Special Issue "Selected Papers from "ECIS 2017""

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Enrique Lopez-Cabarcos

Affiliation: Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Department of Physical Chemistry, Madrid, Spain
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Interests: microgels and polymer nanogels; calcium cement for bone regeneration; enzymatic biosensors
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Marco Lattuada

Université de Fribourg, Department of Chemistry, Fribourg, Switzerland
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Interests: engineering of anisotropic nanoparticles; control of nanoparticles self-assembly; magnetic nanoparticles synthesis and functionalization; colloidal stability; development of mathematical models in soft-matter physics; hydrodynamic interactions in colloidal suspensions; Monte-Carlo; Brownian Dynamic and Stokesian Dynamics simulations applied to colloids; scattering techniques for particles characterization
Guest Editor
Dr. Wuge Briscoe

University of Bristol, School of Chemistry, Bristol, United Kingdom
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Interests: direct measurement of surface forces mediated by surfactants; polymers and nanofluids; fundamental aspects of biolubrication and nanotoxicity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The annual European Colloid and Interface Society conference is a major event for the colloid science community, and this is the 31st conference in a series of successful meetings, of which the primary goal is to bring together all major disciplines of colloids and interfaces, enabling participants to exchange knowledge, communicate to each other the results of their recent research, and to network with colleagues for new collaborations.

ECIS 2017 (http://www.ecis2017madrid.com/) will cover fundamental and applied advances in the fields of interfaces, dispersed systems, wetting, complex fluids, micro-and nano-engineered materials, upconversion nanoparticles, ion specific effects, self-assembly of surfactants, polymers and proteins, and advances in theories and instrumentation.

The topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Polymer colloids
  • Microgels and gels
  • Polymers in solution
  • Polymer nanoparticles
  • Polymer gels
  • Self-assembly of polymers
  • Functionalization of surfaces with polymers

Submission window open date: 15 July 2017

Submission deadline: 28 February 2018

Prof. Dr. Enrique Lopez-Cabarcos
Prof. Dr. Marco Lattuada
Dr. Wuge Briscoe
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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 thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Polymers 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 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Polymer colloids
  • microgels and gels
  • polymers in solution
  • polymer nanoparticles
  • polymer gels
  • self-assembly of polymers
  • functionalization of surfaces with polymers

