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Polymers, Volume 14, Issue 14 (July-2 2022) – 214 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Molecular engineering allows for the creation of tailorable materials with custom properties. However, when it comes to the optical properties of conjugated polymers, standard molecular engineering methods do not yield predictable results. In this study, this is demonstrated with conjugated polymers PPE and PPV, as well as the growth of neutral, anionic, and cationic lateral grafts. Here, we show that neutral grafts cause physical spacing between fluorescent polymer backbones and thus increase the quantum yield. However, in the case of ionic grafts, the quantum yield decreases and can be further decreased by the addition of less polar solvents. View this paper
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Article
Human Enamel Fluorination Enhancement by Photodynamic Laser Treatment
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2969; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142969 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 360
Abstract
Poor oral hygiene leads to serious damages of theteeth’s surface enamel such as micro-abrasions and acid erosion. These alterations combined with bacterial plaque result in cavity appearance. Prophylactic measures include various techniques for enamel surface restoration. Fluorination is one of the most important [...] Read more.
Poor oral hygiene leads to serious damages of theteeth’s surface enamel such as micro-abrasions and acid erosion. These alterations combined with bacterial plaque result in cavity appearance. Prophylactic measures include various techniques for enamel surface restoration. Fluorination is one of the most important treatments for this purpose. Therefore, in the present research, we investigated the classical fluorination treatment compared with laser photodynamic fluorination performed on human enamel samples with poor surface quality. Three sample groups were investigated: veneer (F), inlay (I), and crowns (C). The general morphologic aspect was investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and the specific details such as the fine microstructure and nanostructure were investigated by atomic force microscopy (AFM) of the surface roughness. The samples were also investigated by Fourier transformed infrared attenuated total reflectance (FTIR-ATR) to evidence the fluorination effect on the enamel surface. Results showed that all initial samples had an altered state with micro-abrasions and erosion with mineral loss, which increase the surface roughness. The F group was the most damaged, having a higher roughness, and the I group was less damaged. Classic fluorination treatment partially restored the enamel by local re-mineralization, but did not obtain the parameters of healthy enamel. However, a significant decrease of the roughness was observed (statistical relevance p = 0.001 with the Breusch–Pagan Test). This fact was supported by the presence of newly formed fluorides in the FTIR-ATR spectra. The photodynamic laser fluorination restores the enamel in an enhanced manner by a strong re-mineralization, which implies a significant roughness value decrease comparable to healthy enamel. The Breusch–Pagan Test confirmed the relevance with p = 0.001. This is due to an extended re-mineralization abundant in fluoride crystals as observed by AFM and FTIR. Statistical p-values regarding laser application were in the range of 0.02–0.06, supporting its relevance in the fluorination effect. The final conclusion is that the photodynamic effect is able to favor the newly formed fluoride deposition onto the affected sites of the enamel surface. Full article
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Article
Effect of Volume Fraction on Shear Mode Properties of Fe-Co and Fe-Ni Filled Magneto-Rheological Elastomers
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2968; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142968 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 292
Abstract
In this research, the synergistic behavior of magnetorheological elastomers containing nickel and cobalt along with iron particles as magnetically polarizable fillers is examined experimentally under dynamic shear loading. Two different types of magnetorheological elastomer were fabricated having equal proportions of iron and nickel [...] Read more.
In this research, the synergistic behavior of magnetorheological elastomers containing nickel and cobalt along with iron particles as magnetically polarizable fillers is examined experimentally under dynamic shear loading. Two different types of magnetorheological elastomer were fabricated having equal proportions of iron and nickel in one kind, and iron and cobalt in the other. The concentrations of magnetic particles in each type are varied from 10% to 40% and investigated for several frequencies, displacement amplitude, and magnetic field values. A test assembly with moveable permanent magnets was used to vary magnetic field density. Force displacement hysteresis loops were studied for dynamic response of magnetorheological elastomers (MREs). It was observed that MREs showed a linear behavior at low strains while nonlinearity increased with increasing strain. The percentage filler content and frequency increased the MRE stiffness whereas it decreased with displacement amplitude. The computed maximum magnetorheological (MR) effect was 55.56 percent. While MRE with iron and cobalt gave the highest effective stiffness, MRE with iron and nickel gave the highest MR effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Composites and Nanocomposites)
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Article
Thermal Protective Properties and Breathability of Multilayer Protective Woven Fabrics for Wildland Firefighting
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2967; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142967 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 338
Abstract
A firefighter in the wildland fields spends an average of 8 to 16 h during which he encounters enormous physical effort and very demanding outdoor conditions of high temperatures. Research shows that the most common injuries are due to the occurrence of heat [...] Read more.
A firefighter in the wildland fields spends an average of 8 to 16 h during which he encounters enormous physical effort and very demanding outdoor conditions of high temperatures. Research shows that the most common injuries are due to the occurrence of heat stress, and not due to lack of protection against burns. Therefore, for this very specific field of firefighting, it is necessary to provide clothing that will, in addition to adequate flame protection, provide good comfort properties such as lightweight suits, good porosity and breathability, so that gaseous sweat and heat generated by body heating can be released into the environment. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of structural parameters of multi-weft woven fabrics on two mutually contradictory properties—breathability and thermal protection. When designing fabrics, the goal was to produce a structure with a high proportion of volume pores, which, regardless of the increased volume of the fabric, insure the fabric mass would be acceptably small. Volume pores in the fabric have two roles—as a heat insulator and as an inhibitor of the breathability of the material. The analysis of the obtained results showed that the thickness and mass of the fabric have a greater influence on the water vapor resistance, while the heat transmission property is more affected by the thickness, porosity and fiber content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multifunctional Advanced Textile Materials)
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Article
Biodegradable Nanoparticles Prepared from Chitosan and Casein for Delivery of Bioactive Polysaccharides
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2966; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142966 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 273
Abstract
Ophiopogon japonicus polysaccharides (OJPs) have great anti-inflammation and immunomodulatory abilities. However, the low bioavailability of OJPs reduces its applicability in the biomedical and pharmaceutical fields. Chitosan (CS) has excellent mucoadhesive properties and absorption-enhancing ability in oral administration. Casein hydrolysate (CL) has good interfacial [...] Read more.
