Special Issue "Biomimetic Polymers"


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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. João F. Mano
3B's Research Group—Biomaterials, Biodegradables and Biomimetics, Department of Polymer Engineering, University of Minho, AvePark, Zona Industrial da Gandra, S. Cláudio do Barco, 4806-909 Caldas das Taipas, Guimarães, Portugal
Website: http://www.3bs.uminho.pt/users/jfmano
E-Mail: jmano@dep.uminho.pt
Phone: +351 253 510 900
Fax: +351 253 510 909
Interests: tissue engineering and regenerative medicine; drug delivery systems; nanomedicine; biomaterials from biodegradable polymers and composites; biomimetics; nanobiomaterials; smart/stimuli-responsive systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

For many years scientist realized that Nature offers astonishing examples for original inspiration. In particular, macromolecules found in any life form, and used as structural or functional purposes, have encouraged the development of innovative and unconventional synthetic polymeric counterparts that could be employed in many fields, including biomedicine, energy, environmental or high-performance materials. The unique properties found in polysaccharides, proteins or nucleic acids and the fundamental understanding of the origins of such behaviours have lead to the progress of the synthesis of novel macromolecular-based systems exhibiting useful properties, including self-assembling capability, stimuli-responsiveness, augmented properties (mechanical, adhesion, extreme wettability, self-healing), highly-specific bio-recognition or multifunctional character. Such materials can be also assembled at different length-scales and shapes to produce devices for multiple-applications.

Prof. Dr. João F. Mano
Guest Editor


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. Polymers is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

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  • bio-inspired macromolecules
  • smart and multifunctional systems
  • self-assembly
  • soft-matter
  • bioactive and bio-instructive polymers

Published Papers (3 papers)

Polymers 2014, 6(4), 1178-1186; doi:10.3390/polym6041178 (doi registration under processing)
Received: 28 February 2014; in revised form: 31 March 2014 / Accepted: 10 April 2014 / Published: 17 April 2014
Show/Hide Abstract | Download PDF Full-text (567 KB) | View HTML Full-text | Download XML Full-text

Polymers 2014, 6(1), 1-11; doi:10.3390/polym6010001
Received: 11 November 2013; in revised form: 13 December 2013 / Accepted: 17 December 2013 / Published: 20 December 2013
Show/Hide Abstract | Download PDF Full-text (1020 KB) | View HTML Full-text | Download XML Full-text

Polymers 2013, 5(4), 1241-1257; doi:10.3390/polym5041241
Received: 28 September 2013; in revised form: 17 October 2013 / Accepted: 25 October 2013 / Published: 11 November 2013
Show/Hide Abstract | Download PDF Full-text (582 KB) | View HTML Full-text | Download XML Full-text |  Supplementary Files
abstract graphic

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Review
Title: Silk Fibers: An Outstanding Family of Native Biomaterials
Authors: Rui F.P. Pereira 1,2, Maria M. Silva 1 and Verónica de Zea Bermudez 2,*
Affiliations: 1 Department of Chemistry, University of Minho, Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal; E-Mails: rpereira@quimica.uminho.pt (R. F. P.P.); nini@quimica.uminho.pt (M.M.S.)
2 Department of Chemistry/CQ-VR, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal; * E-Mail: vbermude@utad.pt (V.D. Z.B.)
Abstract: Designing novel multifunctional materials from natural resources is a challenging goal that has increasingly attracted researchers. In recent years the tremendous potential of silk fibers has been recognized. These sophisticated, complex, hierarchically structured and versatile fibrous proteins are spun into fibers by various species including silkworms and spiders. The exceptional intrinsic properties of silk fibers, such as self-assembly, machinability, biocompatibility, biodegradation, non-toxicity and the ability to support attachment and proliferation of a variety of cell types, offer a wide range of exciting opportunities for the biomedical field, in particular for bone tissue engineering. This review overviews the most recent progress in this domain. A particular emphasis is given to the physico-chemical properties of silk fibers, since their knowledge is of crucial importance for the improvement of already existent silk-based biomaterials and the basis for the development of new products.

