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Applications of Novel Biodegradable Polymeric Materials

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Advanced Composites".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2021) | Viewed by 28726

Special Issue Editors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Commonly used traditional polymeric materials have many advantages, although their resistance to biological agents causes a negative impact on the environment. Therefore, the use of (bio)degradable polymers with a minimal carbon footprint should become widespread due to the growing interest in sustainability, organic recycling, environmental issues and healthcare. From the sustainability perspective, (bio)degradable polymers represent an interesting and fairly versatile alternative to conventional polymers. There is also increasing demand for (bio)degradable polymers that have been designed as materials for multi-faceted applications with a specific lifetime. Currently, there are challenges related to the design of materials that are stable in use, and at the same time susceptible to microbial attack during organic recycling. Materials intended for specific applications must not only perform specific functions but must also meet acceptable standards of safety during use and exhibit both chemical and physical stability.

Various natural, bio-based and synthetic biodegradable polymers are used in many fields. Although consumers are changing their behavior and increasingly expect ecoproducts, the broad introduction of biodegradable polymeric materials to the market must be preceded by a number of other changes, such as improving composting infrastructure, the development of new technology, financial capacity, as well as bioplastics and biodegradable polymer-related policies. Nevertheless, in the coming years an increase of biodegradable polymer applications can be expected, as the development of new possibilities in different areas predicts an increase in the market for biobased materials, such as natural fillers, whose addition to compositions with biodegradable polymers is intended to improve the properties of the materials, as well as reduce prices.

In this Special Issue, we aim to present a contemporary overview of recent developments in the field of biodegradable polymer or composites applications. Reviews, full papers, and short communications covering aspects of the current trends in the expansion of polymeric material applications are all welcome.

Dr. Joanna Rydz
Dr. Marta Musioł
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 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

  • commercial applications: concepts, methodologies and tools
  • current barriers and future needs of environmentally-friendly (bio)degradable polymer applications
  • applications in the medical, pharmaceutical, dental, packaging, food-service, agricultural, horticultural, aeronautical, automotive, transportation, building, construction, consumer goods, electric and electronic sectors
  • biocomposites for high-performance applications
  • short- and long-term applications
  • application of 3D printing for personalized consumer products
  • evaluation of (bio)degradable polymer for specific applications

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 187 KiB  
Editorial
Applications of Novel Biodegradable Polymeric Materials
by Joanna Rydz and Marta Musioł
Materials 2022, 15(23), 8411; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15238411 - 25 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1236
Abstract
Commonly used traditional polymeric materials have many advantages, although their resistance to biological agents causes a negative impact on the environment [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Novel Biodegradable Polymeric Materials)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