Ophiopogon japonicus polysaccharides (OJPs) have great anti-inflammation and immunomodulatory abilities. However, the low bioavailability of OJPs reduces its applicability in the biomedical and pharmaceutical fields. Chitosan (CS) has excellent mucoadhesive properties and absorption-enhancing ability in oral administration. Casein hydrolysate (CL) has good interfacial diffusivity and emulsifying ability, and can interact with polysaccharides to form complexes combining the individual properties of both. Therefore, chitosan and casein hydrolysate are good candidates for developing nanoformulations for oral delivery. In this study, bioactive polysaccharides (OJPs), CS and CL, were combined to prepare CS/OJPs/CL co-assembled biodegradable nanoparticles. The interactions between polysaccharides (CS and OJPs) and peptide (CL) resulted in the formation of nanoparticles with an average particle size of 198 nm and high OJPs loading efficiency. The colloidal properties of the nanoparticles were pH-dependent, which were changed significantly in simulated digestive fluid at different pH values. OJPs released from the CS/OJPs/CL nanoparticles were greatly affected by pH and enzymatic degradation (trypsin and lysozyme). The nanoparticles were easily internalized by macrophages, thereby enhancing the OJPs’ inhibitory ability against Ni2+-induced cytotoxicity and LPS-induced nitric oxide production. This study demonstrates that prepared polysaccharide/protein co-assembled nanoparticles can be potential nanocarriers for the oral delivery of bioactive polysaccharides with anti-inflammatory functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Polymers for Controlled Drug Release and Delivery)
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Article
Chitin Nanocrystals Provide Antioxidant Activity to Polylactic Acid Films
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2965; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142965 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 336
Abstract
About 1/3rd of produced food goes to waste, and amongst others, advanced packaging concepts need to be developed to prevent this from happening. Here, we target the antioxidative functionality of food packaging to thus address food oxidation without the need for the addition [...] Read more.
About 1/3rd of produced food goes to waste, and amongst others, advanced packaging concepts need to be developed to prevent this from happening. Here, we target the antioxidative functionality of food packaging to thus address food oxidation without the need for the addition of antioxidants to the food product, which is not desirable from a consumer point of view. Chitin nanocrystals (ChNC) have been shown to be promising bio-fillers for improving the mechanical strength of biodegradable plastics, but their potential as active components in plastic films is rather unexplored. In the current study, we investigate the antioxidant activity of chitin nanocrystals as such and as part of polylactic acid (PLA) films. This investigation was conducted using DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) radical scavenging activity. Chitin nanocrystals produced via acid hydrolysis showed five times higher activity compared to crude chitin powder. When using these crystals as part of a polylactic acid film (either inside or on top), in both scenarios, antioxidant activity was found, but the effect was considerably greater when the particles were at the surface of the film. This is an important proof of the principle that it is possible to create biodegradable plastics with additional functionality through the addition of ChNC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Biocompatible and Biodegradable Polymers II)
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Review
Locally Applied Repositioned Hormones for Oral Bone and Periodontal Tissue Engineering: A Narrative Review
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2964; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142964 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 455
Abstract
Bone and periodontium are tissues that have a unique capacity to repair from harm. However, replacing or regrowing missing tissues is not always effective, and it becomes more difficult as the defect grows larger. Because of aging and the increased prevalence of debilitating [...] Read more.
Bone and periodontium are tissues that have a unique capacity to repair from harm. However, replacing or regrowing missing tissues is not always effective, and it becomes more difficult as the defect grows larger. Because of aging and the increased prevalence of debilitating disorders such as diabetes, there is a considerable increase in demand for orthopedic and periodontal surgical operations, and successful techniques for tissue regeneration are still required. Even with significant limitations, such as quantity and the need for a donor area, autogenous bone grafts remain the best solution. Topical administration methods integrate osteoconductive biomaterial and osteoinductive chemicals as hormones as alternative options. This is a promising method for removing the need for autogenous bone transplantation. Furthermore, despite enormous investigation, there is currently no single approach that can reproduce all the physiologic activities of autogenous bone transplants. The localized bioengineering technique uses biomaterials to administer different hormones to capitalize on the host’s regeneration capacity and capability, as well as resemble intrinsic therapy. The current study adds to the comprehension of the principle of hormone redirection and its local administration in both bone and periodontal tissue engineering. Full article
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Review
Polymeric Nanoparticles in Brain Cancer Therapy: A Review of Current Approaches
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2963; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142963 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 431
Abstract
Translation of novel therapies for brain cancer into clinical practice is of the utmost importance as primary brain tumors are responsible for more than 200,000 deaths worldwide each year. While many research efforts have been aimed at improving survival rates over the years, [...] Read more.
Translation of novel therapies for brain cancer into clinical practice is of the utmost importance as primary brain tumors are responsible for more than 200,000 deaths worldwide each year. While many research efforts have been aimed at improving survival rates over the years, prognosis for patients with glioblastoma and other primary brain tumors remains poor. Safely delivering chemotherapeutic drugs and other anti-cancer compounds across the blood–brain barrier and directly to tumor cells is perhaps the greatest challenge in treating brain cancer. Polymeric nanoparticles (NPs) are powerful, highly tunable carrier systems that may be able to overcome those obstacles. Several studies have shown appropriately-constructed polymeric NPs cross the blood–brain barrier, increase drug bioavailability, reduce systemic toxicity, and selectively target central nervous system cancer cells. While no studies relating to their use in treating brain cancer are in clinical trials, there is mounting preclinical evidence that polymeric NPs could be beneficial for brain tumor therapy. This review includes a variety of polymeric NPs and how their associated composition, surface modifications, and method of delivery impact their capacity to improve brain tumor therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications)
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Article
UV-Femtosecond-Laser Structuring of Cyclic Olefin Copolymer
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2962; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142962 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 290
Abstract
We report on the laser ablation of cyclic olefin copolymer using an amplified ultrashort pulsed laser in the ultraviolet spectral range. In addition to a high ablation depth per laser-structured layer up to 74 μm at a fluence of 22 J cm [...] Read more.