Type of Paper: Review
Title: Water Sealing System with Hydrated Materials for Tidal Power Generation
Author: Yoshitaka NAKANISHI
Affiliation: Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto 860-8555, Japan
Abstract: In order to develop a new sealing system with extremely low ingress of water and low friction for tidal power generation, two lip seals made of PVF and the non-Newtonian fluid of PEG based lubricant between the lip seals were adopted. These materials and these configurations mimic the lubrication system in a natural synovial joint. This biomimetic sealing system showed the extremely low ingress of water and low friction.

Type of Paper: Review
Title: Acylation of natural polymers by glucomannan acetyl esterases
Authors: Evangelos Topakas 1 and Paul Christakopoulos 2
Biotechnology Laboratory, School of Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 5 Iroon Polytechniou Str, Zografou Campous, 15700 Athens, Greece
2 Biochemical and Chemical Process Engineering, Division of Sustainable Process Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, SE-971 87 Luleå, Sweden
Abstract: The ability of a CE2 glucomannan acetyl esterase from Clostridium thermocellum to catalyze acyl transfer to various natural mono- and polysaccharides was investigated. The transesterification reactions were carried out in two-phase mixtures consisted of water/vinyl esters that were also played the role of the acyl donors. The esterase preferred the acylation of d-glucose, d-mannose and d-galactose to the corresponding n-propyl and n-butyl esters, exhibiting strict regioselectivity at O-6 position. This acylation potential was also proved successful for the decoration of various polysaccharides that contain the aforementioned sugars, such as glucomannan, galactomannan, -glucan and lichenan.

Type of Paper: Review
Title: To Cross-link or not to Cross-link. Foreign Body Response Associated with Collagen-based Devices
Authors: Luis M. Delgado, Abhay Pandit and Dimitrios I. Zeugolis
Affiliation: Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB), National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway), Galway, Ireland
Abstract: Collagen-based devices, in various physical conformations, are extensively used for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications. Numerous cross-linking methods have been assessed over the years to control the mechanical stability and degradation rate of the device upon implantation. Data to-date indicate that cross-linking may have an adverse effect on host response.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Phase Transformation of Adefovir Dipivoxil/Succinic Acid Cocrystals Regulated by Polymeric Additives
Author: Il Won Kim
Affiliation: Department of Chemical Engineering, Soongsil University, 369 Sangdo-Ro, Dongjak-Gu, Seoul 156-743, Korea; E-mail: iwkim@ssu.ac.kr
Abstract: The polymorphic phase transformation in the cocrystallization of adefovir dipivoxil (AD) and succinic acid (SUC) was investigated. Inspired by biological and biomimetic crystallization, polymeric additives were utilized to control the phase transformation. With addition of poly(acrylic acid), the metastable phase newly identified through XRD analysis was clearly isolated from the previously reported stable form. Without additives, mixed phases were obtained even at the early stage of cocrystallization. Also, IR analysis verified the alteration of the hydrogen bonding, which was mainly responsible for the cocrystal formation between AD and SUC. The hydrogen bonding in the metastable phase was relatively stronger than that in the stable form, which indicated the locally strong AD/SUC coupling in the initial stage of cocrystallization followed by the overall stabilization during the phase transformation observed in this study. The present study demonstrated that the polymeric additives could function as effective regulators for the polymorph-selective cocrystallization.
Keywords: cocrystallization; adefovir dipivoxil; polymeric additives; phase transformation; polymorphism

Type: Review
Title: Polyelectrolyte multilayers: towards single cell studies
Authors: D. Volodkin, R. von Klitzing, H. Moehwald
Affiliation: Department Cellular Biotechnology & Biochips, AG Biofunctional coatings, Am Muehlenberg 13, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany; E-Mail: Dmitry.Volodkin@ibmt.fraunhofer.de (D.V.)
Abstract: In this review we focus on bioapplication of layer-by-layer (LbL) assembled polyelectrolyte films towards the level of a single cell. We present current progress in cell micropatterning approaches using LbL films. Fundamental aspects of the interaction of biologically active compounds in planar LbL films as well as in free-standing LbL structures (capsules) are addressed. Light-triggered release is emphasized as attractive and promising approach for localized and controlled delivery to a single cell.

Last update: 16 December 2013

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