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Polymers, Volume 7, Issue 1 (January 2015), Pages 1-160

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Open AccessEditorial Polymers Best Paper Award 2015
Polymers 2015, 7(1), 156-160; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym7010156
Received: 13 January 2015 / Accepted: 13 January 2015 / Published: 20 January 2015
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Abstract
Polymers is instituting an annual award to recognize the outstanding papers in the area of polymer science published in Polymers. We are pleased to announce the second “Polymers Best Paper Award” for 2015 [1]. Nominations were selected by the Editor-in-Chief and
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Polymers is instituting an annual award to recognize the outstanding papers in the area of polymer science published in Polymers. We are pleased to announce the second “Polymers Best Paper Award” for 2015 [1]. Nominations were selected by the Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Board members of Polymers from all papers published in 2011. The awards are issued to reviews and articles respectively. We are pleased to announce that the following five papers were chosen:[...] Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Synthesis of a Terpene-Based New Chiral Inducer and Preparation of an Asymmetric Polymer
Polymers 2015, 7(1), 147-155; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym7010147
Received: 7 December 2014 / Accepted: 14 January 2015 / Published: 20 January 2015
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Abstract
A new chiral compound was synthesized based on L-borneol. A cholesteric liquid crystal (LC) electrolyte solution was prepared by adding it as a chiral inducer to a nematic LC. A chiral poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT*, * = asymmetry) film was prepared by electrochemical polymerization
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A new chiral compound was synthesized based on L-borneol. A cholesteric liquid crystal (LC) electrolyte solution was prepared by adding it as a chiral inducer to a nematic LC. A chiral poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT*, * = asymmetry) film was prepared by electrochemical polymerization in the induced cholesteric LC. The PEDOT* film showed a maximum absorption band due to a π–π* transition in the UV-vis absorption and bisignate Cotton effect in the reduced state in circular dichroism (CD). The CD spectrum indicates that PEDOT* backbones form right-handed helical aggregation. However, the maximum optical absorption band due to π–π* transition of the PEDOT* decreases and a new absorption band appears at long wavelengths upon oxidation due to generation of polarons as charge carriers. Bisignate Cotton effect disappears and broadly negative CD signal appears at long wavelengths in the oxidized state. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Fabrication of Thermo-Responsive Molecular Layers from Self-Assembling Elastin-Like Oligopeptides Containing Cell-Binding Domain for Tissue Engineering
Polymers 2015, 7(1), 134-146; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym7010134
Received: 6 October 2014 / Revised: 7 January 2015 / Accepted: 12 January 2015 / Published: 19 January 2015
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (3057 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Novel thermo-responsive elastin-like oligopeptides containing cell-binding epitope (Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser sequence); arginine-glycine-aspartic acid-serine (RGDS)-elastin-like peptides (ELP) and RGDS-deg-ELP; were newly prepared as building blocks of self-assembled molecular layer for artificial extra cellular matrix. A detailed analysis of the conformation of the oligo(ELP)s in
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Novel thermo-responsive elastin-like oligopeptides containing cell-binding epitope (Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser sequence); arginine-glycine-aspartic acid-serine (RGDS)-elastin-like peptides (ELP) and RGDS-deg-ELP; were newly prepared as building blocks of self-assembled molecular layer for artificial extra cellular matrix. A detailed analysis of the conformation of the oligo(ELP)s in water and their self-assembling behavior onto hydrophobic surfaces were performed by using circular dichroism, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), atomic force microscopy and water contact angle measurements. The experimental results revealed that both oligo(ELP)s self-assembled onto hydrophobic surfaces and formed molecular layers based on their thermo-responsive conformational change from hydrous random coil to dehydrated β-turn structure. Effective cell adhesion and spreading behaviors were observed on these self-assembled oligo(ELP) layers. In addition, attached cells were found to be recovered successfully as a cell-sheet by temperature-induced disassembly of oligo(ELP) layer. This achievement provides an important insight to construct novel oligopeptide-based nano-surfaces for the design of smart artificial extra-cellular matrix. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stimuli-Responsive Polymers and Colloids)
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Open AccessArticle Phase Behavior of Copolymers Confined in Multi-Walled Nanotubes: Insights from Simulations