We report on the laser ablation of cyclic olefin copolymer using an amplified ultrashort pulsed laser in the ultraviolet spectral range. In addition to a high ablation depth per laser-structured layer up to 74 μm at a fluence of 22 J cm2, an excellent mean roughness Ra of laser-patterned surfaces down to 0.5 μm is demonstrated. Furthermore, with increasing fluence, increasing ablation efficiencies up to 2.5 mm3 W−1 min−1 are determined. Regarding the quality of the ablation, we observed steep ablation flanks and low debris formation, though for fluences above 10.5 J cm2 the formation of troughs was observed, being attributed to multiple reflections on the ablation flanks. For comparison, laser ablation was performed under identical conditions with an infrared laser wavelength. The results highlight that UV ablation exhibits significant advantages in terms of ablation efficiency, surface roughness and quality. Moreover, our results show that a larger UV focus spot accelerates the ablation process with comparable quality, paving the way for high-power UV ultrashort pulsed lasers towards an efficient and qualitative tool for the laser machining of cyclic olefin copolymer. The production of complex microfluidics further underlines the suitability of this type of laser. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Processing and Engineering)
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Article
Effect of the Addition of Different Amounts of Aramid Fibers on Metal Friction and Wear during Mixing
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2961; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142961 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 242
Abstract
Studies show that the long-term operation of a rubber mixer results in wear at the end face of the mixer. End face wear increases the gap between the mixing chamber and the end face, resulting in leakage and a reduction in the mixing [...] Read more.
Studies show that the long-term operation of a rubber mixer results in wear at the end face of the mixer. End face wear increases the gap between the mixing chamber and the end face, resulting in leakage and a reduction in the mixing performance, affecting the final product’s quality. Therefore, it is essential to investigate the wear of the metal face during the mixing process. The present study added aramid fibers to a rubber compound using a mechanical blender to obtain a composite material. Then, the influence of the aramid fibers on the metal friction and wear of the end face of the mixer was analyzed. This article introduces the concept of the wear ratio and explores the friction and wear of metals from the perspective of formulation technology for the first time. With the addition of aramid fibers, the proportion of abrasive wear of rubber on metal decreased, and the proportion of corrosive wear increased during the mixing process; however, when the addition of aramid fibers exceeded 3 phr, the balance of abrasive wear of rubber on metal increased and the proportion of corrosive wear decreased. It was found that aramid fibers have the property of friction reduction, which reduces the wear of the rubber blend on the metal. When the amount of aramid fibers added was 3 phr, the amount of abrasion of the rubber compound on the metal was the lowest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Physics and Theory)
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Review
New Opportunities for Organic Semiconducting Polymers in Biomedical Applications
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2960; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142960 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 284
Abstract
The life expectancy of humans has been significantly elevated due to advancements in medical knowledge and skills over the past few decades. Although a lot of knowledge and skills are disseminated to the general public, electronic devices that quantitatively diagnose one’s own body [...] Read more.
The life expectancy of humans has been significantly elevated due to advancements in medical knowledge and skills over the past few decades. Although a lot of knowledge and skills are disseminated to the general public, electronic devices that quantitatively diagnose one’s own body condition still require specialized semiconductor devices which are huge and not portable. In this regard, semiconductor materials that are lightweight and have low power consumption and high performance should be developed with low cost for mass production. Organic semiconductors are one of the promising materials in biomedical applications due to their functionalities, solution-processability and excellent mechanical properties in terms of flexibility. In this review, we discuss organic semiconductor materials that are widely utilized in biomedical devices. Some advantageous and unique properties of organic semiconductors compared to inorganic semiconductors are reviewed. By critically assessing the fabrication process and device structures in organic-based biomedical devices, the potential merits and future aspects of the organic biomedical devices are pinpointed compared to inorganic devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Applications of Polymeric Materials)
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Article
Activation of Persulfate for Degrading Tetracycline Using the Leaching Residues of the Lead-Zinc Flotation Tailing
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2959; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142959 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 234
Abstract
Inappropriate disposal of leaching residues from the lead-zinc tailings recovery process may result in environmental pollution. Its recycling and reuse remain a prevalent topic in environmental science and technology. It was roasted to prepare leaching residues-based materials (TLRS) in this work, and the [...] Read more.
Inappropriate disposal of leaching residues from the lead-zinc tailings recovery process may result in environmental pollution. Its recycling and reuse remain a prevalent topic in environmental science and technology. It was roasted to prepare leaching residues-based materials (TLRS) in this work, and the TLRS were creatively used as the catalyst to active sodium persulfate (PS) to degrade organic pollutants. Degradation of tetracycline using the TLRS–PS system was evaluated, and the treating parameters were optimized. Roasting resulted in the exposure of active sites on TLRS surface, in which transition metals can donate electrons to PS to form SO4·−. SO4·− can further react with OH to form ·OH. Formation of these radicals was confirmed by both quenching experiments and EPR analysis. Under optimized conditions, 85% of the TC can be degraded in 3.0 h, and ~50% of degraded TC was mineralized to CO2 and H2O. The performance of TLRS barely changed after four reuses, suggesting the chemical stability of TLRS. The presence of dissolved substance in the water matrix could weaken the performance of the TLRS–PS system. A mechanism of TC degradation was proposed based on the experimental results and literature. These preliminary results provide us new insight on the reuse of lead-zinc flotation tailings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Polymers for Removing Environmental Pollutants)
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Article
Mechanical Properties of Injection Molded PP/PET-Nanofibril Composites and Foams
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2958; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142958 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 295
Abstract
The creation and application of PET nanofibrils for PP composite reinforcement were studied. PET nanofibrils were fibrillated within a PP matrix using a spunbond process and then injection molded to test for the end-use properties. The nanofibril reinforcement helped to provide higher tensile [...] Read more.
