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Polymers, Volume 14, Issue 16 (August-2 2022) – 205 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Soft robotic modules have potential therapeutic and educational purposes. However, they need to be safe, soft, smart, and customizable to serve individuals’ different preferences and personalities. Safe modular robotic products made of silicone materials, programmed by artificial intelligence algorithms and developed via additive manufacturing are the focus of studies on safe, tactile interactions between humans and robots to translate physical communication, including slapping, squeezing, and tickling, to auditory communication. The model builds on the concept of how safe human–robot physical interactions could be used to therapize the user’s emotional problems. View this paper
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Article
On the Thermochemical Transition Depression of Cellulose Acetate Composite Membranes
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3434; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163434 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 547
Abstract
Gallic acid (GA) and quercetin (QU) are two important bioactive molecules with increased biomedical interest. Cellulose acetate (CA) is a polymer derived from cellulose and is used in various applications. In this work, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and Fourier transform [...] Read more.
Gallic acid (GA) and quercetin (QU) are two important bioactive molecules with increased biomedical interest. Cellulose acetate (CA) is a polymer derived from cellulose and is used in various applications. In this work, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) were used to study the thermal behavior of electrospun CA membranes loaded with quercetin or gallic acid. It was found that gallic acid and quercetin depress the thermochemical transition (simultaneous softening and decomposition) of CA, in a mechanism similar to that of the glass transition depression of amorphous polymers by plasticizers. The extensive hydrogen bonding, besides the well-known effect of constraining polymer’s softening by keeping macromolecules close to each other, has a secondary effect on the thermochemical transition, i.e., it weakens chemical bonds and, inevitably, facilitates decomposition. This second effect of hydrogen bonding can provide an explanation for an unexpected observation of this study: CA membranes loaded with quercetin or gallic acid soften at lower temperatures; however, at the same time, they decompose to a higher extent than pure CA. Besides optimization of CA processing, the fundamental understanding of the thermochemical transition depression could lead to the design of more sustainable processes for biomass recycling and conversion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Polymer Membranes and Films)
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Review
Advancements in MXene-Polymer Nanocomposites in Energy Storage and Biomedical Applications
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3433; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163433 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 784
Abstract
MXenes are 2D ceramic materials, especially carbides, nitrides, and carbonitrides derived from their parent ‘MAX’ phases by the etching out of ‘A’ and are famous due to their conducting, hydrophilic, biocompatible, and tunable properties. However, they are hardly stable in the outer environment, [...] Read more.
MXenes are 2D ceramic materials, especially carbides, nitrides, and carbonitrides derived from their parent ‘MAX’ phases by the etching out of ‘A’ and are famous due to their conducting, hydrophilic, biocompatible, and tunable properties. However, they are hardly stable in the outer environment, have low biodegradability, and have difficulty in drug release, etc., which are overcome by MXene/Polymer nanocomposites. The MXenes terminations on MXene transferred to the polymer after composite formation makes it more functional. With this, there is an increment in photothermal conversion efficiency for cancer therapy, higher antibacterial activity, biosensors, selectivity, bone regeneration, etc. The hydrophilic surfaces become conducting in the metallic range after the composite formation. MXenes can effectively be mixed with other materials like ceramics, metals, and polymers in the form of nanocomposites to get improved properties suitable for advanced applications. In this paper, we review different properties like electrical and mechanical, including capacitances, dielectric losses, etc., of nanocomposites more than those like Ti3C2Tx/polymer, Ti3C2/UHMWPE, MXene/PVA-KOH, Ti3C2Tx/PVA, etc. along with their applications mainly in energy storing and biomedical fields. Further, we have tried to enlist the MXene-based nanocomposites and compare them with conducting polymers and other nanocomposites. The performance under the NIR absorption seems more effective. The MXene-based nanocomposites are more significant in most cases than other nanocomposites for the antimicrobial agent, anticancer activity, drug delivery, bio-imaging, biosensors, micro-supercapacitors, etc. The limitations of the nanocomposites, along with possible solutions, are mentioned. Full article
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Article
Synthesis, Characterization and Bioactivity Evaluation of a Novel Nano Bagasse Xylan/Andrographolide Grafted and Esterified Derivative
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3432; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163432 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 463
Abstract
In the in-depth research that has been conducted on nanometer biomaterials, how to use the biomass resources with high activity and low toxicity to prepare nanomaterials for biomedical applications has attracted much attention. To realize efficient and comprehensive utilization of biomass, bagasse xylan/andrographolide [...] Read more.
In the in-depth research that has been conducted on nanometer biomaterials, how to use the biomass resources with high activity and low toxicity to prepare nanomaterials for biomedical applications has attracted much attention. To realize efficient and comprehensive utilization of biomass, bagasse xylan/andrographolide (BX/AD) was ued as a raw material and glycyrrhetinic acid (GA) as an esterification agent to synthesize bagasse xylan/andrographolide esterified derivative (GA-BX/AD). Then, the bagasse xylan/andrographolide grafted and esterified derivative (GA-BX/AD-g-IA) was synthesized by the graft crosslinking reactions using itaconic acid (IA) as graft monomer. The better synthesis conditions were optimized by single factor experiments, the degree of esterification substitution (DS) was 0.43, and the grafting rate (G) of the product reached 42%. The structure and properties of the product were characterized by FTIR, XRD, DTG, SEM, and 1H NMR. The results showed that the product morphology was significantly changed, and the nanoparticles were spherical with a particle size of about 100 nm. The anti-cancer activity of the product was measured. The molecular docking simulations revealed that the product had good docking activity with human glucocorticoid protein (6CFN) with a binding free energy of 14.38 kcal/mol. The MTT assay showed that the product had a strong inhibitory effect on the growth of human liver cancer cells (BEL-7407) and gastric cancer cells (MGC80-3), with inhibition ratio of 38.41 ± 5.32% and 32.69 ± 4.87%. Therefore, this nanomaterial is expected to be applied to the development and utilization of drug carriers and functional materials. Full article
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Article
Synthesis, Chemical and Biomedical Aspects of the Use of Sulfated Chitosan
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3431; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163431 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 434
Abstract
This work is devoted to the chemical synthesis of sulfated chitosan and its experimental verification in an animal model of early atherosclerosis. The method of chitosan quaternization with sulfate-containing ingredients resulted in a product with a high content of sulfate groups. Implantation of [...] Read more.