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle An Accurate Estimate of the Free Energy and Phase Diagram of All-DNA Bulk Fluids
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 447; doi:10.3390/polym10040447
Received: 23 March 2018 / Revised: 13 April 2018 / Accepted: 13 April 2018 / Published: 16 April 2018
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Abstract
We present a numerical study in which large-scale bulk simulations of self-assembled DNA constructs have been carried out with a realistic coarse-grained model. The investigation aims at obtaining a precise, albeit numerically demanding, estimate of the free energy for such systems. We then,
[...] Read more.
We present a numerical study in which large-scale bulk simulations of self-assembled DNA constructs have been carried out with a realistic coarse-grained model. The investigation aims at obtaining a precise, albeit numerically demanding, estimate of the free energy for such systems. We then, in turn, use these accurate results to validate a recently proposed theoretical approach that builds on a liquid-state theory, the Wertheim theory, to compute the phase diagram of all-DNA fluids. This hybrid theoretical/numerical approach, based on the lowest-order virial expansion and on a nearest-neighbor DNA model, can provide, in an undemanding way, a parameter-free thermodynamic description of DNA associating fluids that is in semi-quantitative agreement with experiments. We show that the predictions of the scheme are as accurate as those obtained with more sophisticated methods. We also demonstrate the flexibility of the approach by incorporating non-trivial additional contributions that go beyond the nearest-neighbor model to compute the DNA hybridization free energy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from "ECIS 2017")
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Open AccessArticle Novel Nano-Liposome Formulation for Dry Eyes with Components Similar to the Preocular Tear Film
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 425; doi:10.3390/polym10040425
Received: 14 March 2018 / Revised: 4 April 2018 / Accepted: 6 April 2018 / Published: 11 April 2018
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Abstract
Dry eye is commonly treated with artificial tears; however, developing artificial tears similar to natural tears is difficult due to the complex nature of tears. We characterized and evaluated a novel artificial tear formulation with components similar to the lipid and aqueous constituents
[...] Read more.
Dry eye is commonly treated with artificial tears; however, developing artificial tears similar to natural tears is difficult due to the complex nature of tears. We characterized and evaluated a novel artificial tear formulation with components similar to the lipid and aqueous constituents of natural tears. Nano-liposomes, composed in part of phosphatidylcholine, were dispersed in an aqueous solution of bioadhesive sodium hyaluronate. Liposome size, zeta potential, and physicochemical properties of the fresh and stored (4 °C) liposomal formulation were analyzed. In vitro tolerance was tested using human corneal and conjunctival cell lines by exposures of 15 min to 4 h. The tolerance of the liposomal formulation was evaluated in animals (rabbits). The average liposome size was 186.3 ± 7.0 nm, and the zeta potential was negative. The osmolarity of the formulation was 198.6 ± 1.7 mOsm, with a surface tension of 36.5 ± 0.4 mN/m and viscosity of 3.05 ± 0.02 mPa·s. Viability values in the human corneal and conjunctival cell lines were always >80%, even after liposomal formulation storage for 8 weeks. Discomfort and clinical signs after instillation in rabbit eyes were absent. The new formulation, based on phosphatidylcholine-liposomes dispersed in sodium hyaluronate has suitable components and characteristics, including high in vitro cell viability and good in vivo tolerance, to serve as a tear substitute. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from "ECIS 2017")
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Open AccessArticle Active Ester Containing Surfmer for One-Stage Polymer Nanoparticle Surface Functionalization in Mini-Emulsion Polymerization
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 408; doi:10.3390/polym10040408
Received: 19 February 2018 / Revised: 23 March 2018 / Accepted: 30 March 2018 / Published: 6 April 2018
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Abstract
Functional surface active monomers (surfmers) are molecules that combine the functionalities of surface activity, polymerizability, and reactive groups. This study presents an improved pathway for the synthesis of the active ester containing surfmer p-(11-acrylamido)undecanoyloxyphenyl dimethylsulfonium methyl sulfate (AUPDS). Further, the preparation of
[...] Read more.
Functional surface active monomers (surfmers) are molecules that combine the functionalities of surface activity, polymerizability, and reactive groups. This study presents an improved pathway for the synthesis of the active ester containing surfmer p-(11-acrylamido)undecanoyloxyphenyl dimethylsulfonium methyl sulfate (AUPDS). Further, the preparation of poly(methyl methacrylate) and polystyrene nanoparticles (NPs) by mini-emulsion polymerization using AUPDS is investigated, leading to NPs with active ester groups on their surface. By systematically varying reaction parameters and reagent concentrations, it was found that AUPDS feed concentrations between 2–4 mol% yielded narrowly distributed and stable spherical particles with average sizes between 83 and 134 nm for non-cross-linked NPs, and up to 163 nm for cross-linked NPs. By basic hydrolysis of the active ester groups in aqueous dispersion, the positive ζ-potential (ZP) was converted into a negative ZP and charge quantities determined by polyelectrolyte titrations before and after hydrolysis were in the same range, indicating that the active ester groups were indeed accessible in aqueous suspension. Increasing cross-linker amounts over 10 mol% also led to a decrease of ZP of NPs, probably due to internalization of the AUPDS during polymerization. In conclusion, by using optimized reaction conditions, it is possible to prepare active ester functionalized NPs in one stage using AUPDS as a surfmer in mini-emulsion polymerization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from "ECIS 2017")
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Open AccessArticle Polymerization-Driven Immobilization of dc-APGD Synthesized Gold Nanoparticles into a Quaternary Ammonium-Based Hydrogel Resulting in a Polymeric Nanocomposite with Heat-Transfer Applications
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 377; doi:10.3390/polym10040377
