State-of-the-Art Polymer Science and Technology in Uruguay (2021,2022)

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 9014

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Facultad de Química, Universidad de la República, Montevideo 11800, Uruguay
Interests: nanomaterials; computational simulation; solar cells; li-ion batteries; polymer composites; carbon nanomaterials
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Guest Editor
Facultad de Química, Universidad de la República, Montevideo 11800, Uruguay
Interests: polymer nanocomposites; hybrid organic–inorganic nanomaterials; electronic–ionic transport
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Guest Editor
Facultad de Química, Universidad de la República, Montevideo 11800, Uruguay
Interests: saponins; chromatographic analysis; dissociation; characterization

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Guest Editor
Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad de la República, Montevideo 11300, Uruguay
Interests: Rubbers reinforced with white fillers; Composite materials (GRP); Tribology

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Centro NanoMat/CryssMat-Lab. & Grupo Física, DETEMA, Facultad de Química-Universidad de la República (UdelaR), Montevideo CP 11800, Uruguay
Interests: materials science; solid-state chemistry; solid-state physics; nanoscience; crystallography
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The beginning of polymer science in Uruguay is relatively recent and the most significant works has been reported just after the late eighties, covering the study of synthesis and structural characterization of organic and coordination polymers (FQ-UdelaR), polymers from natural sources (FCIEN&FQ-UdelaR), polymers with immunological (FQ-UdelaR), electromechanical (FCIEN-UdelaR), optical (FING-UdelaR) and antifouling properties (FING-UdelaR). During the last ten years, Uruguayan institutions fundamental and applied research conducted in the field of polymer science is leaded by the Physics Group at FQ-UdelaR, particularly focusing in the experimental and theoretical study of polymer’s structure and its correlations with electrical transport for energy conversion and storage applications. In addition, other research is focused in the extraction and characterization of biopolymers mainly for food (CENUR-UdelaR), and others with antimicrobial (FQ-UdelaR), pharmaceutical (FQ-UdelaR), cosmetic (FQ-UdelaR), biocatalysts membranes (FING-ORT), textile and wood industry (FING-UM and FING-UdelaR) and constructing applications (FADU-UdelaR). Finally, other research is focused on mechanical properties of polymer fluids (FCIEN-UdelaR) and environmental studies of microplastics (CENUR-UdelaR). The research on polymer technology including engineering and processing is carried out by FING&CENUR-UdelaR, and in WPC and rubber with natural nano silica (FING&FCIEN-UdelaR). Finally, CTplas is working on issues of circular economy and plastic recycling.

References for institutions are: UdelaR (Universidad de la República), UM (Universidad de Montevideo), ORT (Universidad ORT), FQ (Facultad de Química), FCIEN (Facultad de Ciencias), FING (Facultad de Ingeniería), FADU (Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseño y Urbanismo), CENUR (Centro Universitario Regional Litoral Norte, Noreste & Este) and CTplas (Centro Tecnológico del plástico).

In this Special Issue, we aim to present a broad overview on recent developments in the field of polymer science and technology in Uruguay. Reviews, original articles, and state-of-the-art research papers, covering all the aspects of current trends in polymer-based materials research performed in Uruguay or by Uruguayan researchers working abroad are welcome. 

The topics of this special issue will include, but are not limited to:

  • Polymers chemistry and physics
  • Polymersmicro- and nano-composites
  • Biopolymers and bio-based polymers
  • Polymers processing and engineering
  • Polymers sustainability

Prof. Dr. Ricardo Faccio
Dr. Mariano Romero
Prof. Dr. Fernando Ferreira
Prof. Pablo Raimonda, Chem. Eng.
Prof. Dr. Álvaro W. Mombrú
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 2700 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 chemistry and physics
  • Polymers micro- and nano-composites
  • Biopolymers and bio-based polymers
  • Polymers processing and engineering
  • Polymers sustainability

