Special Issue "Nanoparticle Functionalization by Polymers: Methods and Applications"

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Polymer Theory and Simulation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 March 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Ángel V. Delgado
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Applied Physics, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
Interests: electrical properties of solid/liquid interfaces; nanoparticle synthesis and characterization; dispersed systems—electrokinetics; magnetic fluids; biomedical nanostructure applications; magnetic hyperthermia; drug delivery
Dr. Guillermo Iglesias
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Applied Physics, University of Granada, Granada, Spain

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The field of nanoparticle synthesis and characterization is growing rapidly but the findings remain dependent on the available material processing techniques and observations at the nanoscale. Often, “nude” nanoparticles are only applicable after modification of their surface properties. These modifications include:

  • Increased stability;
  • Control of surface charge;
  • Janus or multifunctionalized particles;
  • Rheological properties at the nanoscale—nanotribology;
  • Surface thermodynamics—wettability;
  • Shape control;
  • Biomedical applications—drug transport, targeting, and specific interactions with cells;
  • Design of specific nanosensors.

In the majority of these fields, researchers have identified polymers designed to modify particle characteristics, suiting them, as well as fully polymeric particles, to specific applications.

The proposed Special Issue intends to cover these aspects, placing emphasis on the methods and preparation, their justification and quantification, and the applications of the resulting nanostructures.

Prof. Ángel V. Delgado
Dr. Guillermo Iglesias
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 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

  • Nanoparticles
  • Functionalization
  • Coating
  • Biocompatibility
  • Drug loading
  • Drug release
  • Polyelectrolyte
  • Coating stability
  • Inhomogeneous coating: Janus particles
  • Temperature and pH responsive polymers

