Special Issue "New Trends in Functional and Multifunctional Advanced Materials"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 February 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Szerb Elisabeta Ildyko
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Guest Editor
“Coriolan Drăgulescu” Institute of Chemistry, Romanian Academy, 300223 Timisoara, Romania
Interests: inorganic and coordination chemistry; liquid crystals; self-assembly; functional materials
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Dr. Cseh Liliana
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Guest Editor
“Coriolan Drăgulescu” Institute of Chemistry, Romanian Academy, 300223 Timisoara, Romania
Interests: functional materials; soft materials; photochemistry
Prof. Dr. Florica Manea
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Guest Editor
Faculty of Industrial Chemistry and Environmental Engineering, Politehnica University of Timisoara, 300006 Timisoara, Romania
Interests: water/wastewater treatment; water management; electrochemical processes; photocatalysis processes; water quality monitoring; electrochemical sensors
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Dr. Tudose Ramona
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Guest Editor
“Coriolan Drăgulescu” Institute of Chemistry, Romanian Academy, 300223 Timisoara, Romania
Interests: organic synthesis; homo- and heteropolinuclear complex compounds; spectrophotometric methods; crystallographic analysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Issue presents, as an integrative approach, new trends in the theoretical, fundamental, and application research at the interdisciplinary frontier between chemistry, biology, physics, and engineering, promoting advanced functional and multifunctional materials and sustainable technologies designed for specific applications. Functional materials include all classes of materials from organic and inorganic molecules, polymers, composites, ceramic, metals, and so on. The development of sustainable technologies relies on the performance of these advanced materials.

Researchers are encouraged to submit their latest findings and results as full lengths articles or reviews. Targeted topics include but are not limited to the design and synthesis of new materials, their morpho-structural and functional (physico-chemical, optical, magnetic, or biological) characterization and/or their application in optoelectronics, sensing, imaging, medicine, and environmental friendly technologies. This issue also features articles relating to biomedical applications.

Dr. Elisabeta Szerb
Dr. Cseh Liliana
Prof. Dr. Manea Florica
Dr. Tudose Ramona
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Stimuli-responsive materials
  • Porous and composite materials
  • Supramolecular and self-assembled structures
  • Nanomaterials and nanostructures
  • Molecular modeling
  • Chemical, electrochemical, and biological sensors
  • Imaging
  • Clean technologies, biotechnologiesm and environmental protection
  • Tumor cells, systemic reactivity, hip biomecanics, anticoagulants, dental biomaterials, tissue microdyalisis

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Article
Adsorption of Anionic Dyes from Wastewater onto Magnetic Nanocomposite Powders Synthesized by Combustion Method
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(19), 9236; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11199236 - 04 Oct 2021
Viewed by 479
Abstract
In the present study, new magnetic nanocomposites were successfully prepared by combustion method, characterized by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, magnetic measurements, N2 adsorption–desorption thermal analysis, and scanning electron microscopy, and tested as adsorbents for the removal of anionic dyes (Acid [...] Read more.
In the present study, new magnetic nanocomposites were successfully prepared by combustion method, characterized by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, magnetic measurements, N2 adsorption–desorption thermal analysis, and scanning electron microscopy, and tested as adsorbents for the removal of anionic dyes (Acid Yellow 42 and Acid Red 213) from aqueous solutions. The influence of process variables solution pH, adsorbent dose, initial dye concentration and temperature on the adsorption was evaluated. The best kinetic model that fitted with experimental data was a pseudo-second order model, and the equilibrium data were correlated by Langmuir isotherm model for the investigated dyes. Maximum removal efficiencies of 98.54% and 97.58% was obtained for Acid Yellow 42 and Acid Red 213, respectively, indicating the superior adsorption capacity of the new synthesized magnetic nanocomposites. The thermodynamic parameters indicated the spontaneous and endothermic nature of the adsorption process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Functional and Multifunctional Advanced Materials)
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Article
Innovative Biotechnology for Generation of Cardiac Tissue
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 5603; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11125603 - 17 Jun 2021
Viewed by 475
Abstract
Heart transplantation remains the only curative treatment for end-stage heart failure. This life-saving option continues to be limited by the low number of organ donors, graft rejection and adverse effects of immunosuppressants. Engineering bioartificial hearts from acellular native-derived scaffolds and stem cells has [...] Read more.