This work is devoted to the chemical synthesis of sulfated chitosan and its experimental verification in an animal model of early atherosclerosis. The method of chitosan quaternization with sulfate-containing ingredients resulted in a product with a high content of sulfate groups. Implantation of this product into the fascial-muscular sheath of the main limb artery along the leg and thigh in rabbits led to the extraction of cholesterol from the subintimal region. Simplified methods for the chemical synthesis of quaternized sulfated chitosan and the use of these products in a model of experimental atherosclerosis made it possible to perform a comparative morphological analysis of the vascular walls of the experimental and control limbs under conditions of a long-term high-cholesterol diet. The sulfated chitosan samples after implantation were shown to change the morphological pattern of the intimal and middle membranes of the experimental limb artery. The implantation led to the degradation of soft plaques within 30 days after surgical intervention, which significantly increased collateral blood flow. The implantation of sulfated chitosan into the local area of the atherosclerotic lesions in the artery can regulate the cholesterol content in the vascular wall and destroy soft plaques in the subintimal region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biobased Materials for Emerging Applications)
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Review
Chitosan-Based Biomaterials for Bone Tissue Engineering Applications: A Short Review
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3430; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163430 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 540
Abstract
Natural bone tissue is composed of calcium-deficient carbonated hydroxyapatite as the inorganic phase and collagen type I as the main organic phase. The biomimetic approach of scaffold development for bone tissue engineering application is focused on mimicking complex bone characteristics. Calcium phosphates are [...] Read more.
Natural bone tissue is composed of calcium-deficient carbonated hydroxyapatite as the inorganic phase and collagen type I as the main organic phase. The biomimetic approach of scaffold development for bone tissue engineering application is focused on mimicking complex bone characteristics. Calcium phosphates are used in numerous studies as bioactive phases to mimic natural bone mineral. In order to mimic the organic phase, synthetic (e.g., poly(ε-caprolactone), polylactic acid, poly(lactide-co-glycolide acid)) and natural (e.g., alginate, chitosan, collagen, gelatin, silk) biodegradable polymers are used. However, as materials obtained from natural sources are accepted better by the human organism, natural polymers have attracted increasing attention. Over the last three decades, chitosan was extensively studied as a natural polymer suitable for biomimetic scaffold development for bone tissue engineering applications. Different types of chitosan-based biomaterials (e.g., molded macroporous, fiber-based, hydrogel, microspheres and 3D-printed) with specific properties for different regenerative applications were developed due to chitosan’s unique properties. This review summarizes the state-of-the-art of biomaterials for bone regeneration and relevant studies on chitosan-based materials and composites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomaterials for Tissue Engineering and Regeneration)
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Article
Consolidation of Additive Manufactured Continuous Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polyamide 12 Composites and the Development of Process-Related Numerical Simulation Methods
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3429; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163429 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 467
Abstract
Additive manufacturing of high-performance polymers—such as PA12, PPS, PEEK, and PEKK—combined with industrial-grade carbon fibers with a high fiber volume ratio of up to 60% allows a weight reduction of over 40% compared to classic metal construction. Typically, these 3D-printed composites have a [...] Read more.
Additive manufacturing of high-performance polymers—such as PA12, PPS, PEEK, and PEKK—combined with industrial-grade carbon fibers with a high fiber volume ratio of up to 60% allows a weight reduction of over 40% compared to classic metal construction. Typically, these 3D-printed composites have a porosity of 10–30% depending on the material and the printing process parameters, which significantly reduces the quality of the part. Therefore, the additive manufacturing of load-bearing structural applications requires a proper consolidation after the printing process—the so-called ‘additive fusion technology’—allowing close to zero void content in the consolidated part. By means of the upfront digital modeling of the consolidation process, a highly optimized composite component can be produced while decreasing the number of expensive prototyping iterations. In this study, advanced numerical methods are presented to describe the consolidation process of additive manufactured continuous carbon fiber reinforced composite parts based on the polyamide 12 (PA12) matrix. The simulation of the additive fusion step/consolidation provides immediate accuracy in determining the final degree of crystallization, process-induced deformation and residual stresses, final engineering constants, as well as porosity. The developed simulation workflow is demonstrated and validated with experimental data from consolidation tests on the final porosity, thickness, and fiber–volume ratio. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Additive Manufacturing of Reinforced Polymers)
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Article
Hydroxyl-Functionalized Covalent Organic Frameworks as High-Performance Supercapacitors
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3428; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163428 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 401
Abstract
Covalent organic frameworks (COFs) have attracted significant interest because of their heteroatom-containing architectures, high porous networks, large surface areas, and capacity to include redox-active units, which can provide good electrochemical efficiency in energy applications. In this research, we synthesized two novel hydroxy-functionalized COFs—TAPT-2,3-NA(OH) [...] Read more.
Covalent organic frameworks (COFs) have attracted significant interest because of their heteroatom-containing architectures, high porous networks, large surface areas, and capacity to include redox-active units, which can provide good electrochemical efficiency in energy applications. In this research, we synthesized two novel hydroxy-functionalized COFs—TAPT-2,3-NA(OH)2, TAPT-2,6-NA(OH)2 COFs—through Schiff-base [3 + 2] polycondensations of 1,3,5-tris-(4-aminophenyl)triazine (TAPT-3NH2) with 2,3-dihydroxynaphthalene-1,4-dicarbaldehyde (2,3-NADC) and 2,6-dihydroxynaphthalene-1,5-dicarbaldehyde (2,6-NADC), respectively. The resultant hydroxy-functionalized COFs featured high BET-specific surface areas up to 1089 m2 g–1, excellent crystallinity, and superior thermal stability up to 60.44% char yield. When used as supercapacitor electrodes, the hydroxy-functionalized COFs exhibited electrochemical redox activity due to the presence of redox-active 2,3-dihydroxynaphthalene and 2,6-dihydroxynaphthalene in their COF skeletons. The hydroxy-functionalized COFs showed specific capacitance of 271 F g1 at a current density of 0.5 A g1 with excellent stability after 2000 cycles of 86.5% capacitance retention. Well-known pore features and high surface areas of such COFs, together with their superior supercapacitor performance, make them suitable electrode materials for use in practical applications. Full article
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Article
Impact of Hybrid Fillers on the Properties of High Density Polyethylene Based Composites
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3427; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163427 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 344
Abstract
The main objective of this work is to develop a variety of hybrid high-density polyethylene (HDPE) micro- and nanocomposites and to investigate their thermal, mechanical, and morphological characteristics as a function of number of fillers and their contents percentage. In this study, 21 [...] Read more.