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 4275 KiB  
Article
Bacteria-Polymer Composite Material for Glycerol Valorization
by Magdalena Ripoll, Nicolás Soriano, Sofía Ibarburu, Malena Dalies, Ana Paula Mulet and Lorena Betancor
Polymers 2023, 15(11), 2514; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15112514 - 30 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1700
Abstract
Bacterial immobilization is regarded as an enabling technology to improve the stability and reusability of biocatalysts. Natural polymers are often used as immobilization matrices but present certain drawbacks, such as biocatalyst leakage and loss of physical integrity upon utilization in bioprocesses. Herein, we [...] Read more.
Bacterial immobilization is regarded as an enabling technology to improve the stability and reusability of biocatalysts. Natural polymers are often used as immobilization matrices but present certain drawbacks, such as biocatalyst leakage and loss of physical integrity upon utilization in bioprocesses. Herein, we prepared a hybrid polymeric matrix that included silica nanoparticles for the unprecedented immobilization of the industrially relevant Gluconobacter frateurii (Gfr). This biocatalyst can valorize glycerol, an abundant by-product of the biodiesel industry, into glyceric acid (GA) and dihydroxyacetone (DHA). Different concentrations of siliceous nanosized materials, such as biomimetic Si nanoparticles (SiNps) and montmorillonite (MT), were added to alginate. These hybrid materials were significantly more resistant by texture analysis and presented a more compact structure as seen by scanning electron microscopy. The preparation including 4% alginate with 4% SiNps proved to be the most resistant material, with a homogeneous distribution of the biocatalyst in the beads as seen by confocal microscopy using a fluorescent mutant of Gfr. It produced the highest amounts of GA and DHA and could be reused for up to eight consecutive 24 h reactions with no loss of physical integrity and negligible bacterial leakage. Overall, our results indicate a new approach to generating biocatalysts using hybrid biopolymer supports. Full article
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11 pages, 5219 KiB  
Article
On the Donor: Acceptor Features for Poly(3-hexylthiophene): TiO2 Quantum Dots Hybrid Materials Obtained via Water Vapor Flow Assisted Sol-Gel Growth
by Dominique Mombrú, Mariano Romero, Ricardo Faccio and Alvaro W. Mombrú
Polymers 2023, 15(7), 1706; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15071706 - 29 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1426
Abstract
Here, we present a novel methodology for the preparation of P3HT:TiO2 quantum dots hybrid materials via water vapor flow-assisted sol-gel growth focusing on the structural, optical and electrical property characterization complemented with first-principles calculations as a promising donor–acceptor system for polymer and [...] Read more.
Here, we present a novel methodology for the preparation of P3HT:TiO2 quantum dots hybrid materials via water vapor flow-assisted sol-gel growth focusing on the structural, optical and electrical property characterization complemented with first-principles calculations as a promising donor–acceptor system for polymer and hybrid solar cells. X-ray diffraction and UV-Vis spectroscopy analyses suggest that the increasing concentration of TiO2 quantum dots leads to the formation of higher amounts of amorphous regions while the crystalline regions exhibited interesting aspect ratio modifications for the P3HT polymer. Raman spectra evidenced the formation of charge carriers in the P3HT with increasing TiO2 quantum dots content and the P3HT:TiO2 50:50 weight ratio resulted in the best composition for optimizing the bulk electronic conductivity, as evidenced by impedance spectroscopy studies. Our DFT calculations performed for a simplified model of the P3HT:TiO2 interface revealed that there is an important contribution of the thiophene carbon atoms states in the conduction band at the Fermi level. Finally, our DFT calculations also reveal an evident gain of electron density at the TiO2 (101) surface while the thiophene rings showed a loss of the electron density, thus confirming that the P3HT:TiO2 junction acts as a good donor–acceptor system. In our opinion, these results not only present a novel methodology for the preparation of P3HT:TiO2 quantum dots hybrid materials but also reveal some key aspects to guide the more rational design of polymer and hybrid solar cells. Full article