The creation and application of PET nanofibrils for PP composite reinforcement were studied. PET nanofibrils were fibrillated within a PP matrix using a spunbond process and then injection molded to test for the end-use properties. The nanofibril reinforcement helped to provide higher tensile and flexural performance in solid (unfoamed) injection molded parts. With foam injection molding, the nanofibrils also helped to improve and refine the microcellular morphology, which led to improved performance. Easily and effectively increasing the strength of a polymeric composite is a goal for many research endeavors. By creating nanoscale fibrils within the matrix itself, effective bonding and dispersion have already been achieved, overcoming the common pitfalls of fiber reinforcement. As blends of PP and PET are drawn in a spunbond system, the PET domains are stretched into nanoscale fibrils. By adapting the spunbonded blends for use in injection molding, both solid and foamed nanocomposites are created. The injection molded nanocomposites achieved increased in both tensile and flexural strength. The solid and foamed tensile strength increased by 50 and 100%, respectively. In addition, both the solid and foamed flexural strength increased by 100%. These increases in strength are attributed to effective PET nanofibril reinforcement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Polymers Processing and Injection Molding)
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Article
Effect of Thermal Exposure on Residual Properties of Wet Layup Carbon Fiber Reinforced Epoxy Composites
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2957; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142957 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 322
Abstract
Ambient cured wet layup carbon fiber reinforced epoxy composites used extensively in the rehabilitation of infrastructure and in structural components can be exposed to elevated temperature regimes for extended periods of time of hours to a few days due to thermal excursions. These [...] Read more.
Ambient cured wet layup carbon fiber reinforced epoxy composites used extensively in the rehabilitation of infrastructure and in structural components can be exposed to elevated temperature regimes for extended periods of time of hours to a few days due to thermal excursions. These may be severe enough to cause a significant temperature rise without deep charring as through fires at a small distance and even high-temperature industrial processes. In such cases, it is critical to have information related to the post-event residual mechanical properties and damage states. In this paper, composites are subjected to a range of elevated temperatures up to 260 °C over periods of time up to 72 h. Exposure to elevated temperature regimes is noted to result in a competition between the mechanisms of post-cure that can increase the levels of mechanical characteristics, and the deterioration of the resin and the bond between the fibers and resin that can reduce them. Mechanical tests indicate that tensile and short beam shear properties are not affected negatively until the highest temperatures of exposure considered in this investigation. In contrast, all elevated temperature conditions cause deterioration in resin-dominated characteristics such as shear and flexure, emphasizing the weakness of this mode in layered composites formed from unidirectional fabric architectures due to resin deterioration. Transitions in failure modes are correlated through microscopy to damage progression both at the level of fiber-matrix interface integrity and through the bulk resin, especially at the inter-layer level. The changes in glass transition temperature determined through differential scanning calorimetry can be related to thresholds that indicate changes in the mechanisms of damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Composites in Structural Applications)
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Article
Mechanical and Thermophysical Properties of Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Polyethersulfone
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2956; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142956 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 266
Abstract
In this study, the mechanical and thermophysical properties of carbon fiber-reinforced polyethersulfone are investigated. To enhance the interfacial interaction between carbon fibers and the polymer matrix, the surface modification of carbon fibers by thermal oxidation is conducted. By means of AFM and X-ray [...] Read more.
In this study, the mechanical and thermophysical properties of carbon fiber-reinforced polyethersulfone are investigated. To enhance the interfacial interaction between carbon fibers and the polymer matrix, the surface modification of carbon fibers by thermal oxidation is conducted. By means of AFM and X-ray spectroscopy, it is determined that surface modification changes the morphology and chemical composition of carbon fibers. It is shown that surface modification dramatically increases the mechanical properties of the composites. Thus, flexural strength and the E-modulus of the composites reinforced with modified fibers reached approximately 962 MPa and 60 GPa, respectively, compared with approximately 600 MPa and 50 GPa for the composites reinforced with the initial ones. The heat deflection temperatures of the composites reinforced with the initial and modified fibers were measured. It is shown that composites reinforced with modified fibers lose their stability at temperatures of about 211 °C, which correlates with the glass transition temperature of the PES matrix. The thermal conductivity of the composites with different fiber content is investigated in two directions: in-plane and transverse to layers of carbon fibers. The obtained composites had a relatively high realization of the thermal conductive properties of carbon fibers, up to 55–60%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reinforced Polymer Composites III)
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Article
Development of a Custom-Made 3D Printing Protocol with Commercial Resins for Manufacturing Microfluidic Devices
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2955; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142955 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 310
Abstract
The combination of microfluidics and photo-polymerization techniques such as stereolithography (SLA) has emerged as a new field which has a lot of potential to influence in such important areas as biological analysis, and chemical detection among others. However, the integration between them is [...] Read more.
The combination of microfluidics and photo-polymerization techniques such as stereolithography (SLA) has emerged as a new field which has a lot of potential to influence in such important areas as biological analysis, and chemical detection among others. However, the integration between them is still at an early stage of development. In this article, after analyzing the resolution of a custom SLA 3D printer with commercial resins, microfluidic devices were manufactured using three different approaches. First, printing a mold with the objective of creating a Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) replica with the microfluidic channels; secondly, open channels have been printed and then assembled with a flat cover of the same resin material. Finally, a closed microfluidic device has also been produced in a single process of printing. Important results for 3D printing with commercial resins have been achieved by only printing one layer on top of the channel. All microfluidic devices have been tested successfully for pressure-driven fluid flow. Full article
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Article
Formulation and In Vitro Characterization of a Vacuum-Dried Drug–Polymer Thin Film for Intranasal Application
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2954; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142954 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 318
Abstract
Intranasal drug applications show significant therapeutic potential for diverse pharmaceutical modalities. Because the formulation applied to the nasal cavity is discharged to the pharyngeal side by mucociliary clearance, the formulation should be dissolved effectively in a limited amount of mucus within its retention [...] Read more.