The main objective of this work is to develop a variety of hybrid high-density polyethylene (HDPE) micro- and nanocomposites and to investigate their thermal, mechanical, and morphological characteristics as a function of number of fillers and their contents percentage. In this study, 21 formulations of the composites were prepared using fillers with different sizes including micro fillers such as talc, calcium carbonate (CaCO3), as well as nano-filler (fumed silica (FS)) though the melt blending technique. The morphological, mechanical, and thermal properties of the composite samples were evaluated. The morphological study revealed negligible filler agglomerates, good matrix–filler interfacial bonding in case of combined both CaCO3 and FS into the composites. Sequentially, improvements in tensile, flexural and Izod impact strengths as a function of fillers loading in the HDPE matrix have been reported. The maximum enhancement (%) of tensile, flexural and impact strengths were 127%, 86% and 16.6%, respectively, for composites containing 25% CaCO3 and 1% FS without any inclusion of talc filler; this indicates that the types/nature, size, quantity and dispersion status of fillers are playing a major role in the mechanical properties of the prepared composites more than the number of the used fillers. Full article
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Article
Modification of DSSC Based on Polymer Composite Gel Electrolyte with Copper Oxide Nanochain by Shape Effect
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3426; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163426 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 400
Abstract
Solvent evaporation and leakage of liquid electrolytes that restrict the practicality of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) motivate the quest for the development of stable and ionic conductive electrolyte. Gel polymer electrolyte (GPE) fits the criteria, but it still suffers from low efficiency due [...] Read more.
Solvent evaporation and leakage of liquid electrolytes that restrict the practicality of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) motivate the quest for the development of stable and ionic conductive electrolyte. Gel polymer electrolyte (GPE) fits the criteria, but it still suffers from low efficiency due to insufficient segmental motion within the electrolytes. Therefore, incorporating metal oxide nanofiller is one of the approaches to enhance the performance of electrolytes due to the presence of cross-linking centers that can be coordinated with the polymer segments. In this research, polymer composite gel electrolytes (PCGEs) employing poly (vinyl butyral-co-vinyl alcohol-co-vinyl acetate) (P(VB-co-VA-co-VAc)) terpolymer as host polymer, tetrapropylammonium iodide (TPAI) as dopant salt, and copper oxide (CuO) nanoparticles as the nanofillers were produced. The CuO nanofillers were synthesized by sonochemical method and subsequently calcined at different temperatures (i.e., 200, 350, and 500 °C), denoted as CuO-200, CuO-350, and CuO-500, respectively. All CuO nanoparticles have different shapes and sizes that are connected in a chain which impact the amorphous phase and the roughness of the surface, proven by the structural and the morphological analyses. It was found that the PCGE consisting of CuO-350 exhibited the highest ionic conductivity of 2.54 mS cm−1 and apparent diffusion coefficient of triiodide of 1.537 × 10−4 cm2 s−1. The enhancement in the electrochemical performance of the PCGEs is correlated with the change in shape (rod to sphere) and size of CuO particles which disrupted the structural order of the polymer chain, facilitating the redox couple transportation. Additionally, a DSSC was fabricated and achieved the highest power conversion efficiency of 7.05% with JSC of 22.1 mA cm−2, VOC of 0.61 V, and FF of 52.4%. Full article
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Article
Modeling of Hexavalent Chromium Removal with Hydrophobically Modified Cellulose Nanofibers
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3425; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163425 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 308
Abstract
Cellulose nanofibers (CNF) are sustainable nanomaterials, obtained by the mechanical disintegration of cellulose, whose properties make them an interesting adsorbent material due to their high specific area and active groups. CNF are easily functionalized to optimize the performance for different uses. The hypothesis [...] Read more.
Cellulose nanofibers (CNF) are sustainable nanomaterials, obtained by the mechanical disintegration of cellulose, whose properties make them an interesting adsorbent material due to their high specific area and active groups. CNF are easily functionalized to optimize the performance for different uses. The hypothesis of this work is that hydrophobization can be used to improve their ability as adsorbents. Therefore, hydrophobic CNF was applied to adsorb hexavalent chromium from wastewater. CNF was synthetized by TEMPO-mediated oxidation, followed by mechanical disintegration. Hydrophobization was performed using methyl trimetoxysilane (MTMS) as a hydrophobic coating agent. The adsorption treatment of hexavalent chromium with hydrophobic CNF was optimized by studying the influence of contact time, MTMS dosage (0–3 mmol·g−1 CNF), initial pH of the wastewater (3–9), initial chromium concentration (0.10–50 mg·L−1), and adsorbent dosage (250–1000 mg CNF·L−1). Furthermore, the corresponding adsorption mechanism was identified. Complete adsorption of hexavalent chromium was achieved with CNF hydrophobized with 1.5 mmol MTMS·g−1 CNF with the faster adsorption kinetic, which proved the initial hypothesis that hydrophobic CNF improves the adsorption capacity of hydrophilic CNF. The optimal adsorption conditions were pH 3 and the adsorbent dosage was over 500 mg·L−1. The maximum removal was found for the initial concentrations of hexavalent chromium below 1 mg·L−1 and a maximum adsorption capacity of 70.38 mg·g−1 was achieved. The kinetic study revealed that pseudo-second order kinetics was the best fitting model at a low concentration while the intraparticle diffusion model fit better for higher concentrations, describing a multi-step mechanism of hexavalent chromium onto the adsorbent surface. The Freundlich isotherm was the best adjustment model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Wastewater Treatment Applications)
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Article
Research on Silicone Rubber Sheds of Decay-Like Fractured Composite Insulators Based on Hardness, Hydrophobicity, NMR, and FTIR
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3424; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163424 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 371
Abstract
The safety and stability of power systems are seriously threatened by the decay-like fracture of composite insulators. This paper analyzes the aging characteristics (physical properties, NMR, and FTIR) of the silicone rubber sheds of the decay-like fractured insulator. The same V-string insulator and [...] Read more.
