Topical Collection "Polysaccharides"

A topical collection in Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This collection belongs to the section "Biobased and Biodegradable Polymers".

Editors

Prof. Dr. Marguerite Rinaudo

Collection Editor
University of Grenoble Alpes, 38000 Grenoble, France
Interests: investigation on properties and applications of polysaccharides and water-soluble polymers; specific chemical modifications of polysaccharides and production of adaptative materials; electrostatic properties and polyelectrolytes properties; hydration of polysaccharides in relation with their chemical structure and their environment; polyelectrolyte complexes; rheology in solution and gel states; polysaccharides-surfactant interactions; decoration and stabilization of liposomes with polyelectrolytes; biomaterials from polysaccharides; applications of polysaccharides in cosmetics, foods, biomedical (drug release)
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Waldo M. Argüelles-Monal

Collection Editor
Biopolymers Group, Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, Hermosillo, Sonora 83304, Mexico
Interests: Isolation and properties of ionic polysaccharides: rheology, gelation, cryogels, polyelectrolyte and polyelectrolyte/surfactant complexes, encapsulation and release of bioactive substances. Smart polymeric materials: synthesis of thermosensitive polymers, phase transition, and conformational changes. Controlled chemical modification of polysaccharides, including the use of "click" chemistry reactions. Functional polymeric materials and nanomaterials for biomedical and biotechnological applications

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Polysaccharides, or carbohydrate polymers, are a kind of versatile natural macromolecules that are ubiquitous in the biosphere. Their function in living organisms is usually either structure-, protective- or storage-related.

Research on polysaccharides addresses many aspects related to their isolation methods, structural characterization, as well as innovative methods of chemical and enzymatic modification, with the aim of preparing polymers with a well-defined structure for specific applications. An important point that should be considered is the understanding of the interdependence between the chemical structure and properties. This interdisciplinary knowledge allows the design of functional materials for advanced applications. They can be used as films, fibers, beads, sponge, nanomaterials, composite materials, hydro- and aerogels, scaffolds, etc. Polysaccharides are of great interest in many applications such as biomedicine, pharmacy, biotechnology, food industry, nanotechnology, and green industry, among others.

This Special Issue aims to be an interdisciplinary platform that covers all aspects related to polysaccharides. The Special Issue on polysaccharides is being launched in 2019 including original articles and review papers published in our journal since 2010, but we will be updating it in the future. We hope it will serve as a quick reference on the important advances in the investigation of the structure and properties of polysaccharides and of their endless applications.

Prof. Marguerite Rinaudo
Dr. Waldo M. Argüelles-Monal
Collection Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Related Special Issues

Published Papers (267 papers)