Intranasal drug applications show significant therapeutic potential for diverse pharmaceutical modalities. Because the formulation applied to the nasal cavity is discharged to the pharyngeal side by mucociliary clearance, the formulation should be dissolved effectively in a limited amount of mucus within its retention time in the nasal cavity. In this study, to develop novel formulations with improved dissolution behavior and compatibility with the intranasal environment, a thin-film formulation including drug and polymer was prepared using a vacuum-drying method. The poorly water-soluble drugs ketoprofen, flurbiprofen, ibuprofen, and loxoprofen were dissolved in a solvent comprising water and methanol, and evaporated to obtain a thin film. Physical analyses using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), powder X-ray diffraction analysis (PXRD), and scanning electron microscopy SEM revealed that the formulations were amorphized in the film. The dissolution behavior of the drugs was investigated using an in vitro evaluation system that mimicked the intranasal physiological environment. The amorphization of drugs formulated with polymers into thin films using the vacuum-drying method improved the dissolution rate in artificial nasal fluid. Therefore, the thin film developed in this study can be safely and effectively used for intranasal drug application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Polymers for Drug Delivery System)
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Article
Comparative Study of Durability Behaviors of Thermoplastic Polypropylene and Thermosetting Epoxy Exposed to Elevated Temperature, Water Immersion and Sustained Bending Loading
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2953; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142953 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 293
Abstract
The long-term degradation of epoxy as the matrix and adhesive serviced in harsh environments plays a key role in engineering applications. Understanding how to improve the toughness and durability of epoxy through reasonable material replacement and design is significant to prolong the service [...] Read more.
The long-term degradation of epoxy as the matrix and adhesive serviced in harsh environments plays a key role in engineering applications. Understanding how to improve the toughness and durability of epoxy through reasonable material replacement and design is significant to prolong the service life of engineering structures. In the present paper, thermoplastic polypropylene and thermosetting epoxy were exposed in a coupling environment of elevated temperature, water immersion and sustained bending loading. The evolutions of mechanical and thermal properties were further analyzed and compared. Long-term life prediction was conducted to evaluate the corrosive resistances of polypropylene and epoxy. It can be found that polypropylene has better hydrophobic behavior compared to epoxy. At 80 °C, the ratios of the diffusion coefficient and saturated water uptake between the two matrices were 114.4 and 2.94. At the longest immersion time of 90 days, the degradation percentages of tensile strength were 4.7% (40 °C), 7.5% (60 °C) and 8.8% (80 °C), respectively, which had the higher strength retention (>90%). The maximum strength increase in the multiples of polypropylene/epoxy and polypropylene/polyurethane was 1.95 and 1.75, respectively. The bending loading led to a maximum increase in tensile strength (~1.47%) owing to the oxygen isolation effect. The degradation mechanism was attributed to the active functional groups from the production process reacting with oxygen, resulting in the fracture of the local chain segment. By comparison, water molecules reacted with the hydroxyl groups or interrupted the intermolecular Van der Waals force/hydrogen bond of the epoxy, resulting in irreversible hydrolysis and property degradation. Through the comparison, it can be found that polypropylene and its composites have outstanding properties compared to epoxy, which can make them achieve great application prospects in engineering applications when considering a complex service environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Analysis and Characterization)
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Article
Single-Side Superhydrophobicity in Si3N4-Doped and SiO2-Treated Polypropylene Nonwoven Webs with Antibacterial Activity
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2952; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142952 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 330
Abstract
Meltblown (MB) nonwovens as air filter materials have played an important role in protecting people from microbe infection in the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic enters the third year in this current global event, it becomes more and more beneficial to develop more [...] Read more.
Meltblown (MB) nonwovens as air filter materials have played an important role in protecting people from microbe infection in the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic enters the third year in this current global event, it becomes more and more beneficial to develop more functional MB nonwovens with special surface selectivity as well as antibacterial activities. In this article, an antibacterial polypropylene MB nonwoven doped with nano silicon nitride (Si3N4), one of ceramic materials, was developed. With the introduction of Si3N4, both the average diameter of the fibers and the pore diameter and porosity of the nonwovens can be tailored. Moreover, the nonwovens having a single-side moisture transportation, which would be more comfortable in use for respirators or masks, was designed by imparting a hydrophobicity gradient through the single-side superhydrophobic finishing of reactive organic/inorganic silicon coprecipitation in situ. After a nano/micro structural SiO2 precipitation on one side of the fabric surfaces, the contact angles were up to 161.7° from 141.0° originally. The nonwovens were evaluated on antibacterial activity, the result of which indicated that they had a high antibacterial activity when the dosage of Si3N4 was 0.6 wt%. The bacteriostatic rate against E. coli and S. aureus was up to over 96%. Due to the nontoxicity and excellent antibacterial activity of Si3N4, this MB nonwovens are promising as a high-efficiency air filter material, particularly during the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Super-hydrophobic Fabrics and Their Applications in Separation Media)
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Article
Micropatterned Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) Thin Films with Improved Color-Switching Rates and Coloration Efficiency
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2951; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142951 - 21 Jul 2022
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Abstract
Electrochromic materials carry out redox reactions and change their colors upon external bias. These materials are the primary component in constructing smart windows for energy saving in buildings or vehicles. Enhancing the electrochromic performances of the materials is crucial for their practical applications. [...] Read more.
