Special Issue "Recent Developments in Biodegradable and Biobased Polymers"

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomacromolecules, Biobased and Biodegradable Polymers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 May 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Shinichi Sakurai
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Biobased Materials Science, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Kyoto, Japan
Interests: nanostructure analysis; small-angle X-ray scattering; block copolymer; polymer physics; polymer crystallization; pattern formation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biodegradable polymers are considered promising materials to solve the problem of microplastic pollution in marine environments. In addition, biobased polymers utilizing plants can be used to reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and can contribute to carbon neutralization. However, these polymers have some crucial drawbacks such as poor crystallizability and insufficient mechanical properties, compared to commodity polymers synthesized using monomers from fossil fuels.  Therefore, many research studies have been devoted to improving their crystallizability and mechanical properties. For crystallizability, the addition of a nucleation agent, diluent, or plasticizer has been reported. To ameliorate the mechanical properties, block copolymerization and polymer blending are main strategies, but it is important to use additives derived from natural sources and components of block copolymers or polymer blends that are biobased and/or biodegradable. In this context, new biobased monomers and synthetic routes of biobased polymers from such biobased monomers should be investigated. The biodegradable behaviors of such new biobased polymers should also be examined.  This Special Issue focuses on these topics, including biomedical applications and recent developments in biodegradable and biobased polymers.

Prof. Dr. Shinichi Sakurai
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. Polymers 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 2200 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

  • biobased monomer
  • synthesis
  • biodegradable behavior
  • mechanical property
  • crystallization
  • biobased additives
  • block copolymerization
  • polymer blending
  • biomedical application

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Degradability of Polyurethanes and Their Blends with Polylactide, Chitosan and Starch
Polymers 2021, 13(8), 1202; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13081202 - 08 Apr 2021
Viewed by 270
Abstract
One of the methods of making traditional polymers more environmentally friendly is to modify them with natural materials or their biodegradable, synthetic equivalents. It was assumed that blends with polylactide (PLA), polysaccharides: chitosan (Ch) and starch (St) of branched polyurethane (PUR) based on [...] Read more.
One of the methods of making traditional polymers more environmentally friendly is to modify them with natural materials or their biodegradable, synthetic equivalents. It was assumed that blends with polylactide (PLA), polysaccharides: chitosan (Ch) and starch (St) of branched polyurethane (PUR) based on synthetic poly([R,S]-3-hydroxybutyrate) (R,S-PHB) would degrade faster in the processes of hydrolysis and oxidation than pure PUR. For the sake of simplicity in the publication, all three modifiers: commercial PLA, Ch created by chemical modification of chitin and St are called bioadditives. The samples were incubated in a hydrolytic and oxidizing environment for 36 weeks and 11 weeks, respectively. The degradation process was assessed by observation of the chemical structure as well as the change in the mass of the samples, their molecular weight, surface morphology and thermal properties. It was found that the PUR samples with the highest amount of R,S-PHB and the lowest amount of polycaprolactone triol (PCLtriol) were degraded the most. Moreover, blending with St had the greatest impact on the susceptibility to degradation of PUR. However, the rate of weight loss of the samples was low, and after 36 weeks of incubation in the hydrolytic solution, it did not exceed 7% by weight. The weight loss of Ch and PLA blends was even smaller. However, a significant reduction in molecular weight, changes in morphology and changes in thermal properties indicated that the degradation of the samples should occur quickly after this time. Therefore, when using these polyurethanes and their blends, it should be taken into account that they should decompose slowly in their initial life. In summary, this process can be modified by changing the amount of R,S-PHB, the degree of cross-linking, and the type and amount of second blend component added (bioadditives). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Developments in Biodegradable and Biobased Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Fabrication and Properties of Electrospun Collagen Tubular Scaffold Crosslinked by Physical and Chemical Treatments
Polymers 2021, 13(5), 755; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13050755 - 28 Feb 2021
Viewed by 324
Abstract
Tissue engineered scaffold was regarded as a promising approach instead of the autograft. In this study, small diameter electrospun collagen tubular scaffold with random continuous smooth nanofibers was successfully fabricated. However, the dissolution of collagen in concentrated aqueous (conc. aq.) acetic acid caused [...] Read more.
Tissue engineered scaffold was regarded as a promising approach instead of the autograft. In this study, small diameter electrospun collagen tubular scaffold with random continuous smooth nanofibers was successfully fabricated. However, the dissolution of collagen in concentrated aqueous (conc. aq.) acetic acid caused to the serious denaturation of collagen. A novel method ammonia treatment here was adopted which recovered the collagen triple helix structure according to the analysis of IR spectra. Further dehydrothermal (DHT) and glutaraldehyde (GTA) treatments were applied to introduce the crosslinks to improve the properties of collagen tube. The nanofibrous structure of collagen tube in a wet state was preserved by the crosslinking treatments. Swelling ratio and weight loss decreased by at least two times compared to those of the untreated collagen tube. Moreover, tensile strength was significantly enhanced by DHT treatment (about 0.0076 cN/dTex) and by GTA treatment (about 0.075 cN/dTex). In addition, the surface of crosslinked collagen tube kept the hydrophilic property. These results suggest that DHT and GTA treatments can be utilized to improve the properties of electrospun collagen tube which could become a suitable candidate for tissue engineered scaffold. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Developments in Biodegradable and Biobased Polymers)
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