Special Issue "Bioinspired and Biomimetic Polymers"

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Biopolymers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 February 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Elisabetta Ranucci
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
Interests: biodegradable and biocompatible polymers for applications in nanomedicine; bioinspired polymers with flame-retardant activity; multifunctional composite resins for the absorption of inorganic and organic pollutants from wastewater; composite hydrogels as scaffolds for tissue regeneration; polymers from renewable sources
Prof. Paolo Ferruti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
Interests: functionalization of polymers; polymer nanoparticles; biocompatible and biodegradable polymers, bioinspired polymers, biomedical and biotechnological applications of functional polymers, polymers for drug delivery, Polymeric hydrogels as scaffolds for cell culturing and tissue regeneration, flame retardant functional polymers, polyelectrolytes, heavy metal ion complexing polymers
Dr. Amedea Manfredi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
Interests: biodegradable and biocompatible polymers for applications in nanomedicine; bioinspired polymers with flame-retardant activity; multifunctional composite resins for the absorption of inorganic and organic pollutants from wastewater; composite hydrogels as scaffolds for tissue regeneration; polymers from renewable sources
Dr. Jenny Alongi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Università degli Studi Di Milano, Dipartimento di Chimica, Via C. Golgi 19, 20133 Milano, Italy
Interests: polymers with high thermal stability; flame retarded polymers; biocompatible and biometic polymers; multifunctional resins for the adsorption of heavy metals from wastewaters; multifunctional coatings; layer by Layer assembly

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Natural polymers, such as polysaccharides, proteins, and DNA, regulate key functions of biological systems owing to their sophisticated structures endowing them with extraordinary properties. The molecular functionalities of natural polymers, and their macromolecular structures and properties, provide inspiration for designing different classes of high-performance polymeric materials that aim to reproduce specific functions of natural polymers, such as adaptability, self-healing, adhesiveness, surface superwettability and superhydrophobicity, chiral recognition, and bioactivity. The field of bioinspired and biomimetic polymers is rapidly expanding in diverse technological sectors, including pharmacology, tissue engineering, the aerospace industry, optical materials and lightweight structural materials, and biosensors. Biomimetic synthetic polymers and hybrid polymer-materials have the advantage of combining desired functions with tailored morphology and superior chemical and physical stability.

Bioinspired and biomimetic polymers aims to cover all aspects of the subject, including, for instance, the synthesis of hybrid polymer/biomolecule conjugates and blends, self-assembling polymers, chiral polymers and surfaces, films, functional polymer brushes, nanocomposites and nanocomposite hydrogels, and supramolecular polymer structures, without forgetting studies of structure-property relationships, fabrication of materials with precise structural control and advanced properties, and applications of bioinspired polymers in all the different fields mentioned above.

This Special Issue welcomes reports on recent findings and reviews from experts in this frontier sector.

Prof. Elisabetta Ranucci
Prof. Paolo Ferruti
Dr. Amedea Manfredi
Dr. Jenny Alongi
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. Polymers 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 1800 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

  • chiral polymers and interfaces
  • polypeptides
  • glycopolypeptides
  • polypeptoids
  • polyoxazolines
  • vinylic α-aminoacid derivatives
  • biomaterials
  • tissue engineering
  • gene therapy
  • drug targeting
  • optical materials
  • lightweight structural materials
  • composites and nanocomposites
  • bioadhesive polymers and hydrogels
  • mechanically adapting polymers
  • sensors and biosensors

