Special Issue "Polymer Nanostructures: From Surfaces to Nanospheres and Nanoparticles"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Daniel E. Martínez-Tong
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of the Basque Country, Dpto. Física de Materiales, Paseo Manuel Lardizábal 3, 20018, Donostia/San Sebastián, Spain
Interests: polymer nanostructures; polymer thin films; polymer physics; atomic force microscopy; nanoelectrical measurements; nanomechanical measurements
Dr. Esther Rebollar
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
CSIC - Instituto de Química Física Rocasolano (IQFR), Madrid, Spain
Interests: laser micro- and nanoprocessing of polymers; mechanisms of laser ablation of polymers; laser-induced period surface structures in polymers; polymer thin films; applications of modified polymers; functional polymers
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Polymers are ubiquitous in daily life applications, being present as parts or full components in all of our technological devices. This is motivated by their excellent physical and chemical properties, ready processability, and relatively low cost. Additionally, polymers have adapted perfectly to new and future system requirements where components must be as small as possible. The development and study of polymer nanostructures, of course, have been key aspects in their success. Polymer nanostructures are materials presenting a characteristic length-scale on the order of 102 nm. From a geometrical point of view, they can be prepared from 0D to 3D systems, as nanoparticles (0D), nanorods/nanotubes (1D), thin films (2D), and nanospheres (3D). Although their study dates from over 25 years ago, they are still a crucial field in the polymer science community, and the current interest in them is driven by different factors. First, new and enhanced preparation techniques have allowed the formation of polymer nanostructures with well-defined characteristics, allowing tunability of their resulting properties to specific applications. Second, characterization methods with lateral resolution, such as those carried out using advanced microscopy techniques, have empowered local studies where each nanostructured element can be well characterized individually. Finally, nanostructured polymers are challenging systems from an academic point of view. The confinement imposed by the nanoscale geometries might turn into changes in the resulting properties, when compared to their macroscopic counterparts. A clear understanding on how and why nanostructuring affects polymer chain conformations is still work in progress.

Considering the current high impact of polymer nanostructures and their applications, this Special Issue of Polymers invites contributions dealing with different aspects of polymer nanostructures. Our widespread focus will address subjects such as preparation and synthesis of nanostructures (thin films, nanospheres, nanoparticles, nanostructured surfaces, etc.), tuning of physicochemical properties of polymer surfaces, nanoprocessing tools in polymer science, physical properties of nanostructured polymers, effect of confinement on polymer systems, novel characterization methods for polymer nanostructures, quantitative mapping of local properties, etc. The above list is only indicative and by no means exhaustive; we welcome original experimental work or review articles dedicated to polymer nanostructures. We hope that the contributions will deal with a variety of nanostructured polymer systems, such as homopolymers and copolymers, topological polymers (branched, stars, rings, etc.), polymer blends, semiconductive and electrically active polymers (conductors and ferroelectrics), polymer electrolytes, polymer nanocomposites, and polymers with applications in biology.

Dr. Daniel E. Martínez-Tong
Guest Editors
Dr. Esther Rebollar
Co-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

  • Preparation, formation, synthesis of polymer nanostructures
  • Nanoprocessing of polymers
  • Nanostructured polymer surfaces
  • Polymer thin films
  • Polymer nanoparticles
  • Physical and chemical properties of nanostructured polymers
  • Nanoscale methods for characterization of polymer nanostructures
  • Quantitative mapping of local properties
  • Applications of nanostructured polymers
  • Functional polymers

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Preparation, Physical Properties, and Applications of Water-Based Functional Polymer Inks
Polymers 2021, 13(9), 1419; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13091419 - 27 Apr 2021
Viewed by 432
Abstract
In this study, water-based functional polymer inks are prepared using different solvent displacement methods, in particular, polymer functional inks based on semiconducting polymer poly(3-hexylthiophene) and the ferroelectric polymer poly(vinylidene fluoride) and its copolymers with trifluoroethylene. The nanoparticles that are included in the inks [...] Read more.
In this study, water-based functional polymer inks are prepared using different solvent displacement methods, in particular, polymer functional inks based on semiconducting polymer poly(3-hexylthiophene) and the ferroelectric polymer poly(vinylidene fluoride) and its copolymers with trifluoroethylene. The nanoparticles that are included in the inks are prepared by miniemulsion, as well as flash and dialysis nanoprecipitation techniques and we discuss the properties of the inks obtained by each technique. Finally, an example of the functionality of a semiconducting/ferroelectric polymer coating prepared from water-based inks is presented. Full article
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Article
Self-Assembled Thermoresponsive Nanogel from Grafted Hyaluronic Acid as a Biocompatible Delivery Platform for Curcumin with Enhanced Drug Loading and Biological Activities
Polymers 2021, 13(2), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13020194 - 07 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 641
Abstract
A hyaluronic acid-grafted poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (HA-pNIPAM) was synthesized as a polymeric nanogel platform for encapsulation and delivery of hydrophobic bioactive compounds using curcumin as a model drug. As demonstrated by transmission electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering techniques, the HA-pNIPAM was simply [...] Read more.
A hyaluronic acid-grafted poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (HA-pNIPAM) was synthesized as a polymeric nanogel platform for encapsulation and delivery of hydrophobic bioactive compounds using curcumin as a model drug. As demonstrated by transmission electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering techniques, the HA-pNIPAM was simply assembled into spherical nano-sized particles with the thermoresponsive behavior. The success of curcumin aqueous solubilization was confirmed by fluorescent spectroscopy. The resulting nanogel formulation enhanced the aqueous solubility and uptake into NIH-3T3 cells of curcumin. This nanogel formulation also demonstrates cytocompatibility against NIH-3T3 cells, which deems it safe as a delivery vehicle. Moreover, the formulation has a slight skin-protection effect using an artificial skin equivalence model. The curcumin-loaded HA-pNIPAM nanogel showed an anti-proliferative activity against MDA-MB-231, Caco-2, HepG2, HT-29, and TNF-α-induced hyperproliferation of keratinocyte (HaCaT) cells. The thermoresponsive HA-pNIPAM nanogel reported here could be further optimized as a platform for controlled-release systems to encapsulate pharmaceuticals for therapeutic applications. Full article
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