The safety and stability of power systems are seriously threatened by the decay-like fracture of composite insulators. This paper analyzes the aging characteristics (physical properties, NMR, and FTIR) of the silicone rubber sheds of the decay-like fractured insulator. The same V-string insulator and a new insulator are used for comparison. The study shows that the sheds’ degradation is concentrated on the side with heavy pollution. The physical properties (appearance, pollution, hardness, and hydrophobicity) of the high voltage end decrease significantly compared to other positions, but there is no direct connection between the physical properties of sheds and the decay-like fracture of the core rod. The severity of aging increases with a decrease in the equivalent transverse relaxation time T2. The main chain of the PDMS material was severely damaged at the location of the insulator fracture. NMR and FTIR can well judge the aging degree of silicone rubber housings. However, no definite characteristic quantity can characterize the decay-like fracture. It is challenging to evaluate the decay-like fracture of the silicone rubber shed only by its aging degree. Full article
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Article
An Optical Algorithm for Relative Thickness of Each Monochrome Component in Multilayer Transparent Mixed Films
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3423; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163423 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 422
Abstract
A modification of the two-flux Kubelka-Munk (K-M) model was proposed to describe the energy conservation of scattered light in colored mixed material with a defined scattered photometric, which is applied for the relative quantity distribution of each colored monochrome component in mixed material. [...] Read more.
A modification of the two-flux Kubelka-Munk (K-M) model was proposed to describe the energy conservation of scattered light in colored mixed material with a defined scattered photometric, which is applied for the relative quantity distribution of each colored monochrome component in mixed material. A series of systematical experiments demonstrated a higher consistency with the reference quantity distribution than the common Lambert-Beer (L-B) law. Its application in the fibrogram of each component for measuring the cotton fiber’s length was demonstrated to be good, extending its applicability to white and dark colored blended fibers, the length of which is harder to measure using L-B law. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Textile and Polymer Materials)
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Article
Finite Element Study of PEEK Materials Applied in Post-Retained Restorations
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3422; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163422 - 22 Aug 2022
Viewed by 442
Abstract
Background: This study aimed to investigate the biomechanical behaviors of polyether ether ketone (PEEK) and traditional materials (titanium and fiber) when used to restore tooth defects in the form of prefabricated post or customized post via computational modelling. Methods: First, the prototype of [...] Read more.
Background: This study aimed to investigate the biomechanical behaviors of polyether ether ketone (PEEK) and traditional materials (titanium and fiber) when used to restore tooth defects in the form of prefabricated post or customized post via computational modelling. Methods: First, the prototype of natural tooth, and the prototypes of prefabricated post and customized post were established, respectively, whilst the residual root was restored with dentin ferrule using reverse engineering methods. Then, the stress and strain of CFR-PEEK (PEEK reinforced by 30% carbon fiber) and pure PEEK (PEEK without any reprocessing) post were compared with those made in traditional materials using the three-dimensional finite element method. Results: From the stress point of view, compared with metal and fiber posts, CFR-PEEK and pure PEEK prefabricated post both demonstrated reduced post-core interface stress, post stress, post-root cement stress and root cement stress; moreover, CFR-PEEK and pure PEEK customized post demonstrated reduced post stress, post-root cement stress and root cement stress, while the strain of CFR-PEEK post was the closest to that of dentin. Conclusions: Compared with the traditional posts, both the CFR-PEEK and pure PEEK posts could reduce the risk of debonding and vertical root fracture, whether they were used as prefabricated posts or customized posts, but the biomechanical behavior of carbon fiber-reinforced CFR-PEEK restorations was the closest to dentin, no matter if they were used as prefabricated post or customized post. Therefore, the CFR-PEEK post could be more suitable to restore massive tooth defects. Pure PEEK needs filler reinforcement to be used for post-retained restoration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomacromolecules, Biobased and Biodegradable Polymers)
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Article
Effect of the Application of a Coating Native Potato Starch/Nopal Mucilage/Pectin on Physicochemical and Physiological Properties during Storage of Fuerte and Hass Avocado (Persea americana)
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3421; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163421 - 21 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 480
Abstract
The avocado fruit is an agro-industrial product with high export demand in Peru due to its sensory and nutritional qualities, which can be affected during storage. The study aimed to evaluate the effect of the application of a coating formulated with potato starch [...] Read more.
The avocado fruit is an agro-industrial product with high export demand in Peru due to its sensory and nutritional qualities, which can be affected during storage. The study aimed to evaluate the effect of the application of a coating formulated with potato starch (Solanum tuberosum ssp andigena), nopal mucilage (Opuntia ficus indica), and pectin on the physicochemical and physiological properties during the storage of Fuerte and Hass avocados. Samples were taken in their harvest state from the plantation in “Occobamba”, which is cultivated by the Avocado Producers Association in Chincheros, Apurímac, Peru. Physicochemical properties (titratable acidity, pH, total soluble solids) and physiological properties (weight loss, firmness, and color L* a* b*) were determined during 20 days of storage at 20 °C. The elaborated films present high transparency and low aw values. In the coated avocado of the Hass and Fuerte varieties, acidity and total soluble solids decreased significantly (p-value < 0.05) during the storage time. Weight loss and firmness of coated fruits decrease to a lesser extent. Luminosity L*, color index, and color variation showed better attributes for the coated samples. The use of coatings made with potato starch, nopal mucilage, and pectin allows the physicochemical and physiological properties of avocado fruits to be maintained for a longer time during storage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Natural-Based Polymers)
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Article
Synthesis of Biocompatible Composite Material Based on Cryogels of Polyvinyl Alcohol and Calcium Phosphates
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3420; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163420 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 395
Abstract
At the moment, the field of biomedical materials science is actively developing, which aims at creating new functional materials. A developing direction in biomedical materials science is that towards the treatment of diseases associated with bone tissue disorders, using biodegradable composite materials based [...] Read more.
