Special Issue "Selected Papers from ECIS 2018"

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2019)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Ksenija Kogej

University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Chair for Physical Chemistry, Ljubljana, Slovenia
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Interests: polyelectrolytes; surfactants; polyelectrolyte–surfactant mixtures; colloidal dispersions
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Per Hansson

Uppsala University, Department of Pharmacy, Professor of Physical Chemistry, Uppsala, Sweden
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Interests: hydrogels; polyelectrolyte-colloid mixtures; drug delivery; surfactant self-assembly and phase behavior
Guest Editor
Prof.Dr. Marián Sedlák

Slovak Academy of Sciences, Institute of Experimental Physics, Kosice, Slovakia
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Interests: polyelectrolytes; self-assembly; microphase separation and mesoscale phenomena; complex fluids

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The annual ECIS Conference is a major event for this community with this being the 32nd Conference of a series of successful meetings, the primary goal of which is to bring together all major disciplines of colloids and interfaces, enabling participants to exchange knowledge, discuss the results of their recent research, and to network with colleagues to form new collaborations. The conference website: http://ecis2018.fkkt.uni-lj.si/

Prof. Dr. Ksenija Kogej
Prof. Dr. Per Hansson
Prof.Dr. Marián Sedlák
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 1500 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

  • Polymers and polyelectrolytes in solution
  • Polymeric nanoparticles
  • Self-assembly of polymers
  • Polymer gels
  • Polymer-surfactant systems
  • Functionalization of surfaces with polymers