Electrochromic materials carry out redox reactions and change their colors upon external bias. These materials are the primary component in constructing smart windows for energy saving in buildings or vehicles. Enhancing the electrochromic performances of the materials is crucial for their practical applications. Micropatterned poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (mPEDOT) thin films are electrodeposited on indium tin oxide conducting glass in this study. Their electrochromic properties, including transmittance modulation ability, color-switching rates, and coloration efficiency, are investigated and compared with nonpatterned PEDOT thin films. The mPEDOT thin films exhibited faster coloring and bleaching speeds and higher coloration efficiency than the PEDOT thin films while keeping similar transmittance modulation ability. The results suggest that micropatterning an electrochromic material thin film might enhance its electrochromic performances. This research demonstrates the possibility of promoting the color-switching rate of a PEDOT thin film by micropatterning it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Materials for Energy Storage and Fuel Cells Applications)
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Article
Highly Thermally Conductive Epoxy Composites with AlN/BN Hybrid Filler as Underfill Encapsulation Material for Electronic Packaging
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2950; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142950 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 416
Abstract
In this study, the effects of a hybrid filler composed of zero-dimensional spherical AlN particles and two-dimensional BN flakes on the thermal conductivity of epoxy resin were studied. The thermal conductivity (TC) of the pristine epoxy matrix (EP) was 0.22 W/(m K), while [...] Read more.
In this study, the effects of a hybrid filler composed of zero-dimensional spherical AlN particles and two-dimensional BN flakes on the thermal conductivity of epoxy resin were studied. The thermal conductivity (TC) of the pristine epoxy matrix (EP) was 0.22 W/(m K), while the composite showed the TC of 10.18 W/(m K) at the 75 wt% AlN–BN hybrid filler loading, which is approximately a 46-fold increase. Moreover, various essential application properties were examined, such as the viscosity, cooling rate, coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE), morphology, and electrical properties. In particular, the AlN–BN/EP composite showed higher thermal stability and lower CTE (22.56 ppm/°C) than pure epoxy. Overall, the demonstrated outstanding thermal performance is appropriate for the production of electronic packaging materials, including next-generation flip-chip underfills. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multifunctional Polymer-Based Nanocomposites)
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Article
Electronic Structure and External Electric Field Modulation of Polyethylene/Graphene Interface
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2949; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142949 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 289
Abstract
Polymer nanocomposites can serve as promising electrostatic shielding materials; however, the underlying physical mechanisms governing the carrier transport properties between nanofillers and polymers remain unclear. Herein, the structural and electronic properties of two polyethylene/graphene (PE/G) interfaces, i.e., type-H and type-A, have been systematically [...] Read more.
Polymer nanocomposites can serve as promising electrostatic shielding materials; however, the underlying physical mechanisms governing the carrier transport properties between nanofillers and polymers remain unclear. Herein, the structural and electronic properties of two polyethylene/graphene (PE/G) interfaces, i.e., type-H and type-A, have been systematically investigated under different electric fields using first principle calculations. The results testify that the bandgaps of 128.6 and 67.8 meV are opened at the Dirac point for type-H and type-A PE/G interfaces, respectively, accompanied by an electron-rich area around the graphene layer, and a hole-rich area around the PE layer. Moreover, the Fermi level shifts towards the valence band maximum (VBM) of the PE layer, forming a p-type Schottky contact at the interface. Upon application of an electric field perpendicular to the PE/G interface, the Schottky contact can be transformed into an Ohmic contact via the tuning of the Schottky barrier height (SBH) of the PE/G interface. Compared with the A-type PE/G interfaces, the H-type requires a lower electric field to induce an Ohmic contact. All these results can provide deeper insights into the conduction mechanism of graphene-based polymer composites as field-shielding materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Graphene-Based Polymer Composites and Their Applications)
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Article
Dynamics of Rising Bubbles and Their Impact with Viscoelastic Fluid Interfaces
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2948; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142948 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 269
Abstract
Bubble dynamics plays a significant role in a wide range of industrial fields, such as food, pharmacy and chemical engineering. The physicochemical properties of complex fluids can greatly affect the speed with which bubbles rise, and the lifetime of bubbles, which in turn [...] Read more.
Bubble dynamics plays a significant role in a wide range of industrial fields, such as food, pharmacy and chemical engineering. The physicochemical properties of complex fluids can greatly affect the speed with which bubbles rise, and the lifetime of bubbles, which in turn can affect the efficiency of food and drug manufacturing and also sewage purification. Therefore, it is of great scientific and practical significance to study the influence mechanism of nanoparticles and surfactants on bubble rising and impact in a complex fluid interface. This paper selects a mixed dispersion liquid of nanoparticles (SiO2) and a surfactant (SDS) as the objects of the study, observes in real-time the entire processes of bubbles rising, impact at the gas-liquid interface, and rupture, and analyzes the dynamic mechanism of bubble impact in a complex fluid interface. By analyzing the morphological changes of the rising bubbles, the rising velocity and the lifetime of the bubbles, it is found that the surfactant molecules are distributed in the ultrapure water liquid pool and the liquid film surrounding the bubbles. Such distribution can reduce the viscoelasticity between bubbles and the liquid surface, and lower the surface tension of the liquid, which can reduce the rising velocity of bubbles, delay the drainage process of bubbles on a liquid surface, and enhance the lifetime of bubbles. If the liquid surface is covered with nanoparticles, a reticulate structure will be formed on the bubble liquid film, which can inhibit bubble discharge and prolong bubble lifetime. In addition, the influence of such a reticulate structure on liquid surface tension is limited and its function is far smaller than a surfactant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Surfaces and Interfaces)
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Article
Highly Enhancing the Interfacial and Mechanical Properties of Basalt Fiber/Poly(phthalazinone ether nitrile ketone) Composite by Thermoplastic Sizing Agents with Different Structures
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2947; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142947 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 307
Abstract
The interfacial modification of basalt-fiber-reinforced polymer (BFRP) composites is an essential research field and many techniques have been developed to improve the adhesion between basalt fiber (BF) and the matrix. However, most studies were based on the matrixes of general plastics and epoxy [...] Read more.