Polymers 2015, 7(1), 120-133; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym7010120
Received: 13 September 2014 / Accepted: 7 January 2015 / Published: 16 January 2015
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Abstract
In this paper, the self-assembly process of diblock copolymers confined in multi-walled cylindrical nanotubes is systematically investigated using a molecular dynamics (MD) method. The dependence of resultant morphologies on the degree of confinement and on the interaction strength between nanotubes and copolymers is
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In this paper, the self-assembly process of diblock copolymers confined in multi-walled cylindrical nanotubes is systematically investigated using a molecular dynamics (MD) method. The dependence of resultant morphologies on the degree of confinement and on the interaction strength between nanotubes and copolymers is studied comprehensively. When the wall surfaces are not preferential, results indicate that geometric confinement significantly influences copolymer conformations. In addition, the thickness of the helical lamellar structure increases with interaction strength and confinement size. In cases where the nanotubes are strongly attracted to one copolymer block, the confinement effect weakens as geometric space increases. Findings explain the dependence of chain conformation on the degree of confinement and the strength of surface preferences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complex Macromolecular Architectures)
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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Polymers in 2014
Polymers 2015, 7(1), 115-119; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym7010115
Received: 7 January 2015 / Accepted: 7 January 2015 / Published: 7 January 2015
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Abstract
The editors of Polymers would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2014:[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle Application of Humidity-Controlled Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA-RH) to Moisture-Sensitive Edible Casein Films for Use in Food Packaging
Polymers 2015, 7(1), 91-114; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym7010091
Received: 11 November 2014 / Accepted: 29 December 2014 / Published: 6 January 2015
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Abstract
Protein-based and other hydrophilic thin films are promising materials for the manufacture of edible food packaging and other food and non-food applications. Calcium caseinate (CaCas) films are highly hygroscopic and physical characterization under broad environmental conditions is critical to application development and film
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Protein-based and other hydrophilic thin films are promising materials for the manufacture of edible food packaging and other food and non-food applications. Calcium caseinate (CaCas) films are highly hygroscopic and physical characterization under broad environmental conditions is critical to application development and film optimization. A new technology, humidity-controlled dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA-RH) was explored to characterize CaCas/glycerol films (3:1 ratio) during isohume temperature (T) ramps and steps, and isothermal RH ramps and steps, to determine their mechanical and moisture-sorption properties during extensive T and RH variations. When RH and/or T increased, CaCas/Gly films became strongly plasticized and underwent several primary and secondary humidity-dependent transition temperatures (or transition humidities); the CaCas/Gly network hypothetically rearranged itself to adapt to the increased water-content and heat-induced molecular mobility. Between 5–40 °C and 20%–61% RH, moisture-sorption was rapid and proportional to humidity between transition points and accelerated greatly during transitions. CaCas/Gly films seemed unsuitable for storage or utilization in warm/humid conditions as they lost their mechanical integrity around Tm ~ 40 °C at 50% RH and Tm decreased greatly with increased RH. However, below Tm, both moisture- and heat-induced structural changes in the films were fully reversible and casein films may withstand a variety of moderate abuse conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Packaging Films)
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Open AccessArticle Optical Characterization of the Hole Polaron in a Series of Diketopyrrolopyrrole Polymers Used for Organic Photovoltaics
Polymers 2015, 7(1), 69-90; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym7010069
Received: 22 August 2014 / Accepted: 12 December 2014 / Published: 31 December 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (4622 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A strategy that is often used for designing low band gap polymers involves the incorporation of electron-rich (donor) and electron-deficient (acceptor) conjugated segments within the polymer backbone. In this paper we investigate such a series of Diketopyrrolopyrrole (DPP)-based co-polymers. The co-polymers consisted of