Heart transplantation remains the only curative treatment for end-stage heart failure. This life-saving option continues to be limited by the low number of organ donors, graft rejection and adverse effects of immunosuppressants. Engineering bioartificial hearts from acellular native-derived scaffolds and stem cells has gained attention because of its potential to overcome these limitations. In this study, rat hearts (n = 20) were decellularized by means of coronary perfusion with 1% sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) in a modified Langendorff device. The electrical field behavior of the SDS molecule was studied and it was assumed that when applying an alternating current, the exposure time of the tissue to the detergent might decrease. To repopulate the decellularized extracellular matrix (ECM), human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) were used, induced to differentiate into cardiomyocytes (CMs) with 5-azacytidine (5-aza). The results showed no cellular debris and an intact ECM following decellularization. Decellularization in the presence of an electric field proved to be faster, decreasing the potential risk of ECM damage due to the detergent. After cell seeding and culturing of eight scaffolds with hMSCs, the recellularization process was analyzed using optic microscopy (OM), which showed cells suggestive for CMs. This study presents a novel and efficient decellularization protocol using an electric field and suggests that hMSCs can be useful in the generation of a bioartificial heart. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Functional and Multifunctional Advanced Materials)
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Article
The Short-Term Outcomes of Multiwave Locked System (MLS) Laser Therapy versus a Combination of Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation and Ultrasound Treatment for Subacromial Pain Syndrome
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 2273; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11052273 - 04 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1034
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to compare the short-term outcomes of the Multiwave Locked System (MLS) laser therapy versus the combined Transcutaneous nerve stimulation (TENS) and ultrasound therapy in the treatment of the subacromial pain syndrome (SAPS). Forty-seven patients with SAPS were [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to compare the short-term outcomes of the Multiwave Locked System (MLS) laser therapy versus the combined Transcutaneous nerve stimulation (TENS) and ultrasound therapy in the treatment of the subacromial pain syndrome (SAPS). Forty-seven patients with SAPS were included in the study. Two different rehabilitation protocols were tested: Group 1 (n = 22)–MLS laser therapy and physical exercises and Group 2 (n = 25)–TENS, ultrasound and physical exercises. The analyzed outcomes were levels of pain, functionality and disability, assessed with visual analog scale (VAS), Constant Shoulder Score (CSS) and the Shoulder Pain and Disability Index (SPADI). The post-treatment evaluations showed significantly better scores in Group 1 patients for VAS score (p = 0.03) and SPADI (p = 0.04). Significant improvement was seen in both groups for all scores. Both treatment regimens showed to be efficient in the treatment of SAPS, improving functionality and reducing pain and disability in the short term. Multiwave Locked System laser therapy in conjunction with physical exercise therapy exercises may have advantages over TENS, ultrasound and physical exercise therapy in the treatment of subacromial pain syndrome. Future studies assessing both short- and long-term outcomes in patients with SAPS treated with different electrotherapy procedures added to the physical therapy are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Functional and Multifunctional Advanced Materials)
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Article
Influence of Internal Structure of the Sorbents on Diazepam Sorption from Simulated Intestinal Fluid
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(3), 1158; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11031158 - 27 Jan 2021
Viewed by 414
Abstract
The capacity of natural Na-montmorillonite and activated charcoal for sorption of diazepam from simulated intestinal fluid (SIF) was studied. The main characteristics of the sorbents were determined. In order to characterize the sorption process of diazepam the influence of the pH, contact time [...] Read more.
The capacity of natural Na-montmorillonite and activated charcoal for sorption of diazepam from simulated intestinal fluid (SIF) was studied. The main characteristics of the sorbents were determined. In order to characterize the sorption process of diazepam the influence of the pH, contact time and ethanol presence in SIF was analyzed. Adsorption isotherms for the diazepam-activated charcoal and diazepam-natural Na-montmorillonite systems were determined. The Langmuir isotherm model provided a very good description of diazepam sorption. Furthermore, the pH-drift method was used to determine the specific pH at zero point of charge (pHzpc) of the sorbents. The obtained results show that the internal structure of the sorbents and pH of the SIF solutions are very important for diazepam sorption. Both the surface of the activated charcoal and natural Na-montmorillonite are positively charged below the pHzpc so the sorption of diazepam is higher below this point and occur by van der Waals forces. The presence of ethanol in simulated intestinal fluid lowers the adsorption of diazepam on both sorbents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Functional and Multifunctional Advanced Materials)
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Article
Effectiveness of Psychostimulant and Non-Psychostimulant Drug Therapy in the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(2), 502; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11020502 - 06 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 655
Abstract
Attention Deficit Hyperkinetic Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological behavioral disorder of the child, adolescent, and adult characterized by problems of concentration, hyperactivity, and impulsivity caused by an imbalance of chemical neurotransmitters in the brain—dopamine and noradrenaline. ADHD first-line drugs are divided in psychostimulant, [...] Read more.