The interfacial modification of basalt-fiber-reinforced polymer (BFRP) composites is an essential research field and many techniques have been developed to improve the adhesion between basalt fiber (BF) and the matrix. However, most studies were based on the matrixes of general plastics and epoxy resins. In this work, five different chain structures of thermoplastic sizing agents were used to improve the interfacial properties of unidirectional BF-reinforced soluble and high-temperature-resistant poly(phthalazinone ether nitrile ketone) (BF/PPENK) composites. DMA results showed that the poly(ether nitrile) (PEN)-sized BF/PPENK (BF-PEN/PPENK) composite exhibited the optimal interfacial performance, with a storage modulus (E′) and glass transition temperature (Tg) up to 50 GPa and 288 °C, respectively. Moreover, the tensile strength, compressive strength, flexural strength, and interlaminar shear strength of the BF-PEN/PPENK composite reached 778 MPa, 600 MPa, 1115 MPa and 57 MPa, respectively, and increased by 42%, 49%, 20% and 30% compared with the desized BF/PPENK composite. This study provides some suggestions for the design of sizing agents to modify the interface of BF and high-performance thermoplastic resin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Composites and Nanocomposites)
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Article
Progressive Damage Behaviour Analysis and Comparison with 2D/3D Hashin Failure Models on Carbon Fibre–Reinforced Aluminium Laminates
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2946; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142946 - 20 Jul 2022
Viewed by 321
Abstract
It is known that carbon fibre–reinforced aluminium laminate is the third generation of fibre metal materials. This study investigates the response of carbon fibre–reinforced aluminium laminates (CARALL) under tensile loading and three-point bending tests, which evaluate the damage initiation and propagation mechanism. The [...] Read more.
It is known that carbon fibre–reinforced aluminium laminate is the third generation of fibre metal materials. This study investigates the response of carbon fibre–reinforced aluminium laminates (CARALL) under tensile loading and three-point bending tests, which evaluate the damage initiation and propagation mechanism. The 2D Hashin and 3D Hashin VUMAT models are used to analyse and compare each composite layer for finite element modelling. A bilinear cohesive contact model is modelled for the interface failure, and the Johnson cook model describes the aluminium layer. The mechanical response and failure analysis of CARALL were evaluated using load versus deflection curves, and the scanning electron microscope was adopted. The results revealed that the failure modes of CARALL were mainly observed in the aluminium layer fracture, fibre pull-out, fracture, and matrix tensile fracture under tensile and flexural loading conditions. The 2D Hashin and 3D Hashin models were similar in predicting tensile properties, flexural properties, mechanical response before peak load points, and final failure modes. It is highlighted that the 3D Hashin model can accurately reveal the failure mechanism and failure propagation mechanism of CARALL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Polymer Composites and Structures)
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Article
Nanoindentation of Multifunctional Smart Composites
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2945; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142945 - 20 Jul 2022
Viewed by 322
Abstract
Three multifunctional smart composites for next-generation applications have been studied differently through versatile nanoindentation investigation techniques. They are used in order to determine peculiarities and specific properties for the different composites and to study the charge/matrix, charge/surface, or smart functions interactions. At first, [...] Read more.
Three multifunctional smart composites for next-generation applications have been studied differently through versatile nanoindentation investigation techniques. They are used in order to determine peculiarities and specific properties for the different composites and to study the charge/matrix, charge/surface, or smart functions interactions. At first, a mapping indentation test was used to check the distribution of hardness and modulus across a large region to examine any non-uniformity due to structural anomalies or changes in properties for a carbon nanotubes (CNTs)-reinforced polypropylene (PP V-2) nanocomposite. This smart composite is suitable to be used in axial impeller fans and the results can be used to improve the process of the composite produced by injection moulding. Secondly, the interfacial properties of the carbon fibre (CF) and the resin were evaluated by a push-out method utilizing the smaller indentation tip to target the individual CF and apply load to measure its displacement under loads. This is useful to evaluate the effectiveness of the surface modification on the CFs, such as sizing. Finally, nanoindentation at different temperatures was used for the probing of the in situ response of smart shape memory polymer composite (SMPC) usable in grabbing devices for aerospace applications. Furthermore, the triggering temperature of the shape memory polymer response can be determined by observing the change of indentations after the heating and cooling cycles. Full article
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Article
High Efficiency Membranes Based on PTMSP and Hyper-Crosslinked Polystyrene for Toxic Volatile Compounds Removal from Wastewater
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2944; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142944 - 20 Jul 2022
Viewed by 313
Abstract
For the first time, membranes based on poly(1-trimethylsilyl-1-propyne) (PTMSP) with 5–50 wt% loading of hyper-crosslinked polystyrene sorbent particles (HCPS) were obtained; the membranes were investigated for the problem of effective removal of volatile organic compounds from aqueous solutions using vacuum pervaporation. The industrial [...] Read more.
For the first time, membranes based on poly(1-trimethylsilyl-1-propyne) (PTMSP) with 5–50 wt% loading of hyper-crosslinked polystyrene sorbent particles (HCPS) were obtained; the membranes were investigated for the problem of effective removal of volatile organic compounds from aqueous solutions using vacuum pervaporation. The industrial HCPS sorbent Purolite Macronet™ MN200 was chosen due to its high sorption capacity for organic solvents. It has been found that the membranes are asymmetric when HCPS content is higher than 30 wt%; scanning electron microscopy of the cross-sections the membranes demonstrate that they have a clearly defined thin layer, consisting mainly of PTMSP, and a thick porous layer, consisting mainly of HCPS. The transport and separation characteristics of PTMSP membranes with different HCPS loading were studied during the pervaporation separation of binary and multicomponent mixtures of water with benzene, toluene and xylene. It was shown that the addition of HCPS up to 30 wt% not only increases the permeate fluxes by 4–7 times, but at the same time leads to 1.5–2 fold increase in the separation factor. It was possible to obtain separation factors exceeding 1000 for all studied mixtures at high permeate fluxes (0.5–1 kg/m2∙h) in pervaporation separation of binary solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Polymer Membranes for Adsorption and Separation Applications)
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Article
Hemocompatibility Evaluation of Thai Bombyx mori Silk Fibroin and Its Improvement with Low Molecular Weight Heparin Immobilization
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2943; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142943 - 20 Jul 2022
Viewed by 343
Abstract
Bombyx mori silk fibroin (SF), from Nangnoi Srisaket 1 Thai strain, has shown potential for various biomedical applications such as wound dressing, a vascular patch, bone substitutes, and controlled release systems. The hemocompatibility of this SF is one of the important characteristics that [...] Read more.