10 pages, 2232 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Polymer Composition on the Hydrolytic and Enzymatic Degradation of Polyesters and Their Block Copolymers with PDMAEMA
by Maria Kupczak, Anna Mielańczyk and Dorota Neugebauer
Materials 2021, 14(13), 3636; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14133636 - 29 Jun 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2220
Abstract
Well-defined, semi-degradable polyester/polymethacrylate block copolymers, based on ε-caprolactone (CL), d,l-lactide (DLLA), glycolide (GA) and N,N′-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA), were synthesized by ring-opening polymerization (ROP) and atom transfer radical polymerization. Comprehensive degradation studies of poly(ε-caprolactone)-block-poly(N, [...] Read more.
Well-defined, semi-degradable polyester/polymethacrylate block copolymers, based on ε-caprolactone (CL), d,l-lactide (DLLA), glycolide (GA) and N,N′-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA), were synthesized by ring-opening polymerization (ROP) and atom transfer radical polymerization. Comprehensive degradation studies of poly(ε-caprolactone)-block-poly(N,N′-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) (PCL-b-PDMAEMA) on hydrolytic degradation and enzymatic degradation were performed, and those results were compared with the corresponding aliphatic polyester (PCL). The solution pH did not affect the hydrolytic degradation rate of PCL (a 3% Mn loss after six weeks). The presence of a PDMAEMA component in the copolymer chain increased the hydrolysis rates and depended on the solution pH, as PCL-b-PDMAEMA degraded faster in an acidic environment (36% Mn loss determined) than in a slightly alkaline environment (27% Mn loss). Enzymatic degradation of PCL-b-PDMAEMA, poly(d,l-lactide)-block-poly(N,N′-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) (PLA-b-PDMAEMA) and poly(lactide-co-glycolide-co-ε-caprolactone)-block-poly(N,N′-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) (PLGC-b-PDMAEMA) and the corresponding aliphatic polyesters (PCL, PLA and PLGC) was performed by Novozyme 435. In enzymatic degradation, PLGC degraded almost completely after eleven days. For polyester-b-PDMAEMA copolymers, enzymatic degradation primarily involved the ester bonds in PDMAEMA side chains, and the rate of polyester degradation decreased with the increase in the chain length of PDMAEMA. Amphiphilic copolymers might be used for biomaterials with long-term or midterm applications such as nanoscale drug delivery systems with tunable degradation kinetics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Novel Biodegradable Polymeric Materials)
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14 pages, 3478 KiB  
Article
Diclofenac Embedded in Silk Fibroin Fibers as a Drug Delivery System
by Alena Opálková Šišková, Erika Kozma, Andrej Opálek, Zuzana Kroneková, Angela Kleinová, Štefan Nagy, Juraj Kronek, Joanna Rydz and Anita Eckstein Andicsová
Materials 2020, 13(16), 3580; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13163580 - 13 Aug 2020
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2660
Abstract
Silk fibroin is a biocompatible, non-toxic, mechanically robust protein, and it is commonly used and studied as a material for biomedical applications. Silk fibroin also gained particular interest as a drug carrier vehicle, and numerous silk formats have been investigated for this purpose. [...] Read more.
Silk fibroin is a biocompatible, non-toxic, mechanically robust protein, and it is commonly used and studied as a material for biomedical applications. Silk fibroin also gained particular interest as a drug carrier vehicle, and numerous silk formats have been investigated for this purpose. Herein, we have prepared electrospun nanofibers from pure silk fibroin and blended silk fibroin/casein, followed by the incorporation of an anti-inflammatory drug, diclofenac. Casein serves as an excipient in pharmaceutical products and has a positive effect on the gradual release of drugs. The characteristics of the investigated composites were estimated by scanning electron microscope, transmission electron microscope, thermogravimetric analysis, and a lifetime of diclofenac by electron paramagnetic resonance analysis. The cumulative release in vitro of diclofenac sodium salt, together with the antiproliferative effect of diclofenac sodium salt-loaded silk nanofibers against the growth of two cancer cell lines, are presented and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Novel Biodegradable Polymeric Materials)
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24 pages, 14667 KiB  
Article
PLAGA-PEG-PLAGA Terpolymer-Based Carriers of Herbicides for Potential Application in Environment-Friendly, Controlled Release Systems of Agrochemicals
by Kamila Lewicka, Piotr Dobrzynski and Piotr Rychter
Materials 2020, 13(12), 2778; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13122778 - 19 Jun 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2585
Abstract
The present study aimed to develop and prepare new polymer/herbicide formulations for their potential application in environment-friendly, controlled release systems of agrochemicals. Selected biodegradable polymers, including L-Lactide/Glycolide/PEG/Terpolymer (PLAGA-PEG-PLAGA) as well as oligosaccharide-based polymers and their blend with terpolymer, were used to prepare microspheres [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to develop and prepare new polymer/herbicide formulations for their potential application in environment-friendly, controlled release systems of agrochemicals. Selected biodegradable polymers, including L-Lactide/Glycolide/PEG/Terpolymer (PLAGA-PEG-PLAGA) as well as oligosaccharide-based polymers and their blend with terpolymer, were used to prepare microspheres loaded with two soil-applied herbicides. The degradation process of the obtained polymeric microspheres was evaluated based on (1) their weight loss and surface erosion and (2) the release rate of loaded metazachlor and pendimethalin. The herbicidal effectiveness of the herbicides released to the soil from microspheres was evaluated using