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Open AccessArticle

Low Molecular Weight and Polymeric Modifiers as Toughening Agents in Poly(3-Hydroxybutyrate) Films

1
Polymer Department, National Institute for R&D in Chemistry and Petrochemistry ICECHIM, 202 Splaiul Independentei, 060021 Bucharest, Romania
2
National Institute for Chemical Pharmaceutical Research and Development ICCF, 112 Calea Vitan, 031299 Bucharest, Romania
3
Cantacuzino National Institute of R&D for Microbiology and Immunology, 103 Splaiul Independentei, 050096 Bucharest, Romania
4
Advanced Polymer Materials Group, Faculty of Applied Chemistry and Materials Science, University Politehnica of Bucharest, 1-7 Gheorghe Polizu, 011061 Bucharest, Romania
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(11), 2446; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12112446
Received: 5 October 2020 / Revised: 20 October 2020 / Accepted: 20 October 2020 / Published: 22 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellulose (Nano)Composites)
The inherent brittleness of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) prevents its use as a substitute of petroleum-based polymers. Low molecular weight plasticizers, such as tributyl 2-acetyl citrate (TAC), cannot properly solve this issue. Herein, PHB films were obtained using a biosynthesized poly(3-hydroxyoctanoate) (PHO) and a commercially available TAC as toughening agents. The use of TAC strongly decreased the PHB thermal stability up to 200 °C due to the loss of low boiling point plasticizer, while minor weight loss was noticed at this temperature for the PHB-PHO blend. Both agents shifted the glass transition temperature of PHB to a lower temperature, the effect being more pronounced for TAC. The elongation at break of PHB increased by 700% after PHO addition and by only 185% in the case of TAC; this demonstrates an important toughening effect of the polymeric modifier. Migration of TAC to the upper surface of the films and no sign of migration in the case of PHO were highlighted by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) results. In vitro biocompatibility tests showed that all the PHB films are non-toxic towards L929 cells and have no proinflammatory immune response. The use of PHO as a toughening agent in PHB represents an attractive solution to its brittleness in the case of packaging and biomedical applications while conserving its biodegradability and biocompatibility. View Full-Text
Keywords: poly(3-hydroxyoctanoate); polyhydroxybutyrate; bio-based modifiers; toughening; biocompatibility; thermal properties poly(3-hydroxyoctanoate); polyhydroxybutyrate; bio-based modifiers; toughening; biocompatibility; thermal properties
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MDPI and ACS Style

Frone, A.N.; Nicolae, C.A.; Eremia, M.C.; Tofan, V.; Ghiurea, M.; Chiulan, I.; Radu, E.; Damian, C.M.; Panaitescu, D.M. Low Molecular Weight and Polymeric Modifiers as Toughening Agents in Poly(3-Hydroxybutyrate) Films. Polymers 2020, 12, 2446.

AMA Style

Frone AN, Nicolae CA, Eremia MC, Tofan V, Ghiurea M, Chiulan I, Radu E, Damian CM, Panaitescu DM. Low Molecular Weight and Polymeric Modifiers as Toughening Agents in Poly(3-Hydroxybutyrate) Films. Polymers. 2020; 12(11):2446.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Frone, Adriana N.; Nicolae, Cristian A.; Eremia, Mihaela C.; Tofan, Vlad; Ghiurea, Marius; Chiulan, Ioana; Radu, Elena; Damian, Celina M.; Panaitescu, Denis M. 2020. "Low Molecular Weight and Polymeric Modifiers as Toughening Agents in Poly(3-Hydroxybutyrate) Films" Polymers 12, no. 11: 2446.

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