2020

Jump to: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010

Open AccessArticle
Structural Features of Three Hetero-Galacturonans from Passiflora foetida Fruits and Their in Vitro Immunomodulatory Effects
Polymers 2020, 12(3), 615; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12030615 - 08 Mar 2020
Abstract
Passiflora foetida is a horticultural plant and vital traditional Chinese herbal medicine. In our previous study, the characterization and immuno-enhancing effect of fruits polysaccharide 1 (PFP1), a water-eluted hetero-mannan from wild Passiflora foetida fruits, were investigated. Herein, another three salt-eluted novel polysaccharides, namely [...] Read more.
Passiflora foetida is a horticultural plant and vital traditional Chinese herbal medicine. In our previous study, the characterization and immuno-enhancing effect of fruits polysaccharide 1 (PFP1), a water-eluted hetero-mannan from wild Passiflora foetida fruits, were investigated. Herein, another three salt-eluted novel polysaccharides, namely PFP2, PFP3, and PFP4, were obtained and structurally characterized. The results showed that PFP2, PFP3, and PFP4 were three structurally similar hetero-galacturonans with different molecular weights of 6.11 × 104, 4.37 × 104, and 3.48 × 105 g/mol, respectively. All three of these hetero-galacturonans are mainly composed of galacturonic acid, galactose, arabinose (75.69%, 80.39%, and 74.30%, respectively), and other monosaccharides including mannose, fucose, glucose, ribose, xylose, and glucuronic acid (24.31%, 19.61, and 25.70%, respectively), although differences in their backbone structure exist. Additionally, immunomodulatory assay indicated that the three hetero-galacturonans possess the ability to promote the production of nitric oxide (NO), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in RAW264.7 macrophages in a concentration-dependent manner (p < 0.05). Especially, PFP3 displayed a stronger enhancing effect than PFP2 and PFP4 at the minimum effective concentration. Therefore, the results suggested that the obtained three salt-eluted hetero-galacturonans, especially PFP3, could be utilized as immunomodulatory effectivity ingredients in nutritional/pharmaceutical industries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Efficient Extraction and Structural Characterization of Hemicellulose from Sugarcane Bagasse Pith
Polymers 2020, 12(3), 608; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12030608 - 06 Mar 2020
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the ultrasound-assisted alkaline extraction process and structural properties of hemicellulose from sugarcane bagasse pith. Response surface model (RSM) was established in order to optimize the extraction conditions for the highest hemicellulose yield based on the [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the ultrasound-assisted alkaline extraction process and structural properties of hemicellulose from sugarcane bagasse pith. Response surface model (RSM) was established in order to optimize the extraction conditions for the highest hemicellulose yield based on the single-factor experiments. A maximum total hemicellulose yield of 23.05% was obtained under the optimal conditions of ultrasonic treatment time of 28 min, KOH mass concentration of 3.7%, and extraction temperature of 53 °C, and it evidently increased 3.24% compared without ultrasound-assisted extraction. The obtained hemicellulose was analyzed by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. The monosaccharide composition and average molecular weight of hemicellulose were characterized by using ion chromatography (IC) and gel permeation chromatography (GPC). The results indicated that xylose was dominant component in water-soluble hemicellulose (WH, 69.05%) and alkali-soluble hemicellulose (AH, 85.83%), respectively. Furthermore, the monosaccharides (otherwise xylose) and uronic acids contents of WH were higher than that of AH. Weight average molecular weight of WH was 29923 g/mol, lower than that of AH (74,872 g/mol). These results indicate that ultrasonic-assisted alkaline extraction is an efficient approach for the separation of hemicellulose from sugarcane bagasse pith. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Xanthan Gum–Konjac Glucomannan Blend Hydrogel for Wound Healing
Polymers 2020, 12(1), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12010099 - 04 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Hydrogels are considered to be the most ideal materials for the production of wound dressings since they display a three-dimensional structure that mimics the native extracellular matrix of skin as well as a high-water content, which confers a moist environment at the wound [...] Read more.
Hydrogels are considered to be the most ideal materials for the production of wound dressings since they display a three-dimensional structure that mimics the native extracellular matrix of skin as well as a high-water content, which confers a moist environment at the wound site. Until now, different polymers have been used, alone or blended, for the production of hydrogels aimed for this biomedical application. From the best of our knowledge, the application of a xanthan gum–konjac glucomannan blend has not been used for the production of wound dressings. Herein, a thermo-reversible hydrogel composed of xanthan gum–konjac glucomannan (at different concentrations (1% and 2% w/v) and ratios (50/50 and 60/40)) was produced and characterized. The obtained data emphasize the excellent physicochemical and biological properties of the produced hydrogels, which are suitable for their future application as wound dressings. Full article
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2019

