properties, namely, materials from elastomeric to rigid characteristics that are suitable for applications such as hydrogels, soft tissue engineering, drug delivery systems and liquid crystals. Finally, the incorporation of aromatic units and α-amino acids is considered since stiffness of molecular chains and intermolecular interactions can be drastically changed. In fact, poly(ester amide)s derived from naturally occurring amino acids offer great possibilities as biodegradable materials for biomedical applications which are also extensively discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials)
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