At the moment, the field of biomedical materials science is actively developing, which aims at creating new functional materials. A developing direction in biomedical materials science is that towards the treatment of diseases associated with bone tissue disorders, using biodegradable composite materials based on polymer and calcium phosphate materials. We developed a material based on polyvinyl alcohol cryogel, mineralized with calcium phosphate. A material based on cryogel of polyvinyl alcohol mineralized with calcium phosphate was developed. The composites were obtained by the method of cyclic freezing–thawing, and the synthesis of calcium phosphates was carried out in situ with heating, stirring, and exposure to microwave radiation. The phase composition, as well as the composition of functional groups, was determined by IR spectroscopy and X-ray phase analysis. Monocytes isolated from human blood showed higher viability compared to the controls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Applications of Polymeric Materials)
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Article
PLA-PEG Implant as a Drug Delivery System in Glaucoma Surgery: Experimental Study
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3419; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163419 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 340
Abstract
Excessive postoperative scarring halts the effectiveness of glaucoma surgery and still remains a challenging problem. The purpose of this study was to develop a PLA-PEG-based drug delivery system with cyclosporine A or everolimus for wound healing modulation. Methods: PLA-PEG implants saturation with cyclosporine [...] Read more.
Excessive postoperative scarring halts the effectiveness of glaucoma surgery and still remains a challenging problem. The purpose of this study was to develop a PLA-PEG-based drug delivery system with cyclosporine A or everolimus for wound healing modulation. Methods: PLA-PEG implants saturation with cyclosporine A or everolimus as well as their further in vitro release were analyzed. Anti-proliferative activity and cytotoxicity of the immunosuppressants were studied in vitro using human Tenon’s fibroblasts. Thirty-six rabbits underwent glaucoma filtration surgery with the application of sham implants or samples saturated with cyclosporine A or everolimus. The follow-up period was six months. A morphological study of the surgery area was also performed at seven days, one, and six months post-op. Results: PLA-PEG implants revealed a satisfactory ability to cumulate either cyclosporine A or everolimus. The most continuous period of cyclosporine A and everolimus desorption was 7 and 13 days, respectively. Immunosuppressants demonstrated marked anti-proliferative effect regarding human Tenon’s fibroblasts without signs of cytotoxicity at concentrations provided by the implants. Application of PLA-PEG implants saturated with immunosuppressants improved in vivo glaucoma surgery outcomes. Conclusions: Prolonged delivery of either cyclosporine A or everolimus by means of PLA-PEG implants represents a promising strategy of wound healing modulation in glaucoma filtration surgery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers for Regenerative Medicine Applications)
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Cluster Size of Amylopectin and Nanosized Amylopectin Fragments Characterized by Pyrene Excimer Formation
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3418; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163418 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 379
Abstract
Amylopectin from waxy corn and the three nanosized amylopectin fragments (NAFs)—NAF(56), NAF(20), and NAF(8)—from waxy corn starch with a hydrodynamic diameter of 227, 56, 20, and 8 nm, respectively, were randomly labeled with 1-pyrenebutyric acid. The efficiency of these pyrene-labeled amylopectin-based polysaccharides (Py-A [...] Read more.
Amylopectin from waxy corn and the three nanosized amylopectin fragments (NAFs)—NAF(56), NAF(20), and NAF(8)—from waxy corn starch with a hydrodynamic diameter of 227, 56, 20, and 8 nm, respectively, were randomly labeled with 1-pyrenebutyric acid. The efficiency of these pyrene-labeled amylopectin-based polysaccharides (Py-AbPS) for pyrene excimer formation (PEF) upon diffusive encounter between an excited and a ground-state pyrene increased with increasing concentration of unlabeled NAF(56) in Py-AbPS dispersions in DMSO. Fluorescence decay analysis of the Py-AbPS dispersions in DMSO prepared with increasing [NAF(56)] yielded the maximum number (Nblobexp) of anhydroglucose units (AGUs) separating two pyrene-labeled AGUs while still allowing PEF. Comparison of Nblobexp with Nblobtheo, obtained by conducting molecular mechanics optimizations on helical oligosaccharide constructs with HyperChem, led to a relationship between the interhelical distance (dh-h) in a cluster of oligosaccharide helices, [NAF(56)], and the number of helices in a cluster. It was found that the AbPSs were composed of building blocks made of 3.5 (±0.9) helices that self-assembled into increasingly larger clusters with increasing [NAF(56)]. The ability of PEF-based experiments to yield the cluster size of AbPSs provides a new experimental means to probe the interior of AbPSs at the molecular level. Full article
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Article
Production of Low Molecular Weight Chitosan Using a Combination of Weak Acid and Ultrasonication Methods
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3417; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163417 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 361
Abstract
Low molecular weight chitosan (LMWC) has higher solubility and lower viscosity allowing for a wider pharmaceutical application compared to high molecular weight chitosan. LMWC chitosan can be obtained through a chitosan depolymerization process. This research aimed to produce LWMC using the combination of [...] Read more.
Low molecular weight chitosan (LMWC) has higher solubility and lower viscosity allowing for a wider pharmaceutical application compared to high molecular weight chitosan. LMWC chitosan can be obtained through a chitosan depolymerization process. This research aimed to produce LWMC using the combination of formic acid and ultrasonication method with the optimal condition of the depolymerization process. The chitosan depolymerization method was performed by combining formic acid and ultrasonication. The optimum conditions of the depolymerization process were obtained using the Box–Behnken design. The LMWC obtained from depolymerization was characterized to identify its yield, degree of deacetylation, the molecular weight, structure, morphology, thermal behavior, and crystallinity index. Results: The characterization results of LWMC obtained from the depolymerization process using the optimum conditions showed that the yield was 89.398%; the degree of deacetylation was 98.076%; the molecular weight was 32.814 kDa; there was no change in the chemical structure, LWMC had disorganized shape, there was no change in the thermal behavior, and LWMC had a more amorphous shape compared to native chitosan. Conclusion: The production of LWMC involving depolymerization in the presence of weak acid and ultrasonication can be developed by using the optimal condition of the depolymerization process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Natural-Based Polymers)
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Article
The Cell-Wall β-d-Glucan in Leaves of Oat (Avena sativa L.) Affected by Fungal Pathogen Blumeria graminis f. sp. avenae
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3416; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163416 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 355
Abstract
In addition to the structural and storage functions of the (1,3; 1,4)-β-d-glucans (β-d-glucan), the possible protective role of this polymer under biotic stresses is still debated. The aim of this study was to contribute to this hypothesis by analyzing [...] Read more.