Jump to: 2020, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010

Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Physicochemical Characterization of Undecylenic Acid Grafted to Hyaluronan for Encapsulation of Antioxidants and Chemical Crosslinking
Polymers 2020, 12(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12010035 - 24 Dec 2019
Abstract
In this work, a new amphiphilic derivative made of 10-undecylenic acid grafted to hyaluronan was prepared by mixed anhydrides. The reaction conditions were optimized, and the effect of the molecular weight (Mw), reaction time, and the molar ratio of reagents was explored. Using [...] Read more.
In this work, a new amphiphilic derivative made of 10-undecylenic acid grafted to hyaluronan was prepared by mixed anhydrides. The reaction conditions were optimized, and the effect of the molecular weight (Mw), reaction time, and the molar ratio of reagents was explored. Using this methodology, a degree of substitution up to 50% can be obtained. The viscosity of the conjugate can be controlled by varying the substitution degree. The physicochemical characterization of the modified hyaluronan was performed by infrared spectroscopy, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Size-Exclusion Chromatography combined with Multiangle Laser Light Scattering (SEC-MALLS), and rheology. The low proton motility and self-aggregation of the amphiphilic conjugate produced overestimation of the degree of substitution. Thus, a novel method using proton NMR was developed. Encapsulation of model hydrophobic guest molecules, coenzyme Q10, curcumin, and α-tocopherol into the micellar core was also investigated by solvent evaporation. HA-UDA amphiphiles were also shown to self-assemble into spherical nanostructures (about 300 nm) in water as established by dynamic light scattering. Furthermore, HA-UDA was crosslinked via radical polymerization mediated by ammonium persulphate (APS/TEMED). The cross-linking was also tested by photo-polymerization catalyzed by Irgacure 2959. The presence of the hydrophobic moiety decreases the swelling degree of the prepared hydrogels compared to methacrylated-HA. Here, we report a novel hybrid hyaluronan (HA) hydrogel system of physically encapsulated active compounds and chemical crosslinking for potential applications in drug delivery. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Physicochemical Characterization and Immunomodulatory Activity of a Novel Acid Polysaccharide from Solanum muricatum
Polymers 2019, 11(12), 1972; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11121972 - 30 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
To investigate the structure and immunomodulatory activity of polysaccharide from Solanum muricatum, a novel acid polysaccharide named SMP-3a was purified from Solanum muricatum pulp through DEAE-52 cellulose column and Sephadex G-200 chromatography. Monosaccharide composition analysis showed that SMP-3a was mainly composed of [...] Read more.
To investigate the structure and immunomodulatory activity of polysaccharide from Solanum muricatum, a novel acid polysaccharide named SMP-3a was purified from Solanum muricatum pulp through DEAE-52 cellulose column and Sephadex G-200 chromatography. Monosaccharide composition analysis showed that SMP-3a was mainly composed of rhamnose, arabinose, galactose, and galacturonic acid with the molar ratio of 1.09:2.64:1.54:1. The average molecular weight was found to be 227 kDa by high performance gel permeation chromatography (HPGPC). Thermal studies revealed the SMP-3a was a thermally stable polymer. Based on the results of methylation and NMR analysis, the backbone chain of SMP-3a was composed of →2)-α-l-Rhap-(1→, →4)-α-d-GalpA-(1→ and →4)-α-d-Galp-(1→. The side chain was consisted of α-l-Araf-(1→ and →5)-α-l-Araf-(1→. Immunomodulatory assay indicated that SMP-3a could significantly promote the proliferation of macrophages and stimulate the secretion of cytokines, including TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6. Our results suggested that SMP-3a could be used as a novel potential immunomodulatory agent in functional food. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Potato Starch Hydrogels Produced by High Hydrostatic Pressure (HHP): A First Approach
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1673; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101673 - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
Starch-based hydrogels have received considerable interest due to their safe nature, biodegradability and biocompatibility. The aim of this study was to verify the possibility of producing natural hydrogels based on potato starch by high hydrostatic pressure (HHP), identifying suitable processing conditions allowing to [...] Read more.