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Bio-Inspired Amphiphilic Block-Copolymers Based on Synthetic Glycopolymer and Poly(Amino Acid) as Potential Drug Delivery Systems
Polymers 2020, 12(1), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12010183 - 10 Jan 2020
Abstract
In this work, a method to prepare hybrid amphiphilic block copolymers consisting of biocompatible synthetic glycopolymer with non-degradable backbone and biodegradable poly(amino acid) (PAA) was developed. The glycopolymer, poly(2-deoxy-2-methacrylamido-D-glucose) (PMAG), was synthesized via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. Two methods for modifying [...] Read more.
In this work, a method to prepare hybrid amphiphilic block copolymers consisting of biocompatible synthetic glycopolymer with non-degradable backbone and biodegradable poly(amino acid) (PAA) was developed. The glycopolymer, poly(2-deoxy-2-methacrylamido-D-glucose) (PMAG), was synthesized via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. Two methods for modifying the terminal dithiobenzoate-group of PMAG was investigated to obtain the macroinitiator bearing a primary aliphatic amino group, which is required for ring-opening polymerization of N-carboxyanhydrides of hydrophobic α-amino acids. The synthesized amphiphilic block copolymers were carefully analyzed using a set of different physico-chemical methods to establish their composition and molecular weight. The developed amphiphilic copolymers tended to self-assemble in nanoparticles of different morphology that depended on the nature of the hydrophobic amino acid present in the copolymer. The hydrodynamic diameter, morphology, and cytotoxicity of polymer particles based on PMAG-b-PAA were evaluated using dynamic light scattering (DLS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), as well as CellTiter-Blue (CTB) assay, respectively. The redox-responsive properties of nanoparticles were evaluated in the presence of glutathione taken at different concentrations. Moreover, the encapsulation of paclitaxel into PMAG-b-PAA particles and their cytotoxicity on human lung carcinoma cells (A549) and human breast adenocarcinoma cells (MCF-7) were studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired and Biomimetic Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Gamma Ray-Induced Polymerization and Cross-Linking for Optimization of PPy/PVP Hydrogel as Biomaterial
Polymers 2020, 12(1), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12010111 - 05 Jan 2020
Abstract
Conducting polymer (CP)-based hydrogels exhibit the behaviors of bending or contraction/relaxation due to electrical stimulation. They are similar in some ways to biological organs and have advantages regarding manipulation and miniaturization. Thus, these hydrogels have attracted considerable interest for biomedical applications. In this [...] Read more.
Conducting polymer (CP)-based hydrogels exhibit the behaviors of bending or contraction/relaxation due to electrical stimulation. They are similar in some ways to biological organs and have advantages regarding manipulation and miniaturization. Thus, these hydrogels have attracted considerable interest for biomedical applications. In this study, we prepared PPy/PVP hydrogel with different concentrations and content through polymerization and cross-linking induced by gamma-ray irradiation at 25 kGy to optimize the mechanical properties of the resulting PPy/PVP hydrogel. Optimization of the PPy/PVP hydrogel was confirmed by characterization using scanning electron microscopy, gel fraction, swelling ratio, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. In addition, we assessed live-cell viability using live/dead assay and CCK-8 assay, and found good cell viability regardless of the concentration and content of Py/pTS. The conductivity of PPy/PVP hydrogel was at least 13 mS/cm. The mechanical properties of PPy/PVP hydrogel are important factors in their application for biomaterials. It was found that 0.15PPy/PVP20 (51.96 ± 6.12 kPa) exhibited better compressive strength than the other samples for use in CP-based hydrogels. Therefore, it was concluded that gamma rays can be used to optimize PPy/PVP hydrogel and that biomedical applications of CP-based hydrogels will be possible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired and Biomimetic Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
Controlled Synthesis of Linear Polyamidoamino Acids
Polymers 2019, 11(8), 1324; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11081324 - 08 Aug 2019
Abstract
Polyamidoamino acids (PAACs) are synthetic polymers prepared by the polyaddition of bisacrylamides with natural α-amino acids, which in the process maintain both their chirality and their amphoteric nature. This polymerization process is slow, but has the merits of taking place in water and [...] Read more.
Polyamidoamino acids (PAACs) are synthetic polymers prepared by the polyaddition of bisacrylamides with natural α-amino acids, which in the process maintain both their chirality and their amphoteric nature. This polymerization process is slow, but has the merits of taking place in water and of neither involving protection/de-protection steps nor releasing by-products. However, it leads to polydisperse polymers and, using α-amino acids mixtures, random copolymers. This paper presents a step-by-step polyaddition process leading to homo- and copolymeric PAACs with controlled sequences and controlled molecular weights. It exploits the much different rates of the two Michael addition steps of NH2 of α-amino acids with acrylamides, and the low solubility in organic solvents of the α-amino acid addition products. As a proof of principle, the controlled synthesis of the PAAC from l-arginine and N,N′-methylenebisacrylamide was performed up to a monodisperse product with 11 monomeric units and molecular weight 1840. This synthetic procedure was also tested with l-alanine. All intermediates were isolated and characterized. Noticeably, all of them were α,ω-difunctionalized with either acrylamides or sec-amines and were, in fact, building blocks with potential for preparing complex macromolecular architectures. In a first instance, copolymers with controlled sequences of amidoamine- and amidoamino acid units were prepared. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired and Biomimetic Polymers)
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Open AccessArticle
d-, l- and d,l-Tryptophan-Based Polyamidoamino Acids: pH-Dependent Structuring and Fluorescent Properties
Polymers 2019, 11(3), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11030543 - 22 Mar 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Chiral polyamidoamino acids were obtained by polyaddition of N,N’-methylenebisacrylamide with d-, d,l- and l-tryptophan (M-d-Trp, M-d,l-Trp and M-l-Trp). l-tryptophan/glycine copolymers, M-G-l-Trp5, M-G-l-Trp [...] Read more.
Chiral polyamidoamino acids were obtained by polyaddition of N,N’-methylenebisacrylamide with d-, d,l- and l-tryptophan (M-d-Trp, M-d,l-Trp and M-l-Trp). l-tryptophan/glycine copolymers, M-G-l-Trp5, M-G-l-Trp10, M-G-l-Trp20 and M-G-l-Trp40, were prepared from l-tryptophan/glycine mixtures. These polymers were amphoteric, with acid-base properties similar to those of the parent amino acids. The l-tryptophan/glycine copolymers with high glycine content were water soluble in the pH range 2-12. M-G-l-Trp40 showed a solubility gap centred at pH 4.5 and all tryptophan homopolymers were soluble only at pH > 7. Dynamic light scattering measurements performed in their solubility ranges, namely 2-11 M-G-l-Trp5, M-G-l-Trp10 and M-G-l-Trp20 and 7-11 for M-G-l-Trp40, M-d-Trp, M-l-Trp and M-d,l-Trp, showed that the size of all samples did not significantly vary with pH. Both M-l-Trp and M-G-l-Trp copolymers showed pH-dependent circular dichroism spectra in the wavelength interval 200–280 nm, revealing structuring. All samples were fluorescent. Their emission spectra were unstructured and, if normalized for their tryptophan content, almost superimposable at the same pH, providing evidence that only tryptophan governed the photoluminescence properties. Changing pH induced in all cases a slight shift of the emission wavelength maximum ascribed to the modification of the microenvironment surrounding the indole ring induced by different protonation degrees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired and Biomimetic Polymers)
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