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Gemcitabine-Loaded Magnetically Responsive Poly(ε-caprolactone) Nanoparticles against Breast Cancer
Polymers 2020, 12(12), 2790; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12122790 - 25 Nov 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
A reproducible and efficient interfacial polymer disposition method has been used to formulate magnetite/poly(ε-caprolactone) (core/shell) nanoparticles (average size ≈ 125 nm, production performance ≈ 90%). To demonstrate that the iron oxide nuclei were satisfactorily embedded within the polymeric solid matrix, a [...] Read more.
A reproducible and efficient interfacial polymer disposition method has been used to formulate magnetite/poly(ε-caprolactone) (core/shell) nanoparticles (average size ≈ 125 nm, production performance ≈ 90%). To demonstrate that the iron oxide nuclei were satisfactorily embedded within the polymeric solid matrix, a complete analysis of these nanocomposites by, e.g., electron microscopy visualizations, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, electrophoresis, and contact angle goniometry was conducted. The magnetic responsive behaviour of these nanoparticles was quantitatively characterized by the hysteresis cycle and qualitatively investigated by visualization of the colloid under exposure to a 0.4 T magnet. Gemcitabine entrapment into the polymeric shell reported adequate drug loading values (≈11%), and a biphasic and pH-responsive drug release profile (≈four-fold faster Gemcitabine release at pH 5.0 compared to pH 7.4). Cytotoxicity studies in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells proved that the half maximal inhibitory concentration of Gem-loaded nanocomposites was ≈two-fold less than that of the free drug. Therefore, these core/shell nanoparticles could have great possibilities as a magnetically targeted Gemcitabine delivery system for breast cancer treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticle Functionalization by Polymers: Methods and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
AC Electrokinetics of Salt-Free Multilayered Polymer-Grafted Particles
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2097; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12092097 - 15 Sep 2020
Abstract
Interest in the electrical properties of the interface between soft (or polymer-grafted) nanoparticles and solutions is considerable. Of particular significance is the case of polyelectrolyte-coated particles, mainly taking into account that the layer-by-layer procedure allows the control of the thickness and permeability of [...] Read more.
Interest in the electrical properties of the interface between soft (or polymer-grafted) nanoparticles and solutions is considerable. Of particular significance is the case of polyelectrolyte-coated particles, mainly taking into account that the layer-by-layer procedure allows the control of the thickness and permeability of the layer, and the overall charge of the coated particle. Like in simpler systems, electrokinetic determinations in AC fields (including dielectric dispersion in the 1 kHz–1 MHz frequency range and dynamic electrophoresis by electroacoustic methods in the 1–18 MHz range) provide a large amount of information about the physics of the interface. Different models have dealt with the electrokinetics of particles coated by a single polymer layer, but studies regarding multi-layered particles are far scarcer. This is even more significant in the case of so-called salt-free systems; ideally, the only charges existing in this case consist of the charge in the layer(s) and the core particle itself, and their corresponding countercharges, with no other ions added. The aims of this paper are as follows: (i) the elaboration of a model for the evaluation of the electrokinetics of multi-grafted polymer particles in the presence of alternating electric fields, in dispersion media where no salts are added; (ii) to carry out an experimental evaluation of the frequency dependence of the dynamic (or AC) electrophoretic mobility and the dielectric permittivity of suspensions of polystyrene latex spherical particles coated with successive layers of cationic, anionic, and neutral polymers; and (iii) finally, to perform a comparison between predictions and experimental results, so that it can be demonstrated that the electrokinetic analysis is a useful tool for the in situ characterization of multilayered particles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticle Functionalization by Polymers: Methods and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Nanoformulation Design Including MamC-Mediated Biomimetic Nanoparticles Allows the Simultaneous Application of Targeted Drug Delivery and Magnetic Hyperthermia
Polymers 2020, 12(8), 1832; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12081832 - 15 Aug 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The design of novel nanomaterials that can be used as multifunctional platforms allowing the combination of therapies is gaining increased interest. Moreover, if this nanomaterial is intended for a targeted drug delivery, the use of several guidance methods to increase guidance efficiency is [...] Read more.
The design of novel nanomaterials that can be used as multifunctional platforms allowing the combination of therapies is gaining increased interest. Moreover, if this nanomaterial is intended for a targeted drug delivery, the use of several guidance methods to increase guidance efficiency is also crucial. Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) allow this combination of therapies and guidance strategies. In fact, MNPs can be used simultaneously as drug nanocarriers and magnetic hyperthermia agents and, moreover, they can be guided toward the target by an external magnetic field and by their functionalization with a specific probe. However, it is difficult to find a system based on MNPs that exhibits optimal conditions as a drug nanocarrier and as a magnetic hyperthermia agent. In this work, a novel nanoformulation is proposed to be used as a multifunctional platform that also allows dual complementary guidance. This nanoformulation is based on mixtures of inorganic magnetic nanoparticles (M) that have been shown to be optimal hyperthermia agents, and biomimetic magnetic nanoparticles (BM), that have been shown to be highly efficient drug nanocarriers. The presence of the magnetosome protein MamC at the surface of BM confers novel surface properties that allow for the efficient and stable functionalization of these nanoparticles without the need of further coating, with the release of the relevant molecule being pH-dependent, improved by magnetic hyperthermia. The BM are functionalized with Doxorubicin (DOXO) as a model drug and with an antibody that allows for dual guidance based on a magnetic field and on an antibody. The present study represents a proof of concept to optimize the nanoformulation composition in order to provide the best performance in terms of the magnetic hyperthermia agent and drug nanocarrier. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticle Functionalization by Polymers: Methods and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Creation of a PDMS Polymer Brush on SiO2-Based Nanoparticles by Surface-Initiated Ring-Opening Polymerization