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14 pages, 2200 KiB  
Article
Development and Evaluation of 2-Amino-7-Fluorophenazine 5,10-Dioxide Polymeric Micelles as Antitumoral Agents for 4T1 Breast Cancer
by Nicole Lecot, Belén Dávila, Carina Sánchez, Marcelo Fernández, Mercedes González, Pablo Cabral, Hugo Cerecetto and Romina Glisoni
Polymers 2022, 14(1), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14010071 - 25 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2611
Abstract
2-Amino-7-fluorophenazine 5,10-dioxide (FNZ) is a bioreducible prodrug, poorly soluble in water, with potential anticancer activity on hypoxic-tumors. This poor solubility limits its potential applications in clinic. Amphiphilic pristine polymeric micelles (PMs) based on triblock copolymers Pluronic® and Tetronic®, glycosylated derivatives [...] Read more.
2-Amino-7-fluorophenazine 5,10-dioxide (FNZ) is a bioreducible prodrug, poorly soluble in water, with potential anticancer activity on hypoxic-tumors. This poor solubility limits its potential applications in clinic. Amphiphilic pristine polymeric micelles (PMs) based on triblock copolymers Pluronic® and Tetronic®, glycosylated derivatives and their mixtures with preformed-liposomes (LPS), were analyzed as strategies to improve the bioavailability of FNZ. FNZ encapsulations were performed and the obtaining nanostructures were characterized using UV-visible spectroscopy (UV-VIS), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS). The most promising nanoformulations were analyzed for their potential toxicity and pharmacologically, at 20 mg/kg FNZ-doses, in a stage-IV murine metastatic-breast tumor model. The results revealed that the solubility of the encapsulated-FNZ increased up to 14 times and the analysis (UV-VIS, DLS and TEM) confirmed the interaction between vehicles and FNZ. In all the cases appropriate encapsulation efficiencies (greater than 75%), monodisperse nanometric particle sizes (PDI = 0.180–0.335), adequate Z-potentials (−1.59 to −26.4 mV), stabilities and spherical morphologies were obtained. The in vitro profile of FNZ controlled releases corresponded mainly to a kinetic Higuchi model. The in vitro/in vivo biological studies revealed non-toxicity and relevant tumor-weight diminution (up to 61%). Full article
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15 pages, 3801 KiB  
Article
Fe(III)-Complex-Imprinted Polymers for the Green Oxidative Degradation of the Methyl Orange Dye Pollutant
by Paulina Haller, Ignacio Machado, Julia Torres, Agustina Vila and Nicolás Veiga
Polymers 2021, 13(18), 3127; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13183127 - 16 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1942
Abstract
One of the biggest problems worldwide is the pollution of natural water bodies by dyes coming from effluents used in the textile industry. In the quest for novel effluent treatment alternatives, the aim of this work was to immobilize Fe(III) complexes in molecularly [...] Read more.
One of the biggest problems worldwide is the pollution of natural water bodies by dyes coming from effluents used in the textile industry. In the quest for novel effluent treatment alternatives, the aim of this work was to immobilize Fe(III) complexes in molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) to produce efficient Fenton-like heterogeneous catalysts for the green oxidative degradation of the methyl orange (MO) dye pollutant. Different metal complexes bearing commercial and low-cost ligands were assayed and their catalytic activity levels towards the discoloration of MO by H2O2 were assessed. The best candidates were Fe(III)-BMPA (BMPA = di-(2-picolyl)amine) and Fe(III)-NTP (NTP = 3,3′,3″-nitrilotripropionic acid), displaying above 70% MO degradation in 3 h. Fe(III)-BMPA caused the oxidative degradation through two first-order stages, related to the formation of BMPA-Fe-OOH and the generation of reactive oxygen species. Only the first of these stages was detected for Fe(III)-NTP. Both complexes were then employed to imprint catalytic cavities into MIPs. The polymers showed catalytic profiles that were highly dependent on the crosslinking agent employed, with N,N-methylenebisacrylamide (MBAA) being the crosslinker that rendered polymers with optimal oxidative performance (>95% conversion). The obtained ion-imprinted polymers constitute cheap and robust solid matrices, with the potential to be coupled to dye-containing effluent treatment systems with synchronous H2O2 injection. Full article
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