Starch-based hydrogels have received considerable interest due to their safe nature, biodegradability and biocompatibility. The aim of this study was to verify the possibility of producing natural hydrogels based on potato starch by high hydrostatic pressure (HHP), identifying suitable processing conditions allowing to obtain stable hydrogels, as well as to characterize structural and mechanical properties of these products. Sieved (small size granules and medium size granules) and unsieved potato starch samples were used to prepare aqueous suspensions of different concentrations (10–30% w/w) which were processed at 600 MPa for 15 min at different temperatures (25, 40 and 50 °C). Products obtained were characterized by different techniques (light and polarized microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), rheology and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)). Results obtained so far demonstrated that potato starch suspensions (20% starch–water concentration (w/w)) with granules mean size smaller than 25 µm treated at 600 MPa for 15 min and 50 °C showed a complete gelatinization and gel-like appearance. Potato HHP hydrogels were characterized by high viscosity, shear-thinning behavior and a highly structured profile (G’ >> G’’). Moreover, their FTIR spectra, similarly to FTIR profiles of thermal gels, presented three absorption bands in the characteristic starch-gel region (950–1200 cm−1), whose intensity increased with decreasing the particle size and increasing the processing temperature. In conclusion, potato starch hydrogels produced by HHP in well-defined processing conditions exhibited excellent mechanical properties, which can be tailored according to the requirements of the different applications envisaged. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sugar Alcohol-Based Deep Eutectic Solvents as Potato Starch Plasticizers
Polymers 2019, 11(9), 1385; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11091385 - 23 Aug 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The aim of this work was to prepare sugar alcohol-based deep eutectic solvents (DES) and test them as starch plasticizers. Thermoplastic starch (TPS) films were obtained via a simple and convenient thermocompression method. Influence of starch/DES premixtures conditioning (preheating, storage time) on TPS [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to prepare sugar alcohol-based deep eutectic solvents (DES) and test them as starch plasticizers. Thermoplastic starch (TPS) films were obtained via a simple and convenient thermocompression method. Influence of starch/DES premixtures conditioning (preheating, storage time) on TPS properties was investigated. TPS/sorbitol (S)-based DES exhibited similar tensile strength (TS) (8.6 MPa) but twice higher elongation at the break (ε) (33%) when compared with TPS plasticized only with S. Extra treatment, i.e., heating or prolonged storage time, facilitated starch/DES plasticizing. Starch with selected DES was also extruded and the influence of preconditioning and extrusion rotational speed were subsequently studied on thermocompressed films. Extrusion at 100 rpm led to films with TS up to ca. 10 MPa and ε up to 52%. Some differences in film samples morphology obtained via two processing methods were observed. X-ray diffractograms revealed that extruded samples exhibited a V-type peak at 18.2°, with intensity depending on plasticizer total molecular size. Applied techniques (mechanical tests, XRD, Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA), FTIR-Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR), and moisture sorption) indicated that S-based DES forms stronger interactions with starch than glycerol (G) only used as conventional plasticizer, thus leading to better mechanical properties and inhibited tendency to starch recrystallization (studied up to one year). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Neutral Polysaccharide from the Leaves of Pseuderanthemum carruthersii: Presence of 3-O-Methyl Galactose and Anti-Inflammatory Activity in LPS-Stimulated RAW 264.7 Cells
Polymers 2019, 11(7), 1219; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11071219 - 22 Jul 2019
Abstract
Pseuderanthemum carruthersii (Seem.) Guillaumin is a native tree in Vietnam. The water extract of the leaves from this tree gives a highly viscous product that has been used to heal wounds and treat inflammations. Our previous studies showed that the leaves of P. [...] Read more.