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 23 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published: 29 March 2018
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Abstract
A new method for the production of nanocomposites, composed of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and (vinylbenzyl)trimethylammonium chloride-co-N,N-methylene bisacrylamide (VBTAC-co-MBA) hydrogel, is described. Raw-AuNPs of defined optical and granulometric properties were synthesized using direct current atmospheric pressure
[...] Read more.
A new method for the production of nanocomposites, composed of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and (vinylbenzyl)trimethylammonium chloride-co-N,N-methylene bisacrylamide (VBTAC-co-MBA) hydrogel, is described. Raw-AuNPs of defined optical and granulometric properties were synthesized using direct current atmospheric pressure glow discharge (dc-APGD) generated in contact with a solution of HAuCl4. Different approaches to the polymerization-driven synthesis of Au/VBTAC-co-MBA nanocomposites were tested. It was established that homogenous dispersion of AuNPs in this new nanomaterial with was achieved in the presence of NaOH in the reaction mixture. The new nanocomposite was found to have excellent heat-transfer properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from "ECIS 2017")
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Open AccessArticle Transport Asymmetry of Novel Bi-Layer Hybrid Perfluorinated Membranes on the Base of MF-4SC Modified by Halloysite Nanotubes with Platinum
Polymers 2018, 10(4), 366; doi:10.3390/polym10040366
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 25 March 2018
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Abstract
Three types of bi-layer hybrid nanocomposites on the base of perfluorinated cation-exchange membrane MF-4SC (Russian analogue of Nafion®-117) were synthesized and characterized. It was found that two membranes possess the noticeable asymmetry of the current–voltage curve (CVC) under changing their orientation
[...] Read more.
Three types of bi-layer hybrid nanocomposites on the base of perfluorinated cation-exchange membrane MF-4SC (Russian analogue of Nafion®-117) were synthesized and characterized. It was found that two membranes possess the noticeable asymmetry of the current–voltage curve (CVC) under changing their orientation towards the applied electric field, despite the absence of asymmetry of diffusion permeability. These phenomena were explained in the frame of the “fine-porous model” expanded for bi-layer membranes. A special procedure to calculate the real values of the diffusion layers thickness and the limiting current density was proposed. Due to asymmetry effects of the current voltage curves of bi-layer hybrid membranes on the base of MF-4SC, halloysite nanotubes and platinum nanoparticles, it is prospective to assemble membrane switches (membrane relays or diodes) with predictable transport properties, founded upon the theory developed here. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from "ECIS 2017")
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Open AccessArticle Humidity-Induced Phase Transitions of Surfactants Embedded in Latex Coatings Can Drastically Alter Their Water Barrier and Mechanical Properties
Polymers 2018, 10(3), 284; doi:10.3390/polym10030284
Received: 18 February 2018 / Revised: 2 March 2018 / Accepted: 6 March 2018 / Published: 8 March 2018
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Abstract
Latex coatings are environmentally friendly i.e., they are formed from aqueous polymer dispersions, are cheap to produce and provide exceptional mechanical properties. Therefore, they are ubiquitous and can be found in a wide range of different applications such as paints and varnishes, pressure-sensitive
[...] Read more.
Latex coatings are environmentally friendly i.e., they are formed from aqueous polymer dispersions, are cheap to produce and provide exceptional mechanical properties. Therefore, they are ubiquitous and can be found in a wide range of different applications such as paints and varnishes, pressure-sensitive adhesives, textiles, construction materials, paper coatings and inks. However, they also have weaknesses and their surfactant content is among them. Surfactants are often needed to stabilize polymer particles in the aqueous latex dispersions. These surfactants also form part of the coatings formed from these dispersions, and it is well-known that they can lower their performance. This work further explores this aspect and focuses on the role that embedded surfactant domains play in the response of latex coatings to humid environments. For this purpose, we made use of several experimental techniques where humidity control was implemented: quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation, atomic force microscopy and differential scanning calorimetry. By means of this multimethodological approach, we report that surfactants embedded in latex coatings can undergo humidity-induced transitions towards more hydrated and softer phases, and that this results in a drastic decrease of the mechanical and water barrier properties of the whole coatings. Subsequently, this work highlights the potential of taking into account the phase behavior of surfactants when choosing which ones to use in the synthesis of latex dispersions as this would help in predicting their performance under different environmental conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from "ECIS 2017")
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Open AccessArticle Hyperthermia-Triggered Gemcitabine Release from Polymer-Coated Magnetite Nanoparticles
Polymers 2018, 10(3), 269; doi:10.3390/polym10030269
Received: 5 February 2018 / Revised: 27 February 2018 / Accepted: 3 March 2018 / Published: 6 March 2018
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Abstract
In this work a combined, multifunctional platform, which was devised for the simultaneous application of magnetic hyperthermia and the delivery of the antitumor drug gemcitabine, is described and tested in vitro. The system consists of magnetite particles embedded in a polymer envelope, designed
[...] Read more.