Attention Deficit Hyperkinetic Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological behavioral disorder of the child, adolescent, and adult characterized by problems of concentration, hyperactivity, and impulsivity caused by an imbalance of chemical neurotransmitters in the brain—dopamine and noradrenaline. ADHD first-line drugs are divided in psychostimulant, as Methylphenidate and Amphetamines and non-psychostimulant medications-Atomoxetine (the only representative non-psychostimulant medication approved in our country in children and adolescents). The purpose of our research was to assess the clinical evolution of patients with ADHD based on the drug treatment that is administered: psychostimulant or non-psychostimulant. Both psychostimulant—Methylphenidate, and non-psychostimulant therapy—Atomoxetine, proved to significantly improve the symptoms of attention deficit hyperkinetic disorder. There was a significant reduction in the severity of ADHD symptoms at six months and at one year from the start of treatment in the case of the psychostimulant group, whereas in the non-psychostimulant group, the significant reduction in severity of symptomatology occurs only at six months after the start of treatment. We can conclude that both types of drugs are effective in reducing the severity of symptoms and in improving the clinical condition of patients with ADHD, but the comparative analysis of the two groups demonstrated that significantly better results are obtained with psychostimulant treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Functional and Multifunctional Advanced Materials)
Article
Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors and Anticoagulants Delay Surgery for Hip Fractures
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(23), 8617; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10238617 - 02 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 510
Abstract
Background: we aimed to analyze the influence of antithrombotic medication in delaying surgery for fragility hip fractures; Method: a total of 312 consecutive hip fracture cases over 55 years who underwent surgery in our Orthopedic Clinic; Results: of these, 90 patients received chronic [...] Read more.
Background: we aimed to analyze the influence of antithrombotic medication in delaying surgery for fragility hip fractures; Method: a total of 312 consecutive hip fracture cases over 55 years who underwent surgery in our Orthopedic Clinic; Results: of these, 90 patients received chronic antithrombotic medication. There were no differences between the medicated group and controls (n = 222) regarding age, gender, type of fracture and haemoglobin at admittance. However, median time to surgery was significantly longer in the medicated group: 4(3–6) days compared to 2(1–4) (p < 0.0001). By type of medication, time to surgery was: 3(1–4) days for acetylsalicylic acid (n = 44), 6(5.25–7.75) days for clopidogrel (n = 15), 4.5(4–7) days for acenocoumarin (n = 18) and 5(4–7.25) days for novel direct oral anticoagulants (n = 13). The Charlson comorbidity index was significantly higher in the medicated group: 5 [4–5] versus 4 [3–5]. There were no differences in transfusions except for fresh frozen plasma, which was administered more in the medicated patients; Conclusions: the prevalence of platelet aggregation inhibitors and anticoagulant use among fragility hip fracture patients is high, with almost a third using some form of antithrombotic medication. This may significantly lengthen time to surgery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Functional and Multifunctional Advanced Materials)
Article
Photodegradation of Phenolic Compounds from Water in the Presence of a Pd-Containing Exhausted Adsorbent
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(23), 8440; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10238440 - 26 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 537
Abstract
A closed-cycle technology regarding the use of an exhausted Pd-based adsorbent as a photocatalyst in the degradation process of phenol is presented. Pd (II) represents a precious metal of great economic importance. Its obtained from natural sources become more difficult to achieve. Therefore, [...] Read more.
A closed-cycle technology regarding the use of an exhausted Pd-based adsorbent as a photocatalyst in the degradation process of phenol is presented. Pd (II) represents a precious metal of great economic importance. Its obtained from natural sources become more difficult to achieve. Therefore, also considering the regulations of the “circular economy,” its recovery from secondary sources turn out to be a stringent issue in the last years. Pd(II) ions are removed from aqueous solution through adsorption onto Florisil (an inorganic solid support—magnesium silicate) impregnated with Cyphos IL 101 (trihexyl tetradecyl phosphonium chloride). It was observed that the presence of the ionic liquid (IL) in the adsorbent structure doubles the adsorption efficiency of the studied materials. The newly obtained Pd-based photocatalyst was exhaustively characterized and was used in the degradation process of phenol from aqueous solutions. The phenol degradation process was studied in terms of the nature of the photocatalyst used, time of photodegradation and solid: liquid ratio. It was observed that both the presence of IL and Pd lead to an increase in the efficiency of the phenol degradation process. The new Pd-based photocatalyst could be efficiently used in more cycles of phenol photodegradation processes. When is used as a photocatalyst the Florisil impregnated with IL and loaded with 2 mg/g of Pd, a degree of mineralization of 93.75% is obtained after 180 min of irradiation of a phenol solution having a concentration of 20 mg/L and using a solid:liquid ratio = 1:1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Functional and Multifunctional Advanced Materials)
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Article
Highly Sensitive Non-Enzymatic Detection of Glucose at MWCNT-CuBTC Composite Electrode
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(23), 8419; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10238419 - 26 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 608
Abstract
A novel electrochemical glucose sensor was developed, based on a multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs)-copper-1,3,5-benzenetricarboxylic acid (CuBTC)-epoxy composite electrode, named MWCNT-CuBTC. The electrode nanocomposite was prepared by a two-roll mill procedure and characterized morphostructurally by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The CuBTC formed defined crystals [...] Read more.