Bombyx mori silk fibroin (SF), from Nangnoi Srisaket 1 Thai strain, has shown potential for various biomedical applications such as wound dressing, a vascular patch, bone substitutes, and controlled release systems. The hemocompatibility of this SF is one of the important characteristics that have impacts on such applications. In this study, the hemocompatibility of Thai SF was investigated and its improvement by low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) immobilization was demonstrated. Endothelial cell proliferation on the SF and LMWH immobilized SF (Hep/SF) samples with or without fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) was also evaluated. According to hemocompatibility evaluation, Thai SF did not accelerate clotting time, excess stimulate complement and leukocyte activation, and was considered a non-hemolysis material compared to the negative control PTFE sheet. Platelet adhesion of SF film was comparable to that of the PTFE sheet. For hemocompatibility enhancement, LMWH was immobilized successfully and could improve the surface hydrophilicity of SF films. The Hep/SF films demonstrated prolonged clotting time and slightly lower complement and leukocyte activation. However, the Hep/SF films could not suppress platelet adhesion. The Hep/SF films demonstrated endothelial cell proliferation enhancement, particularly with FGF-2 addition. This study provides fundamental information for the further development of Thai SF as a hemocompatible biomaterial. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Beauty and Health)
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Article
Fabrication of Multi-Vacancy-Defect MWCNTs by the Removal of Metal Oxide Nanoparticles
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2942; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142942 - 20 Jul 2022
Viewed by 298
Abstract
This study aims to increase the specific surface area of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) by forming and subsequently removing various metal oxide nanoparticles on them. We used facile methods, such as forming the particles without using a vacuum or gas and removing these [...] Read more.
This study aims to increase the specific surface area of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) by forming and subsequently removing various metal oxide nanoparticles on them. We used facile methods, such as forming the particles without using a vacuum or gas and removing these particles through simple acid treatment. The shapes of the composite structures on which the metal oxide particles were formed and the formation of multi-vacancy-defect MWCNTs were confirmed via transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The crystallinity of the formed metal oxide particles was confirmed using X-ray diffraction analysis. Through specific surface area analysis and Raman spectroscopy, the number of defects formed and the degree and tendency of defect-formation in each metal were determined. In all the cases where the metal oxide particles were removed, the specific surface area increased, and the metal inducing the highest specific surface area was determined. Full article
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Article
Fatigue Properties and Its Prediction of Polymer Concrete for the Repair of Asphalt Pavements
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2941; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142941 - 20 Jul 2022
Viewed by 220
Abstract
Polymer concrete (PC) is considered a promising repair material for asphalt pavement, since it has excellent paving performance and water stability. Although the mechanical properties of PC have been widely researched, the fatigue behavior of PC under traffic loads was still poorly understood. [...] Read more.
Polymer concrete (PC) is considered a promising repair material for asphalt pavement, since it has excellent paving performance and water stability. Although the mechanical properties of PC have been widely researched, the fatigue behavior of PC under traffic loads was still poorly understood. To predict the fatigue life and optimize the material design of PC, the semi-circular bending (SCB) tests were performed, considering different polymer content, sand ratio, aggregate features and stress condition. Two typical polymer materials were applied to prepare PC specimens, including epoxy resin (ER) and polyurethane (PU). The aggregate features were analyzed by the aggregate image measurement system. The mechanical behavior under repeated loads was investigated by the displacement, fatigue life and stiffness modulus. Results show that the flexural strength increases nonlinearly with the increasing polymer content, rapidly at first, and then slowly. The optimized polymer content and sand ratio were respectively 15% and 30%. As the loading number increases, the vertical displacement of PC shows three stages, i.e., undamaged stage, damage development stage, and fatigue failure stage. The stiffness modulus of the specimen is stress-dependent. An empirical model was developed to predict the fatigue life of PC, which can effectively capture the effects of the polymer content, sand ratio and stress level (or nominal stress ratio). It suggests that the fatigue life has a strong correlation with the mixing gradation, and the optimal sand ratio of PC can be determined by the proposed function. Moreover, the effect of aggregate shapes cannot be neglected. Full article
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Review
Functionalization of Electrospun Nanofiber for Bone Tissue Engineering
Polymers 2022, 14(14), 2940; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14142940 - 20 Jul 2022
Viewed by 281
Abstract
Bone-tissue engineering is an alternative treatment for bone defects with great potential in which scaffold is a critical factor to determine the effect of bone regeneration. Electrospun nanofibers are widely used as scaffolds in the biomedical field for their similarity with the structure [...] Read more.
Bone-tissue engineering is an alternative treatment for bone defects with great potential in which scaffold is a critical factor to determine the effect of bone regeneration. Electrospun nanofibers are widely used as scaffolds in the biomedical field for their similarity with the structure of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Their unique characteristics are: larger surface areas, porosity and processability; these make them ideal candidates for bone-tissue engineering. This review briefly introduces bone-tissue engineering and summarizes the materials and methods for electrospining. More importantly, how to functionalize electrospun nanofibers to make them more conducive for bone regeneration is highlighted. Finally, the existing deficiencies of functionalized electrospun nanofibers for promoting osteogenesis are proposed. Such a summary can lay the foundation for the clinical practice of functionalized electrospun nanofibers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fabrication and Application of Electrospun Nanofibers)
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