the European Weed Research Council (EWRC) rating scale. Moreover, the ecotoxicological effect of herbicide-loaded microspheres buried in soil on the marine bacterial species A. fischeri was assessed. It was found that the gradual degradation rate of microparticles led to the prolonged release of both herbicides that lasted for a few months, i.e., for the entire crop season, which is crucial in terms of agrochemical and environmental protection. Maltodextrin- and dextrin-based microspheres showed higher susceptibility to degradation than terpolymer-based microspheres. The microencapsulation of herbicides protected them from decomposition and excessive leaching into soil and maintained their activity for a longer period than that for non-immobilized herbicides. The ecotoxicological assessment on A. fischeri demonstrated that the proposed microsphere-encapsulated herbicides were less toxic than non-immobilized herbicides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Novel Biodegradable Polymeric Materials)
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16 pages, 4725 KiB  
Article
(Bio)Degradable Polymeric Materials for Sustainable Future—Part 3: Degradation Studies of the PHA/Wood Flour-Based Composites and Preliminary Tests of Antimicrobial Activity
by Marta Musioł, Sebastian Jurczyk, Michał Sobota, Magdalena Klim, Wanda Sikorska, Magdalena Zięba, Henryk Janeczek, Joanna Rydz, Piotr Kurcok, Brian Johnston and Izabela Radecka
Materials 2020, 13(9), 2200; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13092200 - 11 May 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3899
Abstract
The need for a cost reduction of the materials derived from (bio)degradable polymers forces research development into the formation of biocomposites with cheaper fillers. As additives can be made using the post-consumer wood, generated during wood products processing, re-use of recycled waste materials [...] Read more.
The need for a cost reduction of the materials derived from (bio)degradable polymers forces research development into the formation of biocomposites with cheaper fillers. As additives can be made using the post-consumer wood, generated during wood products processing, re-use of recycled waste materials in the production of biocomposites can be an environmentally friendly way to minimalize and/or utilize the amount of the solid waste. Also, bioactive materials, which possess small amounts of antimicrobial additives belong to a very attractive packaging industry solution. This paper presents a study into the biodegradation, under laboratory composting conditions, of the composites that consist of poly[(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate-co-4-hydroxybutyrate)] and wood flour as a polymer matrix and natural filler, respectively. Thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry and scanning electron microscopy were used to evaluate the degradation progress of the obtained composites with different amounts of wood flour. The degradation products were characterized by multistage electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Also, preliminary tests of the antimicrobial activity of selected materials with the addition of nisin were performed. The obtained results suggest that the different amount of filler has a significant influence on the degradation profile. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Novel Biodegradable Polymeric Materials)
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13 pages, 4448 KiB  
Article
Investigation of the Influence of PLA Molecular and Supramolecular Structure on the Kinetics of Thermal-Supported Hydrolytic Degradation of Wet Spinning Fibres
by Małgorzata Giełdowska, Michał Puchalski, Grzegorz Szparaga and Izabella Krucińska
Materials 2020, 13(9), 2111; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13092111 - 2 May 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3032
Abstract
In this study, differences in the kinetics of the thermal-supported hydrolytic degradation of polylactide (PLA) wet spinning fibres due to material variance in the initial molecular and supramolecular structure were analysed. The investigation was carried out at the microstructural and molecular levels by [...] Read more.
In this study, differences in the kinetics of the thermal-supported hydrolytic degradation of polylactide (PLA) wet spinning fibres due to material variance in the initial molecular and supramolecular structure were analysed. The investigation was carried out at the microstructural and molecular levels by using readily available methods such as scanning electron microscopy, mass erosion measurement and estimation of intrinsic viscosity. The results show a varying degree of influence of the initial structure on the degradation rate of the studied PLA fibres. The experiment shows that hydrolytic degradation at a temperature close to the cold crystallization temperature is, on a macroscopic level, definitely more rapid for the amorphous material, while on a molecular scale it is similar to a semi-crystalline material. Furthermore, for the adopted degradation temperature of 90 °C, a marginal influence of the pH of the degradation medium on the degradation kinetics was also demonstrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Novel Biodegradable Polymeric Materials)
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16 pages, 3068 KiB  
Article
Three-Dimensional Printed PLA and PLA/PHA Dumbbell-Shaped Specimens: Material Defects and Their Impact on Degradation Behavior
by Joanna Rydz, Jakub Włodarczyk, Jennifer Gonzalez Ausejo, Marta Musioł, Wanda Sikorska, Michał Sobota, Anna Hercog, Khadar Duale and Henryk Janeczek
Materials 2020, 13(8), 2005; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13082005 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4503
Abstract
The use of (bio)degradable polymers, especially in medical applications, requires a proper understanding of their properties and behavior in various environments. Structural elements made of such polymers may be exposed to changing environmental conditions, which may cause defects. That is why it is [...] Read more.