In addition to the structural and storage functions of the (1,3; 1,4)-β-d-glucans (β-d-glucan), the possible protective role of this polymer under biotic stresses is still debated. The aim of this study was to contribute to this hypothesis by analyzing the β-d-glucans content, expression of related cellulose synthase-like (Csl) Cs1F6, CslF9, CslF3 genes, content of chlorophylls, and β-1,3-glucanase content in oat (Avena sativa L.) leaves infected with the commonly occurring oat fungal pathogen, Blumeria graminis f. sp. avenae (B. graminis). Its presence influenced all measured parameters. The content of β-d-glucans in infected leaves decreased in all used varieties, compared to the non-infected plants, but not significantly. Oats reacted differently, with Aragon and Vaclav responding with overexpression, and Bay Yan 2, Ivory, and Racoon responding with the underexpression of these genes. Pathogens changed the relative ratios regarding the expression of CslF6, CslF9, and CslF3 genes from neutral to negative correlations. However, changes in the expression of these genes did not statistically significantly affect the content of β-d-glucans. A very slight indication of positive correlation, but statistically insignificant, was observed between the contents of β-d-glucans and chlorophylls. Some isoforms of β-1,3-glucanases accumulated to a several-times higher level in the infected leaves of all varieties. New isoforms of β-1,3-glucanases were also detected in infected leaves after fungal infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polysaccharides: From Basic Research to Advanced Applications)
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Article
A Three-Dimensional Bioprinted Copolymer Scaffold with Biocompatibility and Structural Integrity for Potential Tissue Regeneration Applications
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3415; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163415 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 421
Abstract
The present study was to investigate the rheological property, printability, and cell viability of alginate–gelatin composed hydrogels as a potential cell-laden bioink for three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting applications. The 2 g of sodium alginate dissolved in 50 mL of phosphate buffered saline solution was [...] Read more.
The present study was to investigate the rheological property, printability, and cell viability of alginate–gelatin composed hydrogels as a potential cell-laden bioink for three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting applications. The 2 g of sodium alginate dissolved in 50 mL of phosphate buffered saline solution was mixed with different concentrations (1% (0.5 g), 2% (1 g), 3% (1.5 g), and 4% (2 g)) of gelatin, denoted as GBH-1, GBH-2, GBH-3, and GBH-4, respectively. The properties of the investigated hydrogels were characterized by contact angle goniometer, rheometer, and bioprinter. In addition, the hydrogel with a proper concentration was adopted as a cell-laden bioink to conduct cell viability testing (before and after bioprinting) using Live/Dead assay and immunofluorescence staining with a human corneal fibroblast cell line. The analytical results indicated that the GBH-2 hydrogel exhibited the lowest loss rate of contact angle (28%) and similar rheological performance as compared with other investigated hydrogels and the control group. Printability results also showed that the average wire diameter of the GBH-2 bioink (0.84 ± 0.02 mm (*** p < 0.001)) post-printing was similar to that of the control group (0.79 ± 0.05 mm). Moreover, a cell scaffold could be fabricated from the GBH-2 bioink and retained its shape integrity for 24 h post-printing. For bioprinting evaluation, it demonstrated that the GBH-2 bioink possessed well viability (>70%) of the human corneal fibroblast cell after seven days of printing under an ideal printing parameter combination (0.4 mm of inner diameter needle, 0.8 bar of printing pressure, and 25 °C of printing temperature). Therefore, the present study suggests that the GBH-2 hydrogel could be developed as a potential cell-laden bioink to print a cell scaffold with biocompatibility and structural integrity for soft tissues such as skin, cornea, nerve, and blood vessel regeneration applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomaterials for Bone/Teeth Regeneration Applications)
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Article
Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) and N-Methylol Dimethyl Phosphonopropion Amide (MDPA) System for Flame Retardant Cotton Fabrics
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3414; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163414 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 341
Abstract
The aim of the present research work was to develop halogen and formaldehyde-free, durable flame retardant fabric along with multifunctional properties and to find the optimal conditions and parameters. In this research, zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) were grown onto 100% cotton fabric [...] Read more.
The aim of the present research work was to develop halogen and formaldehyde-free, durable flame retardant fabric along with multifunctional properties and to find the optimal conditions and parameters. In this research, zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) were grown onto 100% cotton fabric using the sonochemical method. Zinc acetate dihydrate (Zn(CH3COO)2·2H2O) and sodium hydroxide (NaOH) were used as precursors. After ZnO NPs growth, N-Methylol dimethylphosphonopropionamide (MDPA) flame retardant was applied in the presence of 1, 2, 3, 4-butanetetracarboxylic acid (BTCA) as cross-linkers using the conventional pad–dry–cure method. Induced coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) was used to determine the deposited amount of Zn and phosphorous (P) contents. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) were employed to determine the surface morphology and characterization of the developed samples. Furthermore, the thermal degradation of the untreated and treated samples was investigated by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Furthermore, the vertical flame retardant test, limiting oxygen index (LOI), ultraviolet protection factor (UPF), and antibacterial activity of samples were examined. The developed samples showed excellent results for flame retardancy (i.e., 39 mm char length, 0 s after flame time, 0 s after glow time), 32.2 LOI, 143.76 UPF, and 100% antibacterial activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Development in Textiles and Fibers)
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Review
Polyester-Based Coatings for Corrosion Protection
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3413; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163413 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 397
Abstract
The article is the first review encompassing the study and the applications of polyester-based coatings for the corrosion protection of steel. The impact of corrosion and the challenges encountered thus far and the solutions encountered in industry are addressed. Then, the use of [...] Read more.
The article is the first review encompassing the study and the applications of polyester-based coatings for the corrosion protection of steel. The impact of corrosion and the challenges encountered thus far and the solutions encountered in industry are addressed. Then, the use of polyesters as a promising alternative to current methods, such as phosphating, chromating, galvanization, and inhibitors, are highlighted. The classifications of polyesters and the network structure determine the overall applications and performance of the polymer. The review provides new trends in green chemistry and smart and bio-based polyester-based coatings. Finally, the different applications of polyesters are covered; specifically, the use of polyesters in surface coatings and for other industrial uses is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Composites for Biomedical and Environmental Applications)
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Review
Engineering, Recyclable, and Biodegradable Plastics in the Automotive Industry: A Review
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3412; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163412 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 561
Abstract
The automotive industry has used plastics almost since the beginning. The lightness, flexibility, and many qualities of plastics make them ideal for the automotive industry, reducing cars’ overall weight and fuel consumption. Engineering plastics in this industry belong to the high-performance segment of [...] Read more.