Pseuderanthemum carruthersii (Seem.) Guillaumin is a native tree in Vietnam. The water extract of the leaves from this tree gives a highly viscous product that has been used to heal wounds and treat inflammations. Our previous studies showed that the leaves of P. carruthersii have a high content of polysaccharides. In this study, the structure and influence of the neutral polysaccharide from Pseuderanthemum carruthersii (PCA1) on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW264.7 cells were investigated. The PCA1 isolated from P. carruthersii is a galactan-type polysaccharide, containing galactose (77.0%), 3-O-methyl galactose (20.0%), and arabinose (3.0%). Linkage analysis of PCA1 showed that both the 3-O-methyl galactose and galactose were 1,4-linked. The presence of 3-O-methyl galactose units as part of the polysaccharide is important and can be used as a chemotaxonomic marker. The molecular weight of the PCA1 was 170 kDa. A PCA1 concentration of 30–40 μg/mL strongly inhibited TNFα, IL-1β, and IL-6 inflammatory cytokine production, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) release. PCA1 had inhibitory activities on pro-inflammatory cytokine and ROS release in LPS-stimulated mouse macrophages in vitro through MAPK signaling. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Xylans of Red and Green Algae: What Is Known about Their Structures and How They Are Synthesised?
Polymers 2019, 11(2), 354; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11020354 - 18 Feb 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Xylans with a variety of structures have been characterised in green algae, including chlorophytes (Chlorophyta) and charophytes (in the Streptophyta), and red algae (Rhodophyta). Substituted 1,4-β-d-xylans, similar to those in land plants (embryophytes), occur in the cell wall matrix of advanced [...] Read more.
Xylans with a variety of structures have been characterised in green algae, including chlorophytes (Chlorophyta) and charophytes (in the Streptophyta), and red algae (Rhodophyta). Substituted 1,4-β-d-xylans, similar to those in land plants (embryophytes), occur in the cell wall matrix of advanced orders of charophyte green algae. Small proportions of 1,4-β-d-xylans have also been found in the cell walls of some chlorophyte green algae and red algae but have not been well characterised. 1,3-β-d-Xylans occur as triple helices in microfibrils in the cell walls of chlorophyte algae in the order Bryopsidales and of red algae in the order Bangiales. 1,3;1,4-β-d-Xylans occur in the cell wall matrix of red algae in the orders Palmariales and Nemaliales. In the angiosperm Arabidopsis thaliana, the gene IRX10 encodes a xylan 1,4-β-d-xylosyltranferase (xylan synthase), and, when heterologously expressed, this protein catalysed the production of the backbone of 1,4-β-d-xylans. An orthologous gene from the charophyte green alga Klebsormidium flaccidum, when heterologously expressed, produced a similar protein that was also able to catalyse the production of the backbone of 1,4-β-d-xylans. Indeed, it is considered that land plant xylans evolved from xylans in ancestral charophyte green algae. However, nothing is known about the biosynthesis of the different xylans found in chlorophyte green algae and red algae. There is, thus, an urgent need to identify the genes and enzymes involved. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Antimony Removal from Water by a Chitosan-Iron(III)[ChiFer(III)] Biocomposite
Polymers 2019, 11(2), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11020351 - 18 Feb 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
The presence of antimony(III) in water represents a worldwide concern, mainly due to its high toxicity and carcinogenicity potential. It can be separated from water by the use of sustainable biopolymers such as chitosan or its derivatives. The present study applied chitosan modified [...] Read more.
The presence of antimony(III) in water represents a worldwide concern, mainly due to its high toxicity and carcinogenicity potential. It can be separated from water by the use of sustainable biopolymers such as chitosan or its derivatives. The present study applied chitosan modified with iron(III) beads to Sb(III) removal from aqueous solutions. The resulting material performed with a high adsorption capacity of 98.68 mg/g. Material characterization consisted of Raman spectroscopy (RS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope observations (SEM-EDX), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and point of zero charge (pHpzc). The adsorption study included pH study, effect of initial concentration, kinetics, ion effect, and reusability assessment. The RS, XRD, and FTIR results indicated that the main functional groups in the composite were related to hydroxyl and amino groups, and iron oxyhydroxide species of α-FeO(OH). The pHpzc was found to be 7.41. The best adsorption efficiency was set at pH 6. The equilibrium isotherms were better fitted with a non-linear Langmuir model, and the kinetics data were fitted with a pseudo-second order rate equation. The incorporation of iron into the chitosan matrix improved the Sb(III) uptake by 47.9%, compared with neat chitosan (CS). The material did not exhibit an impact in its performance in the presence of other ions, and it could be reused for up to three adsorption–desorption cycles. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sorption and Desorption Studies of Pb(II) and Ni(II) from Aqueous Solutions by a New Composite Based on Alginate and Magadiite Materials