The use of (bio)degradable polymers, especially in medical applications, requires a proper understanding of their properties and behavior in various environments. Structural elements made of such polymers may be exposed to changing environmental conditions, which may cause defects. That is why it is so important to determine the effect of processing conditions on polymer properties and also their subsequent behavior during degradation. This paper presents original research on a specimen’s damage during 70 days of hydrolytic degradation. During a standard hydrolytic degradation study of polylactide and polylactide/polyhydroxyalkanoate dumbbell-shaped specimens obtained by 3D printing with two different processing build directions, exhibited unexpected shrinkage phenomena in the last degradation series, representing approximately 50% of the length of the specimens irrespective of the printing direction. Therefore, the continuation of previous ex-ante research of advanced polymer materials is presented to identify any possible defects before they arise and to minimize the potential failures of novel polymer products during their use and also during degradation. Studies on the impact of a specific processing method, i.e., processing parameters and conditions, on the properties expressed in molar mass and thermal properties changes of specimens obtained by three-dimensional printing from polyester-based filaments, and in particular on the occurrence of unexpected shrinkage phenomena after post-processing heat treatment, are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Novel Biodegradable Polymeric Materials)
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20 pages, 2979 KiB  
Article
Biodegradable Blends of Grafted Dextrin with PLGA-block-PEG Copolymer as a Carrier for Controlled Release of Herbicides into Soil
by Kamila Lewicka, Piotr Rychter, Małgorzata Pastusiak, Henryk Janeczek and Piotr Dobrzynski
Materials 2020, 13(4), 832; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13040832 - 12 Feb 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2859
Abstract
The presented work aimed to test influence of poly(L-lactide-co-glycolide)-block-poly (ethylene oxide) copolymer modification by blending with grafted dextrin or maltodextrin on the course of degradation in soil and the usefulness of such material as a matrix in the controlled release of [...] Read more.
The presented work aimed to test influence of poly(L-lactide-co-glycolide)-block-poly (ethylene oxide) copolymer modification by blending with grafted dextrin or maltodextrin on the course of degradation in soil and the usefulness of such material as a matrix in the controlled release of herbicides. The modification should be to obtain homogenous blends with better susceptibility to enzymatic degradation. Among all tested blends, which were proposed as a carrier for potential use in the controlled release of plant protection agents, PLGA-block-PEG copolymer blended with grafted dextrin yielded very promising results for their future applications, and what is very importantly proposed formulations provide herbicides in unchanged form into soil within few months of release. The modification PLAGA/PEG copolymer by blending with modificated dextrins affects the improvement of the release profile. The weekly release rates for both selected herbicides (metazachlor and pendimethalin) were constant for a period of 12 weeks. Enzymatic degradation of modified dextrin combined with leaching of the degradation products into medium caused significant erosion of the polymer matrix, thereby leading to acceleration of water diffusion into the polymer matrix and allowing for easier leaching of herbicides outside the matrix. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Novel Biodegradable Polymeric Materials)
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18 pages, 7001 KiB  
Article
Synthesis, Properties of Biodegradable Poly(Butylene Succinate-co-Butylene 2-Methylsuccinate) and Application for Sustainable Release
by Jiarui Han, Jiaxin Shi, Zhining Xie, Jun Xu and Baohua Guo
Materials 2019, 12(9), 1507; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12091507 - 9 May 2019
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 4722
Abstract
A novel biobased and biodegradable polyester, i.e., poly(butylene succinate-co-butylene 2-methylsuccinate) (P(BS-BMS)) was synthesized by succinic acid (SA), 2-methylsuccinic acid (MSA), and 1,4-butanediol (BDO) via a typically two-step esterification and polycondensation procedure. The chemical structure and macromolecular weight of obtained copolymers were [...] Read more.
A novel biobased and biodegradable polyester, i.e., poly(butylene succinate-co-butylene 2-methylsuccinate) (P(BS-BMS)) was synthesized by succinic acid (SA), 2-methylsuccinic acid (MSA), and 1,4-butanediol (BDO) via a typically two-step esterification and polycondensation procedure. The chemical structure and macromolecular weight of obtained copolymers were characterized by 1H NMR, 13C NMR, and GPC. The melting temperature and degree of crystallinity were also studied by DSC, and it was found that the values were gradually decreased with increasing of MSA content, while the thermal stability remained almost unchanged which was tested by TGA. In addition, the biodegradation rate of the P(BS-BMS) copolymers could be controlled by adjusting the ratio of SA and MSA, and such biodegradability could make P(BS-BMS) copolymers avoid microplastic pollution which may be brought to the environment for applications in agricultural field. When we applied P(BS-BMS) copolymers as pesticide carriers which were prepared by premix membrane emulsification (PME) method for controlling Avermectin delivery, an improvement of dispersion and utilization of active ingredient was obviously witnessed. It showed a burst release process first followed by a sustained release of Avermectin for a long period, which had a great potential to be an effective and environmental friendly pesticide-release vehicle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Novel Biodegradable Polymeric Materials)
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