In this work a combined, multifunctional platform, which was devised for the simultaneous application of magnetic hyperthermia and the delivery of the antitumor drug gemcitabine, is described and tested in vitro. The system consists of magnetite particles embedded in a polymer envelope, designed to make them biocompatible, thanks to the presence of poly (ethylene glycol) in the polymer shell. The commercial particles, after thorough cleaning, are provided with carboxyl terminal groups, so that at physiological pH they present negative surface charge. This was proved by electrophoresis, and makes it possible to electrostatically adsorb gemcitabine hydrochloride, which is the active drug of the resulting nanostructure. Both electrophoresis and infrared spectroscopy are used to confirm the adsorption of the drug. The gemcitabine-loaded particles are tested regarding their ability to release it while heating the surroundings by magnetic hyperthermia, in principle their chances as antitumor agents. The release, with first-order kinetics, is found to be faster when carried out in a thermostated bath at 43 °C than at 37 °C, as expected. But, the main result of this investigation is that while the particles retain their hyperthermia response, with reasonably high heating power, they release the drug faster and with zeroth-order kinetics when they are maintained at 43 °C under the action of the alternating magnetic field used for hyperthermia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from "ECIS 2017")
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Open AccessArticle Facile and Rapid Formation of Giant Vesicles from Glass Beads
Polymers 2018, 10(1), 54; doi:10.3390/polym10010054
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 31 December 2017 / Accepted: 4 January 2018 / Published: 9 January 2018
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Abstract
Giant vesicles (GVs) are widely-used model systems for biological membranes. The formulation of these vesicles, however, can be problematic and artifacts, such as degraded molecules or left-over oil, may be present in the final liposomes. The rapid formulation of a high number of
[...] Read more.
Giant vesicles (GVs) are widely-used model systems for biological membranes. The formulation of these vesicles, however, can be problematic and artifacts, such as degraded molecules or left-over oil, may be present in the final liposomes. The rapid formulation of a high number of artifact-free vesicles of uniform size using standard laboratory equipment is, therefore, highly desirable. Here, the gentle hydration method of glass bead-supported thin lipid films has been enhanced by adding a vortexing step. This led to the formulation of a uniform population of giant vesicles. Batches of glass beads coated with different lipids can be combined to produce vesicles of hybrid lipid compositions. This method represents a stable approach to rapidly generate giant vesicles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from "ECIS 2017")
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Open AccessArticle A Comparative Study of Poly(Azure A) Film-Modified Disposable Electrodes for Electrocatalytic Oxidation of H2O2: Effect of Doping Anion
Polymers 2018, 10(1), 48; doi:10.3390/polym10010048
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 23 December 2017 / Accepted: 3 January 2018 / Published: 6 January 2018
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Abstract
In the present paper, poly(azure A) (PAA) films were electrosynthetized in the presence of different doping anions on disposable screen-printed carbon electrodes (SPCEs). The anions used included inorganic monoatomic (chloride and fluoride), inorganic polyatomic (nitrate and sulfate) and organic polyatomic (dodecyl sulfate, DS)
[...] Read more.
In the present paper, poly(azure A) (PAA) films were electrosynthetized in the presence of different doping anions on disposable screen-printed carbon electrodes (SPCEs). The anions used included inorganic monoatomic (chloride and fluoride), inorganic polyatomic (nitrate and sulfate) and organic polyatomic (dodecyl sulfate, DS) species. The coated electrodes thus obtained were characterized by electrochemical techniques and SEM. They showed improved electrocatalytic activities towards hydrogen peroxide oxidation compared to that of a bare SPCE. In particular, the insertion of DS anions inside PAA films provided a special sensitivity to the electrocatalysis of H2O2, which endowed these electrodes with promising analytical features for H2O2 quantification. We obtained a wide linear response for H2O2 within a range of 5 µM to 3 mM and a limit of detection of 1.43 ± 0.10 µM (signal-to-noise ratio of 3). Furthermore, sensitivity was 72.4 ± 0.49 nA·µM−1∙cm−2 at a relatively low electrocatalytic oxidation overpotential of 0.5 V vs. Ag. The applicability of this boosted system was tested by the analysis of H2O2 in commercial samples of a hair lightener and an antiseptic and was corroborated by spectrophotometric methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from "ECIS 2017")
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Open AccessArticle Magnetic Nanoparticles Coated with a Thermosensitive Polymer with Hyperthermia Properties
Polymers 2018, 10(1), 10; doi:10.3390/polym10010010
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 12 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
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Abstract
Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) have been widely used to increase the efficacy of chemotherapeutics, largely through passive accumulation provided by the enhanced permeability and retention effect. Their incorporation into biopolymer coatings enables the preparation of magnetic field-responsive, biocompatible nanoparticles that are well dispersed in
[...] Read more.
Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) have been widely used to increase the efficacy of chemotherapeutics, largely through passive accumulation provided by the enhanced permeability and retention effect. Their incorporation into biopolymer coatings enables the preparation of magnetic field-responsive, biocompatible nanoparticles that are well dispersed in aqueous media. Here we describe a synthetic route to prepare functionalized, stable magnetite nanoparticles (MNPs) coated with a temperature-responsive polymer, by means of the hydrothermal method combined with an oil/water (o/w) emulsion process. The effects of both pH and temperature on the electrophoretic mobility and surface charge of these MNPs are investigated. The magnetite/polymer composition of these systems is detected by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and quantified by thermogravimetric analysis. The therapeutic possibilities of the designed nanostructures as effective heating agents for magnetic hyperthermia are demonstrated, and specific absorption rates as high as 150 W/g, with 20 mT magnetic field and 205 kHz frequency, are obtained. This magnetic heating response could provide a promising nanoparticle system for combined diagnostics and cancer therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from "ECIS 2017")
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