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Interactions of Casein and Polypeptides in Multilayer Films Studied by FTIR and Molecular Dynamics
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 920; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050920
Received: 13 March 2019 / Revised: 18 May 2019 / Accepted: 21 May 2019 / Published: 25 May 2019
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Abstract
Multilayer films containing α- and β-casein and polypeptides, poly-L-lysine (PLL), and poly-L-arginine (PLArg) were formed by the layer-by-layer technique and Fourier Transform InfraRed spectroscopy with Attenuated Total Reflection (FTIR-ATR) and FTIR/Grazing Angle analyzed their infrared spectra. We investigated the changes of conformations of [...] Read more.
Multilayer films containing α- and β-casein and polypeptides, poly-L-lysine (PLL), and poly-L-arginine (PLArg) were formed by the layer-by-layer technique and Fourier Transform InfraRed spectroscopy with Attenuated Total Reflection (FTIR-ATR) and FTIR/Grazing Angle analyzed their infrared spectra. We investigated the changes of conformations of casein and polypeptides in the complexes formed during the build-up of the films. To elucidate the differences in the mechanism of complex formation leading to various growths of (PLL/casein)n and (PLArg/casein)n films, we performed the molecular dynamics simulations of the systems consisting of short PLL and PLArg chains and the representative peptide chains—casein fragments, which consists of several aminoacid sequences. The results of the simulation indicated the preferential formation of hydrogen bonds of poly-L-arginine with phosphoserine and glutamic acid residues of caseins. FTIR spectra confirmed those, which revealed greater conformational changes during the formation of casein complex with poly-L-arginine than with poly-L-lysine resulting from stronger interactions, which was also reflected in the bigger growth of (PLArg/casein)n films with the number of deposited layers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from ECIS 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Simultaneous Measurements of Structure and Water Permeability in an Isolated Human Skin Stratum Corneum Sheet
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 829; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050829
Received: 29 March 2019 / Revised: 24 April 2019 / Accepted: 5 May 2019 / Published: 8 May 2019
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Abstract
Stratum corneum (SC), the outermost layer of human skin, acts as an intelligent physicochemical interface between the inside and the outside of our body. To make clear the relationship between structure and physical barrier properties of SC, we developed a method that enables [...] Read more.
Stratum corneum (SC), the outermost layer of human skin, acts as an intelligent physicochemical interface between the inside and the outside of our body. To make clear the relationship between structure and physical barrier properties of SC, we developed a method that enables us to simultaneously acquire X-ray diffraction (XD) patterns and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) values using a spread SC sheet isolated from human skin. The synchrotron X-ray was incident on the SC sheet surface at an angle of 45° to avoid interference between the two kinds of measurements. Detailed comparison between XD and TEWL data suggested that the thermal behavior of water permeability is closely related to the thermal expansion of the lattice spacings of the hexagonal phases above 40 °C and to the existence ratio of the orthorhombic phase below 40 °C. Thus, the new method we developed can give useful information on the mechanism of water permeation in SC without ambiguity caused by separate measurements of structure and water permeability with different samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from ECIS 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Solution Composition Variables on Electrospun Alginate Nanofibers: Response Surface Analysis
Polymers 2019, 11(4), 692; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11040692
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
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Abstract
Alginate is a promising biocompatible and biodegradable polymer for production of nanofibers for drug delivery and tissue engineering. However, alginate is difficult to electrospin due to its polyelectrolyte nature. The aim was to improve the ‘electrospinability’ of alginate with addition of exceptionally high [...] Read more.
Alginate is a promising biocompatible and biodegradable polymer for production of nanofibers for drug delivery and tissue engineering. However, alginate is difficult to electrospin due to its polyelectrolyte nature. The aim was to improve the ‘electrospinability’ of alginate with addition of exceptionally high molecular weight poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) as a co-polymer. The compositions of the polymer-blend solutions for electrospinning were varied for PEO molecular weight, total (alginate plus PEO) polymer concentration, and PEO proportion in the dry alginate–PEO polymer mix used. These were tested for rheology (viscosity, complex viscosity, storage and loss moduli) and conductivity, and the electrospun nanofibers were characterized by scanning electron microscopy. One-parameter-at-a-time approach and response surface methodology (RSM) were used to optimize the polymer-blend solution composition to obtain defined nanofibers. Both approaches revealed that the major influence on nanofiber formation and diameter were total polymer concentration and PEO proportion. These polymer-blend solutions of appropriate conductivity and viscosity enabled fine-tuning of nanofiber diameter. PEO molecular weight of 2–4 million Da greatly improved the electrospinnability of alginate, producing nanofibers with >85% alginate. This study shows that RSM can be used to design nanofibers with optimal alginate and co-polymer contents to provide efficient scaffold material for regenerative medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from ECIS 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Multivalent Cations on Intermolecular Association of Isotactic and Atactic Poly(Methacrylic Acid) Chains in Aqueous Solutions
Polymers 2019, 11(4), 605; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11040605
Received: 25 February 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 26 March 2019 / Published: 2 April 2019
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Abstract
The formation of nanoparticles of two poly(methacrylic acid) (PMA) isomers, atactic (aPMA) and isotactic (iPMA), was investigated in aqueous solutions in the presence of mono- (Na+) and multivalent cations (Mg2+ and La3+). Using dynamic (DLS) and static light [...] Read more.
The formation of nanoparticles of two poly(methacrylic acid) (PMA) isomers, atactic (aPMA) and isotactic (iPMA), was investigated in aqueous solutions in the presence of mono- (Na+) and multivalent cations (Mg2+ and La3+). Using dynamic (DLS) and static light scattering (SLS), we show that PMA nanoparticles have characteristics of microgel-like particles with a denser core and a swollen corona. iPMA aggregates are stable at a much higher degree of neutralization (αN) than the aPMA ones, indicating a much stronger association between iPMA chains. This is explained by proposing segregation of ionized and unionized carboxyl groups within the iPMA aggregates and subsequent cooperative hydrogen-bonding between COOH groups. The calculated shape parameter (ρ) suggests different behavior of both isomers in the presence of Mg2+ ions on one hand and Na+ and La3+ on the other. The microgel-like particles formed in the presence of Mg2+ ions have a more even mass distribution (possibly a no core-shell structure) in comparison with those in the presence of Na+ and La3+ ions. Differences between the aggregate structures in the presence of different ions are reflected also in calorimetric experiments and supported by pH and fluorimetric measurements. Reasons for different behavior in the presence of Mg2+ ions lie in specific properties of this cation, in particular in its strong hydration and preference towards monodentate binding to carboxylate groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from ECIS 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Material Composition on Tunable Surface Roughness of Magnetoactive Elastomers
Polymers 2019, 11(4), 594; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11040594
Received: 5 March 2019 / Revised: 23 March 2019 / Accepted: 25 March 2019 / Published: 1 April 2019
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Abstract
We investigated magnetic-field-induced modifications of the surface roughness of magnetoactive elastomers (MAEs) with four material compositions incorporating two concentrations of ferromagnetic microparticles (70 wt% and 80 wt%) and exhibiting two shear storage moduli of the resulting composite material (about 10 kPa and 30 [...] Read more.
We investigated magnetic-field-induced modifications of the surface roughness of magnetoactive elastomers (MAEs) with four material compositions incorporating two concentrations of ferromagnetic microparticles (70 wt% and 80 wt%) and exhibiting two shear storage moduli of the resulting composite material (about 10 kPa and 30 kPa). The analysis was primarily based on spread optical reflection measurements. The surfaces of all four materials were found to be very smooth in the absence of magnetic field (RMS roughness below 50 nm). A maximal field-induced roughness modification (approximately 1 μm/T) was observed for the softer material with the lower filler concentration, and a minimal modification (less than 50 nm/T) was observed for the harder material with the higher filler concentration. All four materials showed a significant decrease in the total optical reflectivity with an increasing magnetic field as well. This effect is attributed to the existence of a distinct surface layer that is depleted of microparticles in the absence of a magnetic field but becomes filled with particles in the presence of the field. We analyzed the temporal response of the reflective properties to the switching on and off of the magnetic field and found switching-on response times of around 0.1 s and switching-off response times in the range of 0.3–0.6 s. These observations provide new insight into the magnetic-field-induced surface restructuring of MAEs and may be useful for the development of magnetically reconfigurable elastomeric optical surfaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from ECIS 2018)
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