The automotive industry has used plastics almost since the beginning. The lightness, flexibility, and many qualities of plastics make them ideal for the automotive industry, reducing cars’ overall weight and fuel consumption. Engineering plastics in this industry belong to the high-performance segment of non-renewable resources. These plastics exhibit higher properties than commodity plastics. Fortunately, unlike recycled commodity plastics, the super properties and high-performance characteristics make engineering plastics effectively reused after recycling. The substitution of these fossil-fuel-derived plastics adds to the solution of lightweighting, a much-needed solution to waste management, and solves industrial and ecological issues surrounding plastic disposal. All major vehicle manufacturers worldwide use bioplastics and bio-based plastics, including natural-fiber composites and engineering plastics reinforced with natural fibers. Changing the source of plastics to raw materials from renewable resources is the logical approach to sustainability. Thus, high-quality plastics, recycled plastics, bio-based plastics, and biodegradable plastics could be exploited from design, making sustainability an integral concept of mobility development. This review analyzes that switching from fossil-fuel- to renewable-sources-derived plastics is a step toward meeting the current environmental goals for the automotive industry, including electric cars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable and Natural Polymers)
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Article
Aerosol Jet Printing of 3D Pillar Arrays from Photopolymer Ink
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3411; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163411 - 20 Aug 2022
Viewed by 381
Abstract
An aerosol jet printing (AJP) printing head built on top of precise motion systems can provide positioning deviation down to 3 μm, printing areas as large as 20 cm × 20 cm × 30 cm, and five-axis freedom of movement. Typical uses of [...] Read more.
An aerosol jet printing (AJP) printing head built on top of precise motion systems can provide positioning deviation down to 3 μm, printing areas as large as 20 cm × 20 cm × 30 cm, and five-axis freedom of movement. Typical uses of AJP are 2D printing on complex or flexible substrates, primarily for applications in printed electronics. Nearly all commercially available AJP inks for 2D printing are designed and optimized to reach desired electronic properties. In this work, we explore AJP for the 3D printing of free-standing pillar arrays. We utilize aryl epoxy photopolymer as ink coupled with a cross-linking “on the fly” technique. Pillar structures 550 μm in height and with a diameter of 50 μm were 3D printed. Pillar structures were characterized via scanning electron microscopy, where the morphology, number of printed layers and side effects of the AJP technique were investigated. Satellite droplets and over-spray seem to be unavoidable for structures smaller than 70 μm. Nevertheless, reactive ion etching (RIE) as a post-processing step can mitigate AJP side effects. AJP-RIE together with photopolymer-based ink can be promising for the 3D printing of microstructures, offering fast and maskless manufacturing without wet chemistry development and heat treatment post-processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photoactive Polymeric Materials)
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Review
Chitosan–Hyaluronic Acid Nanoparticles for Active Targeting in Cancer Therapy
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3410; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163410 - 20 Aug 2022
Viewed by 439
Abstract
Cancer is the most common cause of death worldwide; therefore, there is a need to discover novel treatment modalities to combat it. One of the cancer treatments is nanoparticle technology. Currently, nanoparticles have been modified to have desirable pharmacological effects by using chemical [...] Read more.
Cancer is the most common cause of death worldwide; therefore, there is a need to discover novel treatment modalities to combat it. One of the cancer treatments is nanoparticle technology. Currently, nanoparticles have been modified to have desirable pharmacological effects by using chemical ligands that bind with their specific receptors on the surface of malignant cells. Chemical grafting of chitosan nanoparticles with hyaluronic acid as a targeted ligand can become an attractive alternative for active targeting. Hence, these nanoparticles can control drug release with pH- responsive stimuli, and high selectivity of hyaluronic acid to CD44 receptors makes these nanoparticles accumulate more inside cells that overexpress these receptors (cancer cells). In this context, we discuss the benefits and recent findings of developing and utilizing chitosan–hyaluronic acid nanoparticles against distinct forms of cancer malignancy. From here we know that chitosan–hyaluronic acid nanoparticles (CHA-Np) can produce a nanoparticle system with good characteristics, effectiveness, and a good active targeting on various types of cancer cells. Therefore, this system is a good candidate for targeted drug delivery for cancer therapy, anticipating that CHA-Np could be further developed for various cancer therapy applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactivated Polymers for Nanomedicine)
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Article
Soft Liquid Metal-Based Conducting Composite with Robust Electrical Durability for a Wearable Electrocardiogram Sensor
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3409; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163409 - 20 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 514
Abstract
Liquid metals not only have the electrical property of conductivity, but they also have a unique characteristic of existing in a liquid state at room temperature, unlike ordinary stiff solid metals. However, in bioelectronics, the modulus matching well between a device and skin [...] Read more.
Liquid metals not only have the electrical property of conductivity, but they also have a unique characteristic of existing in a liquid state at room temperature, unlike ordinary stiff solid metals. However, in bioelectronics, the modulus matching well between a device and skin or tissue is considered very advantageous, because high-quality biological signals can be recorded. Therefore, it is possible to implement soft electronics with stable and robust electrical characteristics by using LM as a conductive liquid-state filler. In this study, we changed a type of liquid metal, Eutectic Gallium Indium (EGaIn), into a particle form via tip sonication and mixed it with a solution that dissolved Styrene-Ethylene-Butylene-Styrene (SEBS) in toluene to fabricate a composite. The EGaIn-SEBS composite has high conductivity, excellent electrical durability under mechanically harsh conditions, and a degree of modulus similar to that of bare SEBS, which is lower than that of solid-filler-based SEBS composite. Finally, we demonstrated electrocardiogram signal monitoring using an EGaIn-Alginate two-layer electrode (EATE) that was fabricated by simply coating the surface of the composite with alginate hydrogel, which demonstrates excellent performance in bioelectronics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Based Electronic Devices and Sensors)
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Article
Modification of Polyethersulfone Ultrafiltration Membrane Using Poly(terephthalic acid-co-glycerol-g-maleic anhydride) as Novel Pore Former
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3408; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163408 - 20 Aug 2022
Viewed by 436
Abstract
In this research, poly terephthalic acid-co-glycerol-g-maleic anhydride (PTGM) graft co-polymer was used as novel water-soluble pore formers for polyethersulfone (PES) membrane modification. The modified PES membranes were characterized to monitor the effect of PTGM content on their pure water flux, hydrophilicity, porosity, morphological [...] Read more.