Polymers 2019, 11(2), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11020340 - 15 Feb 2019
Cited by 14
Abstract
A new composite material based on alginate and magadiite/Di-(2-ethylhexyl) phosphoric acid (CAM-D2EHPA) was successfully prepared by previous impregnation of layered magadiite with D2EHPA extractant, and then immobilized into the alginate matrix. Air dried beads of CAM-D2EHPA were characterized by FTIR and SEM–EDX techniques. [...] Read more.
A new composite material based on alginate and magadiite/Di-(2-ethylhexyl) phosphoric acid (CAM-D2EHPA) was successfully prepared by previous impregnation of layered magadiite with D2EHPA extractant, and then immobilized into the alginate matrix. Air dried beads of CAM-D2EHPA were characterized by FTIR and SEM–EDX techniques. The sorbent was used for the separation of lead and nickel from nitrate solutions; the main parameters of sorption such as contact time, pH of the solution, and initial metal concentration were studied. The beads recovered 94% of Pb(II) and 65% of Ni(II) at pH 4 from dilute solutions containing 10 mg L−1 of metal (sorbent dosage, S.D. 1 g L−1). The equilibrium data gave a better fit using the Langmuir model, and kinetic profiles were fitted using a pseudo-second order rate equation. The maximum sorption capacities obtained (at pH 4) were 197 mg g−1 and 44 mg g−1 for lead and nickel, respectively. The regeneration of the sorbent was efficiently carried out with a dilute solution of HNO3 (0.5 M). The composite material was reused in 10 sorption–elution cycles with no significant differences on sorption uptake. A study with synthetic effluents containing an equimolar concentration of both metals indicated a better selectivity towards lead ions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparisons of Functional Properties of Polysaccharides from Nostoc flagelliforme under Three Culture Conditions
Polymers 2019, 11(2), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11020263 - 04 Feb 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Nostoc flagelliforme is an edible cyanobacterium with excellent food and herbal values. It has been used as food in China for more than 2000 years. Many studies have been focused on improving the yield and bioactivity of Nostoc flagelliforme polysaccharides although these have [...] Read more.
Nostoc flagelliforme is an edible cyanobacterium with excellent food and herbal values. It has been used as food in China for more than 2000 years. Many studies have been focused on improving the yield and bioactivity of Nostoc flagelliforme polysaccharides although these have ignored the functional properties. In this study, we extracted and purified three polysaccharides (WL-CPS, NaCl-CPS and Glu-CPS) from Nostoc flagelliforme under normal, salt stress and mixotrophic culture conditions, respectively, in order to change the physicochemical properties of polysaccharides with the aim of obtaining better functional properties. Both salt stress and mixotrophic culture conditions increased the specific yield of polysaccharides. Their functional properties were comparatively investigated and the results showed that NaCl-CPS exhibited the highest emulsification activity and flocculation capability, which was also higher than that of some commercial products. In contrast, Glu-CPS exhibited the highest water and oil holding capacities, foaming property, intrinsic viscosity and bile acids binding capacity. Our results indicated that both NaCl-CPS and Glu-CPS could be considered to be functional polysaccharides according to their respective characteristics, which have great potential in numerous applications, such as food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, chemical and mineral industries. These findings also demonstrated the potential application of the proper regulation of culture conditions in the development of polysaccharides with desired functional properties. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Solubility Difference between Pectic Fractions from Creeping Fig Seeds
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010159 - 17 Jan 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Crude water-extracted pectin (WEP) isolated from creeping fig seeds were mainly fractionated into WEP-0.3 and WEP-0.4 fractions. Fractions were confirmed to be nonstarch, nonreducing sugars, nonpolyphenols and protein-unbounded acidic polysaccharides. Interestingly, a significant difference in solubility was found between WEP-0.3 (higher solubility than [...] Read more.
