Special Issue "Biodegradable Polyesters: From Synthesis to Application"

A special issue of Biomolecules (ISSN 2218-273X). This special issue belongs to the section "Biological Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Grażyna Adamus
Website
Guest Editor
Centre of Polymer and Carbon Materials, Polish Academy of Sciences, M. Curie-Skłodowskiej 34, 41-819 Zabrze, Poland
Interests: polymers from renewable resources; synthesis of functional polymers; structure–property relationships; novel polymeric materials of controlled biodegradability; application of mass spectrometry techniques to the structural study of synthetic polymers at the molecular level
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Marek M. Kowalczuk
Website
Guest Editor
1. Centre of Polymer and Carbon Materials, Polish Academy of Sciences, Zabrze, Poland
2. School of Biology, Chemistry and Forensic Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK
Interests: biocompatible and biodegradable polymer systems; polymer mass spectrometry; bioactive oligomers; controlled drug delivery systems; ring-opening polymerization; forensic engineering of advanced polymeric materials
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The interest in biodegradable polyesters has increased immeasurably during recent years. There are at least two reasons for this. The first one is related to the steadily increasing adverse environmental impacts of synthetic, petroleum-based polymers, and the second one to the unique opportunities for application of biodegradable polyesters in medicine, arising from their biodegradability and biocompatibility. Moreover, a methodology of forensic engineering of advanced polymeric materials is currently being developed in the area of biodegradable polyesters.

This Special Issue is dedicated to comprehensive studies on the synthesis, properties, characterization, and applications of this eco-friendly class of polymers.

Reviews, full papers, and short communications highlighting different aspects of the current trends in the area of biodegradable polyesters are welcome.

Prof. Grażyna Adamus
Prof. Marek M. Kowalczuk
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. Biomolecules is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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.