In this research, poly terephthalic acid-co-glycerol-g-maleic anhydride (PTGM) graft co-polymer was used as novel water-soluble pore formers for polyethersulfone (PES) membrane modification. The modified PES membranes were characterized to monitor the effect of PTGM content on their pure water flux, hydrophilicity, porosity, morphological structure, composition, and performance. PTGM and PES/PTGM membranes were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and contact angle (CA). The results revealed that the porosity and hydrophilicity of the fabricated membrane formed using a 5 wt.% PTGM ratio exhibited an enhancement of 20% and 18%, respectively. Similarly, upon raising the PTGM ratio in the casting solution, a more porous with longer finger-like structure was observed. However, at optimum PTGM content (i.e., 5%), apparent enhancements in the water flux, bovine serum albumin (BSA), and sodium alginate (SA) retention were noticed by values of 203 L/m2.h (LMH), 94, and 96%, respectively. These results illustrated that the observed separation and permeation trend of the PES/PTGM membrane may be a suitable option for applications of wastewater treatment. The experimental results suggest the promising potential of PTGM as a pore former on the membrane properties and performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Membranes: From Synthesis To Applications)
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Article
Dynamic Supramolecular Polymers Based on Zinc Bis(diorganophospate)s: Synthesis, Structure and Transformations in Solid State and Solutions
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3407; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163407 - 20 Aug 2022
Viewed by 312
Abstract
The synthesis, structure and some properties of coordination polymers composed of linear zinc bis(diorganophospate)s (ZnDOPs) with a general formula of Zn[O2P(OR)2]2 (where R = CH3, C2H5, n-C4H9, [...] Read more.
The synthesis, structure and some properties of coordination polymers composed of linear zinc bis(diorganophospate)s (ZnDOPs) with a general formula of Zn[O2P(OR)2]2 (where R = CH3, C2H5, n-C4H9, or 2-ethylhexyl group) are described. Hybrid (co)polymers obtained by different procedures were characterized by means of powder XRD, DSC, SEM, TGA coupled with mass spectrometry of the evolved gases and rheological measurements, as well as FTIR and NMR techniques. The morphology, thermal transformations and solubility of ZnDOPs strongly depend on the type of organic substituent in the O2P(OR)2 ligands and the thermal history of the sample. Because of this, one can obtain highly crystalline rods, semicrystalline powders, as well as rubbery materials exhibiting a second-order transition below −50 °C. Polymeric chains formed by ZnDOPs undergo a reversible dissociation in polar organic solvents (e.g., methanol, DMSO), which allows for easy modification of their composition and physicochemical properties via a simple exchange of diorganophosphate anions. Some of the ZnDOPs were investigated as the latent curing agents for epoxides. On the basis of rheological and DSC studies, it is evident that ZnDOPs catalyze very effectively the cross-linking process within the 130–160 °C temperature range. Full article
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Article
Drug-Polymers Composite Matrix Tablets: Effect of Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (HPMC) K-Series on Porosity, Compatibility, and Release Behavior of the Tablet Containing a BCS Class I Drug
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3406; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163406 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 418
Abstract
The purpose of this research was to see how the physicochemical properties and porosity of matrix tablets containing various types of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) K series affected the release of propranolol hydrochloride (PNL). PNL is a class I drug (high solubility and permeability) [...] Read more.
The purpose of this research was to see how the physicochemical properties and porosity of matrix tablets containing various types of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) K series affected the release of propranolol hydrochloride (PNL). PNL is a class I drug (high solubility and permeability) according to the Biopharmaceutics Classification System (BCS), making it an excellent model drug used for studying extended-release drug products. The direct compression method was used to prepare the HPMC-based matrix tablets. PNL and the excipients were found to be compatible using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The surfaces of all the compressed HPMC-based matrix tablets were rough, with accumulated particles and small holes. The compressed HPMC-based matrix tablet porosity was also determined by using mercury porosimetry. The compressed HPMC-based matrix tablets made of low viscosity HPMC had tiny pores (diameter < 0.01 μm). The shorter polymeric chains are more prone to deformation, resulting in a small pore proportion. The compressed HPMC-based matrix tablets sustained the release of PNL for over 12 h. The release exponent values (n), which reflect the release mechanism of the drug from the tablets, ranged from 0.476 to 0.497. These values indicated that the release was governed by anomalous transport. The compressed HPMC-based matrix tablets have the potential for a sustained release of PNL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers in Pharmaceutical Technology)
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Article
Pilot-Scale Processing and Functional Properties of Antifungal EVOH-Based Films Containing Methyl Anthranilate Intended for Food Packaging Applications
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3405; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163405 - 19 Aug 2022
Viewed by 415
Abstract
Antimicrobial packaging has emerged as an efficient technology to improve the stability of food products. In this study, new formulations based on ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) copolymer were developed by incorporating the volatile methyl anthranilate (MA) at different concentrations as antifungal compound to [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial packaging has emerged as an efficient technology to improve the stability of food products. In this study, new formulations based on ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) copolymer were developed by incorporating the volatile methyl anthranilate (MA) at different concentrations as antifungal compound to obtain active films for food packaging. To this end, a twin-screw extruder with a specifically designed screw configuration was employed to produce films at pilot scale. The quantification analyses of MA in the films showed a high retention capacity. Then, the morphological, optical, thermal, mechanical and water vapour barrier performance, as well as the antifungal activity in vitro of the active films, were evaluated. The presence of MA did not affect the transparency or the thermal stability of EVOH-based films, but decreased the glass transition temperature of the copolymer, indicating a plasticizing effect, which was confirmed by an increase in the elongation at break values of the films. Because of the additive-induced plasticization over EVOH, the water vapour permeability slightly increased at 33% and 75% relative humidity values. Finally, the evaluation of the antifungal activity in vitro of the active films containing methyl anthranilate showed a great effectiveness against P. expansum and B. cinerea, demonstrating the potential applicability of the developed films for active food packaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Active and Intelligent Food Packaging Polymers)
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