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Fibers, Volume 7, Issue 9 (September 2019)

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Open AccessReview
Plant Fibers and Phenolics: A Review on Their Synthesis, Analysis and Combined Use for Biomaterials with New Properties
Fibers 2019, 7(9), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib7090080 - 31 Aug 2019
Viewed by 355
Abstract
Devising environmental-friendly processes in biotechnology is a priority in the current economic scenario. We are witnessing a constant and steady push towards finding sustainable solutions to societal challenges by promoting innovation-driven activities minimizing the environmental impact and valorizing natural resources. In bioeconomy, plants [...] Read more.
Devising environmental-friendly processes in biotechnology is a priority in the current economic scenario. We are witnessing a constant and steady push towards finding sustainable solutions to societal challenges by promoting innovation-driven activities minimizing the environmental impact and valorizing natural resources. In bioeconomy, plants are among the most important renewable sources of both fibers (woody and cellulosic) and phytochemicals, which find applications in many industrial sectors, spanning from the textile, to the biocomposite, medical, nutraceutical, and pharma sectors. Given the key role of plants as natural sources of (macro)molecules, we here provide a compendium on the use of plant fibers functionalized/impregnated with phytochemicals (in particular phenolic extracts). The goal is to review the various applications of natural fibers functionalized with plant phenolics and to valorize those plants that are source of both fibers and phytochemicals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Fibers)
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Open AccessArticle
The First Occurrence of Asbestiform Magnesio-Riebeckite in Schists in the Frido Unit (Pollino Unesco Global Geopark, Southern Italy)
Fibers 2019, 7(9), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib7090079 - 31 Aug 2019
Viewed by 283
Abstract
In this paper, new mineralogical and petrographical data of asbestiform Magnesio-riebeckite from ophiolite cropping out in the Pollino Unesco Global Geopark (southern Italy) are presented. Magnesio-riebeckite schists with HP-LT index mineral assemblage recorded metamorphic events in blueschist facies in the Frido Unit. Previous [...] Read more.
In this paper, new mineralogical and petrographical data of asbestiform Magnesio-riebeckite from ophiolite cropping out in the Pollino Unesco Global Geopark (southern Italy) are presented. Magnesio-riebeckite schists with HP-LT index mineral assemblage recorded metamorphic events in blueschist facies in the Frido Unit. Previous toxicological studies showed that asbestiform Magnesio-riebeckite species exhibited high carcinogenicity in previous intraperitoneal injection experiments with rats. The results have been obtained using different analytical techniques such as X-ray fluorescence (XRF), scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), and electron probe micro analysis (EPMA). Results show that all the samples contain fibrous Magnesio-riebeckite and/or prismatic, acicular crystals in aggregates. The concentration of elements in Magnesio-riebeckite crystals is: Na2O (4.12–6.26 wt%), MgO (8.22–10.87 wt%), FeO (19.07–23.81 wt%), SiO2 (52.05–56.06 wt%), CaO (1.12–4.53 wt%), Al2O3 (1.34–1.93 wt%), and MnO (0.10–0.34 wt%). Magnesio-riebeckite crystals are documented in the Pollino Unesco Global Geopark for the first time. For this reason, the aim of this paper is the characterization of Magnesio-riebeckite to improve the knowledge of this mineral in the studied area, because the release of fibers into the environment is dangerous for human health. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Kinetics of Cellulose Deposition in Developing Cotton Fibers Studied by Thermogravimetric Analysis
Fibers 2019, 7(9), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib7090078 - 29 Aug 2019
Viewed by 307
Abstract
During cotton fibers development, important structural changes occur, which lead to cellulose deposition and organization in the secondary cell wall. Several studies have focused on the analysis of the cell wall extracts of cotton fibers to gain an understanding of the changes in [...] Read more.
During cotton fibers development, important structural changes occur, which lead to cellulose deposition and organization in the secondary cell wall. Several studies have focused on the analysis of the cell wall extracts of cotton fibers to gain an understanding of the changes in carbohydrate profiles and to determine the changes in crystallinity, cellulosic and non-cellulosic compounds at various stages of the fiber cell wall development. In this research, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was used to study intact fibers harvested from two cotton genotypes. Cellulose macromolecules structural changes occurring during different developmental stages were studied. The results from TGA technique were in agreement with results from other analytical techniques, which indicates that TGA could be a great tool to investigate the onset of cellulose deposition and to evaluate the cell wall composition during fiber development. The results obtained in this study demonstrated that the initiation of the secondary cell wall is genotype-dependent. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Jute Based Bio and Hybrid Composites and Their Applications
Fibers 2019, 7(9), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib7090077 - 28 Aug 2019
Viewed by 340
Abstract
The popularity of jute-based bio and hybrid composites is mainly due to an increase in environmental concerns and pollution. Jute fibers have low cost, high abundance, and reasonable mechanical properties. Research in all-natural fibers and composites have increased exponentially due to the environment [...] Read more.