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Optimization of Polyhydroxybutyrate Production by Amazonian Microalga Stigeoclonium sp. B23
Biomolecules 2020, 10(12), 1628; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10121628 - 03 Dec 2020
Abstract
The present work established the optimization and production of biodegradable thermoplastic polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) from Amazonian microalga Stigeoclonium sp. B23. The optimization was performed in eight different growth media conditions of Stigeoclonium sp. B23, supplemented with sodium acetate and sodium bicarbonate and total deprivation [...] Read more.
The present work established the optimization and production of biodegradable thermoplastic polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) from Amazonian microalga Stigeoclonium sp. B23. The optimization was performed in eight different growth media conditions of Stigeoclonium sp. B23, supplemented with sodium acetate and sodium bicarbonate and total deprivation of sodium nitrate. B23 was stained with Nile Red, and PHB was extracted and quantified by correlating the amount of fluorescence and biopolymer concentration through spectrofluorimetry and spectrophotometry, respectively. Our results detected the production of PHB in Stigeoclonium sp. B23 and in all modified media. Treatment with increased acetate and bicarbonate and without nitrate gave the highest concentration of PHB, while the treatment with only acetate gave the lowest among supplemented media. Our results showed a great potential of Stigeoclonium sp. B23, the first Amazonian microalga reported on PHB production. The microalga was isolated from a poorly explored and investigated region and proved to be productive when compared to other cyanobacterial and bacterial species. Additionally, microalga biomass changes due to the nutritional conditions and, reversely, biopolymer is well-synthetized. This great potential could lead to the pursuit of new Amazonian microalgae species in the search for alternative polyesters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Polyesters: From Synthesis to Application)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Elastomeric Electrospun Scaffolds of a Biodegradable Aliphatic Copolyester Containing PEG-Like Sequences for Dynamic Culture of Human Endothelial Cells
Biomolecules 2020, 10(12), 1620; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10121620 - 30 Nov 2020
Abstract
In the field of artificial prostheses for damaged vessel replacement, polymeric scaffolds showing the right combination of mechanical performance, biocompatibility, and biodegradability are still demanded. In the present work, poly(butylene-co-triethylene trans-1,4-cyclohexanedicarboxylate), a biodegradable random aliphatic copolyester, has been synthesized and electrospun in [...] Read more.
In the field of artificial prostheses for damaged vessel replacement, polymeric scaffolds showing the right combination of mechanical performance, biocompatibility, and biodegradability are still demanded. In the present work, poly(butylene-co-triethylene trans-1,4-cyclohexanedicarboxylate), a biodegradable random aliphatic copolyester, has been synthesized and electrospun in form of aligned and random fibers properly designed for vascular applications. The obtained materials were analyzed through tensile and dynamic-mechanical tests, the latter performed under conditions simulating the mechanical contraction of vascular tissue. Furthermore, the in vitro biological characterization, in terms of hemocompatibility and cytocompatibility in static and dynamic conditions, was also carried out. The mechanical properties of the investigated scaffolds fit within the range of physiological properties for medium- and small-caliber blood vessels, and the aligned scaffolds displayed a strain-stiffening behavior typical of the blood vessels. Furthermore, all the produced scaffolds showed constant storage and loss moduli in the investigated timeframe (24 h), demonstrating the stability of the scaffolds under the applied conditions of mechanical deformation. The biological characterization highlighted that the mats showed high hemocompatibility and low probability of thrombus formation; finally, the cytocompatibility tests demonstrated that cyclic stretch of electrospun fibers increased endothelial cell activity and proliferation, in particular on aligned scaffolds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Polyesters: From Synthesis to Application)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Dual-Functioning Antibacterial Eugenol-Derived Plasticizers for Polylactide
Biomolecules 2020, 10(7), 1077; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10071077 - 20 Jul 2020
Abstract
Dual-functioning additives with plasticizing and antibacterial functions were designed by exploiting the natural aromatic compound eugenol and green platform chemical levulinic acid or valeric acid that can be produced from biobased resources. One-pot synthesis methodology was utilized to create three ester-rich plasticizers. The [...] Read more.
Dual-functioning additives with plasticizing and antibacterial functions were designed by exploiting the natural aromatic compound eugenol and green platform chemical levulinic acid or valeric acid that can be produced from biobased resources. One-pot synthesis methodology was utilized to create three ester-rich plasticizers. The plasticizers were thoroughly characterized by several nuclear magnetic resonance techniques (1H NMR, 13C NMR, 31P NMR, HSQC, COSY, HMBC) and by electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) and their performances, as plasticizers for polylactide (PLA), were evaluated. The eugenyl valerate was equipped with a strong capability to depress the glass transition temperature (Tg) of PLA. Incorporating 30 wt% plasticizer led to a reduction of the Tg by 43 °C. This was also reflected by a remarkable change in mechanical properties, illustrated by a strain at break of 560%, almost 110 times the strain for the breaking of neat PLA. The two eugenyl levulinates also led to PLA with significantly increased strain at breaking. The eugenyl levulinates portrayed higher thermal stabilities than eugenyl valerate, both neat and in PLA blends. The different concentrations of phenol, carboxyl and alcohol functional groups in the three plasticizers caused different bactericidal activities. The eugenyl levulinate with the highest phenol-, carboxyl- and alcohol group content significantly inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, while the other two plasticizers could only inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus. Thus, the utilization of eugenol as a building block in plasticizer design for PLA illustrated an interesting potential for production of additives with dual functions, being both plasticizers and antibacterial agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Polyesters: From Synthesis to Application)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Biodegradable Flame Retardants for Biodegradable Polymer
Biomolecules 2020, 10(7), 1038; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10071038 - 11 Jul 2020
Abstract
To improve sustainability of polymers and to reduce carbon footprint, polymers from renewable resources are given significant attention due to the developing concern over environmental protection. The renewable materials are progressively used in many technical applications instead of short-term-use products. However, among other [...] Read more.
To improve sustainability of polymers and to reduce carbon footprint, polymers from renewable resources are given significant attention due to the developing concern over environmental protection. The renewable materials are progressively used in many technical applications instead of short-term-use products. However, among other applications, the flame retardancy of such polymers needs to be improved for technical applications due to potential fire risk and their involvement in our daily life. To overcome this potential risk, various flame retardants (FRs) compounds based on conventional and non-conventional approaches such as inorganic FRs, nitrogen-based FRs, halogenated FRs and nanofillers were synthesized. However, most of the conventional FRs are non-biodegradable and if disposed in the landfill, microorganisms in the soil or water cannot degrade them. Hence, they remain in the environment for long time and may find their way not only in the food chain but can also easily attach to any airborne particle and can travel distances and may end up in freshwater, food products, ecosystems, or even can be inhaled if they are present in the air. Furthermore, it is not a good choice to use non-biodegradable FRs in biodegradable polymers such as polylactic acid (PLA). Therefore, the goal of this review paper is to promote the use of biodegradable and bio-based compounds for flame retardants used in polymeric materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Polyesters: From Synthesis to Application)
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