Polymers 2020, 12(4), 787; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12040787 - 02 Apr 2020
Abstract
The incorporation of nanoparticles into soft matrices opens a broad spectrum of novel property combinations. However, one of the major challenges for these systems remains the compatibilization of particles with the surrounding matrix by proper surface functionalization. For silicon-based systems or liquid crystalline [...] Read more.
The incorporation of nanoparticles into soft matrices opens a broad spectrum of novel property combinations. However, one of the major challenges for these systems remains the compatibilization of particles with the surrounding matrix by proper surface functionalization. For silicon-based systems or liquid crystalline phases, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) brushes at the surface of particles increase the stability against particle agglomeration in such systems. Here, we report a novel approach for the functionalization of particles with a polysiloxane brush by surface-initiated ring-opening polymerization of a cyclosiloxane. For this purpose, surface hydroxy groups of silica and silica-coated hematite particles are used as initiators in combination with phosphazene bases as catalysts. The ring–chain equilibrium of a model-based solution polymerization is investigated in detail to find the appropriate reaction parameters. The corresponding molar masses are determined and compared by 1H-NMR and SEC measurements to confirm the underlying mechanism. In the resulting hybrid nanostructures, a covalently bound PDMS fraction is achieved up to 47 mass %. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticle Functionalization by Polymers: Methods and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Ag NPs-Assisted Synthesis of Stable Cu NPs on PET Fabrics for Antibacterial and Electromagnetic Shielding Performance
Polymers 2020, 12(4), 783; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12040783 - 02 Apr 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
In this study, Cu/Ag/polydopamine (PDA)/polyester (PET) fabrics were fabricated for multi-functional textiles. The PET fabrics were firstly modified by dopamine to form a polydopamine (PDA) layer on the fiber surface, then Ag nanoparticles (Ag NPs) were anchored on fiber surface through chelation between [...] Read more.
In this study, Cu/Ag/polydopamine (PDA)/polyester (PET) fabrics were fabricated for multi-functional textiles. The PET fabrics were firstly modified by dopamine to form a polydopamine (PDA) layer on the fiber surface, then Ag nanoparticles (Ag NPs) were anchored on fiber surface through chelation between PDA and Ag+ ions, and the Ag NPs were further used as catalytic seeds for in situ reduction of Cu nanoparticles (Cu NPs). The surface morphology, chemistry, and crystalline structure of the prepared PET fabrics were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). As expected, Cu NPs were evenly dispersed on the surface of fibers. The Cu/Ag/PDA/PET fabrics showed good antibacterial property against Escherichia coli and exhibited excellent electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding ability. The Cu/Ag/PDA/PET fabrics with high performance antibacterial and EMI shielding properties can be applied as functional protective textiles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticle Functionalization by Polymers: Methods and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Ionic Polymer Membrane with Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes on the Mechanical Performance of Ionic Electroactive Polymer Actuators
Polymers 2020, 12(2), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12020396 - 10 Feb 2020
Abstract
Ionic electroactive polymer (IEAP) actuators have received interest because of their advantageous properties, including their large displacement, high energy density, light weight, and low power consumption under a low electric field. However, they have a low blocking force under driving, and it is [...] Read more.
Ionic electroactive polymer (IEAP) actuators have received interest because of their advantageous properties, including their large displacement, high energy density, light weight, and low power consumption under a low electric field. However, they have a low blocking force under driving, and it is difficult to control the thickness of the ionic polymer membrane. In this study, an IEAP actuator is fabricated using a Nafion membrane with added multiwalled carbon nanotubes to increase the blocking force. A heat press two-step process is also developed to produce a constant and uniform membrane. The fabricated Nafion membrane with 0.2 wt% multiwalled carbon nanotubes has the largest displacement and highest blocking force. As a result, the developed heat press two-step method can be used in various polymer-casting fields, and the fabricated carbon nanotube-based IEAP actuators can serve as useful references in fields such as flexible robotics and artificial muscles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticle Functionalization by Polymers: Methods and Applications)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Nanoparticles Functionalized by Conducting Polymers and Their Electrorheological and Magnetorheological Applications
Polymers 2020, 12(1), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12010204 - 13 Jan 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Conducting polymer-coated nanoparticles used in electrorheological (ER) and magnetorheological (MR) fluids are reviewed along with their fabrication methods, morphologies, thermal properties, sedimentation stabilities, dielectric properties, and ER and MR characteristics under applied electric or magnetic fields. After functionalization of the conducting polymers, the [...] Read more.
Conducting polymer-coated nanoparticles used in electrorheological (ER) and magnetorheological (MR) fluids are reviewed along with their fabrication methods, morphologies, thermal properties, sedimentation stabilities, dielectric properties, and ER and MR characteristics under applied electric or magnetic fields. After functionalization of the conducting polymers, the nanoparticles exhibited properties suitable for use as ER materials, and materials in which magnetic particles are used as a core could also be applied as MR materials. The conducting polymers covered in this study included polyaniline and its derivatives, poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene), poly(3-octylthiophene), polypyrrole, and poly(diphenylamine). The modified nanoparticles included polystyrene, poly(methyl methacrylate), silica, titanium dioxide, maghemite, magnetite, and nanoclay. This article reviews many core-shell structured conducting polymer-coated nanoparticles used in ER and MR fluids and is expected to contribute to the understanding and development of ER and MR materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticle Functionalization by Polymers: Methods and Applications)
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