The popularity of jute-based bio and hybrid composites is mainly due to an increase in environmental concerns and pollution. Jute fibers have low cost, high abundance, and reasonable mechanical properties. Research in all-natural fibers and composites have increased exponentially due to the environment concerns of the hazards of synthetic fibers-based composites. Jute based bio and hybrid composites have been extensively used in number of applications. Hybrid jute-based composites have enhanced mechanical and physical properties, reasonably better than jute fiber composites. A detailed analysis of jute-based bio and hybrid composites was carried out in this review. The primary aim of this review paper is to provide a critical analysis and to discuss all recent developments in jute-based composites. The content covers different aspects of jute-based composites, including their mechanical and physical properties, structure, morphology, chemical composition, fiber modification techniques, surface treatments, jute based hybrid composites, limitations, and applications. Jute-based composites are currently being used in a vast number of applications such as in textiles, construction, cosmetics, medical, packaging, automobile, and furniture industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Fiber-Reinforced Hybrid Composites)
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Open AccessArticle
Enhanced Stability and Bioactivity of Curcuma comosa Roxb. Extract in Electrospun Gelatin Nanofibers
Fibers 2019, 7(9), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib7090076 - 27 Aug 2019
Viewed by 436
Abstract
Electrospun fiber can be used as a carrier for releasing active ingredients at the target site to achieve the effects of drug treatment. The objectives of this research work were to study suitable conditions for producing electrospun gelatin fiber loaded with crude Curcuma [...] Read more.
Electrospun fiber can be used as a carrier for releasing active ingredients at the target site to achieve the effects of drug treatment. The objectives of this research work were to study suitable conditions for producing electrospun gelatin fiber loaded with crude Curcuma comosa Roxb. extract (CE) and to study antioxidant, anti-tyrosinase and anti-bacterial activities and its freeze–thaw stability as well. To achieve optimal conditions for producing electrospun gelatin fiber, the concentration of gelatin was adjusted to 30% w/v in a co-solvent system of acetic acid/water (9:1 v/v) with a feed rate of 3 mL/h and an applied voltage of 15 kV. The lowest percent loading of 5% (w/v) CE in gelatin nanofiber exhibited the highest DPPH radical scavenging activity of 94% and the highest inhibition of tyrosinase enzyme of 35%. Moreover, the inhibition zones for antibacterial activities against S. aureus and S. epidermidis were 7.77 ± 0.21 and 7.73 ± 0.12 mm, respectively. The freeze–thaw stability of CE in electrospun gelatin nanofiber was significantly different (p < 0.05) after the 4th cycle as compared to CE. Electrospun gelatin nanofiber containing CE also showed the capacity of the release of bioactive ingredients possessing anti-oxidant properties and, therefore, it could potentially be used for face masks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrospun Polymer Nanofibers for Food and Health Applications)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Assessment of Arundo donax Fibers for Oil Spill Recovery Applications
Fibers 2019, 7(9), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib7090075 - 21 Aug 2019
Viewed by 430
Abstract
In the last years, natural fibers are increasingly investigated as an oil recovery system in order to overcome the oil spillage phenomena, thus preserving environment and aquatic life. In particular, lignocellulose-based fibers have recently been employed with promising results. In such a context, [...] Read more.
In the last years, natural fibers are increasingly investigated as an oil recovery system in order to overcome the oil spillage phenomena, thus preserving environment and aquatic life. In particular, lignocellulose-based fibers have recently been employed with promising results. In such a context, the aim of this paper is to assess the oil sorption capability of natural fibers extracted from the stem of the giant reed Arundo donax L., a perennial rhizomatous grass belonging to the Poaceae family that grows naturally all around the world thanks to its ability to tolerate different climatic conditions. Sorption tests in several pollutants and water as a reference were carried out. The fibers have absorption capacities that are about five to six times their weight. Depending on the high absorption kinetics, possible applicative interests can be identified. Eventually, depending on the fiber size, adsorption properties were related to the microstructure and morphology of Arundo donax fibers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Fibers)
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