A novel electrochemical glucose sensor was developed, based on a multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs)-copper-1,3,5-benzenetricarboxylic acid (CuBTC)-epoxy composite electrode, named MWCNT-CuBTC. The electrode nanocomposite was prepared by a two-roll mill procedure and characterized morphostructurally by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The CuBTC formed defined crystals with a wide size distribution, which were well dispersed and embedded in the MWCNTs. Its electrical conductivity was determined by four-point probe contact (DC) conductivity measurements. The electroactive surface area, determined using cyclic voltammetry (CV), was found to be 6.9 times higher than the geometrical one. The results of the electrochemical measurements using CV, linear sweep voltammetry (LSV), differential pulse voltammetry (DPV), chronoamperometry (CA) and multiple pulse amperometry (MPA) showed that the MWCNT-CuBTC composite electrode displayed high electrocatalytic activity toward the oxidation of glucose and, as a consequence, very high sensitivity. The best sensitivity of 14,949 µAmM−1cm−1 was reached using MPA at the potential value of 0.6 V/SCE, which was much higher in comparison with other copper-based electrodes reported in the literature. The good analytical performance, low cost and simple preparation method make this novel electrode material promising for the development of an effective glucose sensor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Functional and Multifunctional Advanced Materials)
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Article
Association of Neutrophil to Lymphocyte Ratio with Patient Reported Outcomes in Knee Osteoarthritis
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(22), 8173; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10228173 - 18 Nov 2020
Viewed by 529
Abstract
Background: Determining the association of neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and clinical disease severity in patients with mild and advanced stage knee osteoarthritis (OA).Method: We analyzed clinical scores and routine hematology panels of 111 subjects with symptomatic knee degeneration: mild OA (66) who [...] Read more.
Background: Determining the association of neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and clinical disease severity in patients with mild and advanced stage knee osteoarthritis (OA).Method: We analyzed clinical scores and routine hematology panels of 111 subjects with symptomatic knee degeneration: mild OA (66) who underwent knee arthroscopy and advanced OA (45) who had total replacement. Results: Compared to the advanced OA group, the mild OA group was younger (54/67), had fewer females (1.75/5.43), and better scores: Euroqol EQ5D Index (0.50/0.25), VAS (visual analog scale) (65/44); International knee documentation committee subjective knee evaluation form—IKDC (31.6/20.24); Knee disability and osteoarthritis outcome score for joint replacement—KOOSJR (15.5/18.3); and better Kellgren–Lawrence stage (1.3/3.8). Patients with advanced disease had higher NLRs compared to mild OA group and controls: 2.82 versus 1.99 (p = 0.004) and 1.98 (p = 0.002). In the multiple regression model, NLR was only influenced by age (p < 0.001). In the subgroup analysis, for the early OA cases, NLR was significantly dependent to VAS (p = 0.006), IKDC (p = 0.001) and KOOSJR (p < 0.001). Conclusion: NLR was not associated with symptomatic knee OA, as determined by commonly used patient reported outcomes. However, for patients with mild degenerative modifications, EQ5D, VAS, and IKDC were independent predictors of NLR. Full article
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Case Report
Skin-Reducing Mastectomy and Immediate Reconstruction for a Large Recurrent Borderline Phyllodes Tumor
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(3), 1224; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11031224 - 29 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 454
Abstract
Background: Large recurrent phyllodes breast tumors are often malignant. Therefore, when taking the surgical decision, a simple mastectomy and immediate reconstruction must be considered. Case presentation: The patient, aged 40 years, with a benign phyllodes tumor in the left breast, having a recurrence [...] Read more.
Background: Large recurrent phyllodes breast tumors are often malignant. Therefore, when taking the surgical decision, a simple mastectomy and immediate reconstruction must be considered. Case presentation: The patient, aged 40 years, with a benign phyllodes tumor in the left breast, having a recurrence 2 years after, with 4–7 cm conglomerate tumor masses, was subjected to skin-reducing mastectomy, breast reconstruction with a silicone mammary implant in the left breast, and symmetrization of the right breast. Discussion and conclusions: In the case of patients with breast hypertrophy and gigantomastia (cup size D–F), skin-reducing mastectomy and immediate reconstruction with an implant can be the option. It is important for the resection specimen to include the skin tissue above the tumor. After 14 months of follow-up, there was no recurrence of the lesions on a clinical examination, ultrasonography, or MRI. Full article
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