Crude water-extracted pectin (WEP) isolated from creeping fig seeds were mainly fractionated into WEP-0.3 and WEP-0.4 fractions. Fractions were confirmed to be nonstarch, nonreducing sugars, nonpolyphenols and protein-unbounded acidic polysaccharides. Interestingly, a significant difference in solubility was found between WEP-0.3 (higher solubility than WEP) and WEP-0.4 (remarkably insoluble), which was consistent with the amorphous and porous sponge-like structure of WEP-0.3 as well as the crystalline and dense rod-like state of WEP-0.4. However, the result of the FT-IR spectra was contradicted by the solubility of WEP-0.4, which possessed the lowest degree of methoxylation and ought to possess the highest solubility. Through mineral analysis, a considerably high content of Ca2+ was found in WEP-0.4, suggesting that the low solubility of WEP-0.4 was probably attributable to the formation of microgels during dialysis. Therefore, metal divalent cations in the dialysate were suggested to be depleted for the dialysis of low methoxyl pectin. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Long Term and Large-Scale Continuous Studies on Zinc(II) Sorption and Desorption on Hybrid Pectin-Guar Gum Biosorbent
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010096 - 08 Jan 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Pectin-guar gum biosorbent was tested for zinc(II) ions removal in column process. Sorption–desorption experiments were performed in laboratory and at larger scale. The breakthrough and elution curves were obtained for various conditions. The Bed Depth Service Time model was tested for utility in [...] Read more.
Pectin-guar gum biosorbent was tested for zinc(II) ions removal in column process. Sorption–desorption experiments were performed in laboratory and at larger scale. The breakthrough and elution curves were obtained for various conditions. The Bed Depth Service Time model was tested for utility in data estimation. Possibility of sorbent reuse and its lifetime was examined in 20 repeated sorption–desorption cycles. Finally, tests were repeated for real wastewater from galvanizing plant, giving satisfactory results. The effectiveness of Zn(II) sorption happened to be dependent on process parameters; tests have proved that it increased with increasing bed height and with decreasing flow rate or grain size. For an initial zinc concentration of 30 mg/L, even 2096 mL of zinc solution could be purified in small scale experiment (2 g of fine grain sorbent and flow rate 60 mL/h) or 5900 L in large-scale (16 kg of large grain sorbent and flow rate 45 L/h). This allowed for 40-fold or 49-fold zinc increases in concentration in one sorption–desorption cycle. The most successful results are meant that at least 20 sorption–desorption cycles could be performed on one portion of biosorbent without loss of its effectiveness, large-scale tests for real wastewater from galvanizing plant gave satisfactory results, and that the form and mechanical stability of our sorbent is suitable for column usage with flow rates applicable in industry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The First Synthesis of Periodic and Alternating Glycopolymers by RAFT Polymerization: A Novel Synthetic Pathway for Glycosaminoglycan Mimics
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010070 - 05 Jan 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study concerned the controlled synthesis of periodic glycopolymers by reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) copolymerization. To this end, maltose- and lactose-substituted vinyl ethers (MalVE and LacVE, respectively) and maltose-substituted maleimide (MalMI) were newly synthesized. RAFT copolymerization of MalVE and ethyl maleimide (EtMI) [...] Read more.
This study concerned the controlled synthesis of periodic glycopolymers by reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) copolymerization. To this end, maltose- and lactose-substituted vinyl ethers (MalVE and LacVE, respectively) and maltose-substituted maleimide (MalMI) were newly synthesized. RAFT copolymerization of MalVE and ethyl maleimide (EtMI) (monomer feed ratio: MalVE:EtMI = 1:1) afforded periodic glycopolymers (poly(MalVE-co-EtMI)) consisting of major parts of alternating structure (-(MalVE-EtMI)n-) and a small part of consecutive sequences of EtMI (–EtMI-EtMI-). Occurrence of the latter sequences was caused by the homopolymerizability of maleimide under the present polymerization condition, and the formation of the consecutive sequences of EtMI was successfully suppressed by varying the monomer feed ratio. RAFT copolymerization of LacVE and EtMI was also found to proceed and similarly yielded periodic glycopolymers (poly(LacVE-co-EtMI)). Moreover, RAFT copolymerization of LacVE and MalMI (monomer feed ratio: LacVE:MalMI = 1:1) was performed to give copolymers (poly(LacVE-co-MalMI)) having composition ratio of LacVE/MalMI ≈ 36/64. The resultant periodic glycopolymers poly(MalVE-co-EtMI) and poly(LacVE-co-EtMI) were subjected to lectin binding assay using concanavalin A and peanut agglutinin, exhibiting the glycocluster effect. Moreover, these glycopolymers obtained from the copolymerization of VE and MI were found to be non-cytotoxic. Full article
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2018