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A strategy that is often used for designing low band gap polymers involves the incorporation of electron-rich (donor) and electron-deficient (acceptor) conjugated segments within the polymer backbone. In this paper we investigate such a series of Diketopyrrolopyrrole (DPP)-based co-polymers. The co-polymers consisted of a DPP unit attached to a phenylene, naphthalene, or anthracene unit. Additionally, polymers utilizing either the thiophene-flanked DPP or the furan-flanked DPP units paired with the naphthalene comonomer were compared. As these polymers have been used as donor materials and subsequent hole transporting materials in organic solar cells, we are specifically interested in characterizing the optical absorption of the hole polaron of these DPP based copolymers. We employ chemical doping, electrochemical doping, and photoinduced absorption (PIA) studies to probe the hole polaron absorption spectra. While some donor-acceptor polymers have shown an appreciable capacity to generate free charge carriers upon photoexcitation, no polaron signal was observed in the PIA spectrum of the polymers in this study. The relations between molecular structure and optical properties are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Solar Cells)
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Open AccessReview A Comparative Analysis of Nanoparticle Adsorption as Fire-Protection Approach for Fabrics
Polymers 2015, 7(1), 47-68; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym7010047
Received: 24 November 2014 / Accepted: 24 December 2014 / Published: 31 December 2014
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (1690 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present paper critically analyzes the potential for commercially available nanoparticles for enhancing the flame-retardant properties of synthetic and natural fabrics and their corresponding blends. Each nanoparticle has been applied to the fabric through a finishing-like process (namely impregnation/exhausting or, more simply, nanoparticle
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The present paper critically analyzes the potential for commercially available nanoparticles for enhancing the flame-retardant properties of synthetic and natural fabrics and their corresponding blends. Each nanoparticle has been applied to the fabric through a finishing-like process (namely impregnation/exhausting or, more simply, nanoparticle adsorption) in aqueous media and the resulting properties of these fabrics have been assessed in terms of combustion behavior by use of a cone calorimeter under a heat flux of 35 kW/m2. The influence of these nanoparticles on the main combustion parameters of polyester, cotton, and some of their blends has been thoroughly discussed. As a result of this discussion, a flame-retardant efficiency ranking of the nanoparticles under review has been established. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Flame Retardant Polymers)
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Open AccessReview Chitosan to Connect Biology to Electronics: Fabricating the Bio-Device Interface and Communicating Across This Interface
Polymers 2015, 7(1), 1-46; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym7010001
Received: 10 November 2014 / Accepted: 15 December 2014 / Published: 24 December 2014
Cited by 36 | PDF Full-text (6365 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Individually, advances in microelectronics and biology transformed the way we live our lives. However, there remain few examples in which biology and electronics have been interfaced to create synergistic capabilities. We believe there are two major challenges to the integration of biological components
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Individually, advances in microelectronics and biology transformed the way we live our lives. However, there remain few examples in which biology and electronics have been interfaced to create synergistic capabilities. We believe there are two major challenges to the integration of biological components into microelectronic systems: (i) assembly of the biological components at an electrode address, and (ii) communication between the assembled biological components and the underlying electrode. Chitosan possesses a unique combination of properties to meet these challenges and serve as an effective bio-device interface material. For assembly, chitosan’s pH-responsive film-forming properties allow it to “recognize” electrode-imposed signals and respond by self-assembling as a stable hydrogel film through a cathodic electrodeposition mechanism. A separate anodic electrodeposition mechanism was recently reported and this also allows chitosan hydrogel films to be assembled at an electrode address. Protein-based biofunctionality can be conferred to electrodeposited films through a variety of physical, chemical and biological methods. For communication, we are investigating redox-active catechol-modified chitosan films as an interface to bridge redox-based communication between biology and an electrode. Despite significant progress over the last decade, many questions still remain which warrants even deeper study of chitosan’s structure, properties, and functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chitin and Chitosans)
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