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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Mechanism of Xylogenesis in Moso Bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) Shoots during Cold Storage
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010038 - 27 Dec 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
A bamboo shoot is the immature stem of the woody grass and a nutritious and popular vegetable in East Asia. However, it undergoes a rapid xylogenesis process right after harvest, even being stored in a cold chamber. To investigate the molecular regulation mechanisms [...] Read more.
A bamboo shoot is the immature stem of the woody grass and a nutritious and popular vegetable in East Asia. However, it undergoes a rapid xylogenesis process right after harvest, even being stored in a cold chamber. To investigate the molecular regulation mechanisms of xylogenesis in Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) shoots (MBSes) during cold storage, the measurement of cell wall polymers (cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin) and related enzyme activities (phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL), cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD), peroxidase (POD), and xylan xylosyltransferase (XylT)) and transcriptomic analysis were performed during cold storage. It was noticed that cellulose and lignin contents increased, while hemicellulose content exhibited a downward trend. PAL, CAD, and POD activity presented an upward trend generally in MBS when stored at 4 °C for 16 days. XylT activity showed a descending trend during the stages of storage, but slightly increased during the 8th to 12th days after harvest at 4 °C. Transcriptomic analysis identified 72, 28, 44, and 31 functional unigenes encoding lignin, cellulose, xylan biosynthesis enzymes, and transcription factors (TFs), respectively. Many of these secondary cell wall (SCW)-related genes showed higher expression levels in the later period of cold storage. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of the selected genes conformed to the expression pattern. Our study provides a comprehensive analysis of MBS secondary wall biosynthesis at the molecular level during the cold storage process. The results give insight into the xylogenesis process of this economically important vegetable and shed light on solving this problem of the post-harvest industry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of an Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Jet on the Structure and Physicochemical Properties of Waxy and Normal Maize Starch
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010008 - 21 Dec 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
In present study, a novel physical modification of waxy maize starch (WMS) and normal maize starch (NMS) was investigated by using an atmospheric pressure plasma jet (APPJ) treatment. The effect on the structure and physicochemical properties of both starches was demonstrated by treatment [...] Read more.
In present study, a novel physical modification of waxy maize starch (WMS) and normal maize starch (NMS) was investigated by using an atmospheric pressure plasma jet (APPJ) treatment. The effect on the structure and physicochemical properties of both starches was demonstrated by treatment with a 5% starch suspension (w/w) with APPJ for short periods of time (1, 3, 5, or 7 min). The pH of WMS and NMS was decreased after APPJ treatment from 5.42 to 4.94, and 5.09 to 4.75, respectively. The water-binding capacity (WBC) (WMS: 105.19%–131.27%, NMS: 83.56%–95.61%) and swelling volume (SV) (WMS: 2.96 g/mL–3.33 g/mL, NMS: 2.75 g/mL–3.05 g/mL) of the starches were obviously increased by APPJ treatment. The surfaces of starch granules were wrecked, due to plasma etching. No changes in the crystalline types of both starches were observed. However, the relative crystallinities (RCs) of WMS and NMS were reduced from 46.7% to 42.0%, and 40.1% to 35.7%, respectively. Moreover, the short-range molecular orders of both starches were slightly reduced. In addition, APPJ treatment resulted in lower gelatinization temperature and enthalpies. Therefore, APPJ provides a mild and green approach to starch modification, showing great potential for applications in the food and non-food industry. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Polysaccharide Based Scaffolds for Soft Tissue Engineering Applications
Polymers 2019, 11(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11010001 - 20 Dec 2018
Cited by 18
Abstract
Soft tissue reconstructs require materials that form three-dimensional (3-D) structures supportive to cell proliferation and regenerative processes. Polysaccharides, due to their hydrophilicity, biocompatibility, biodegradability, abundance, and presence of derivatizable functional groups, are distinctive scaffold materials. Superior mechanical properties, physiological signaling, and tunable tissue [...] Read more.
Soft tissue reconstructs require materials that form three-dimensional (3-D) structures supportive to cell proliferation and regenerative processes. Polysaccharides, due to their hydrophilicity, biocompatibility, biodegradability, abundance, and presence of derivatizable functional groups, are distinctive scaffold materials. Superior mechanical properties, physiological signaling, and tunable tissue response have been achieved through chemical modification of polysaccharides. Moreover, an appropriate formulation strategy enables spatial placement of the scaffold to a targeted site. With the advent of newer technologies, these preparations can be tailor-made for responding to alterations in temperature, pH, or other physiological stimuli. In this review, we discuss the developmental and biological aspects of scaffolds prepared from four polysaccharides, viz. alginic acid (ALG), chitosan (CHI), hyaluronic acid (HA), and dextran (DEX). Clinical studies on these scaffolds are also discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Dynamic High-Pressure Microfluidization-Treated Pectin under Different Ethanol Concentrations
Polymers 2018, 10(12), 1410; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10121410 - 19 Dec 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
We previously reported that dynamic high-pressure microfluidization (DHPM) can degrade pectin in aqueous solution. In this study, we further investigated the effect of DHPM on pectin in water-ethanol systems. In the absence of DHPM treatment, it was found that pectin exhibited increased average [...] Read more.
We previously reported that dynamic high-pressure microfluidization (DHPM) can degrade pectin in aqueous solution. In this study, we further investigated the effect of DHPM on pectin in water-ethanol systems. In the absence of DHPM treatment, it was found that pectin exhibited increased average particle size and unchanged average molecular weight, but a decline in reducing-sugar-ends content with the increase of ethanol concentrations (0–10% v/v). These results indicated that the addition of ethanol induced aggregation of pectin. During DHPM treatment, pectin underwent disaggregation and degradation under all measured ethanol concentrations. Disaggregation was enhanced but degradation was weakened with the increase of ethanol concentration. FT-IR and UV spectra indicated that demethylation but no β-elimination occurred in the water-ethanol system during DHPM. Finally, the mechanism of DHPM-induced disaggregation and degradation of pectin under a water-ethanol system was updated. This work may help us to find a suitable condition for reducing the degradation of pectin during the process of homogenization. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Biological Activity and Pharmacological Application of Pectic Polysaccharides: A Review
Polymers 2018, 10(12), 1407; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10121407 - 19 Dec 2018
Cited by 18
Abstract
Pectin is a polymer with a core of alternating α-1,4-linked d-galacturonic acid and α-1,2-l-rhamnose units, as well as a variety of neutral sugars such as arabinose, galactose, and lesser amounts of other sugars. Currently, native pectins have been compared [...] Read more.
Pectin is a polymer with a core of alternating α-1,4-linked d-galacturonic acid and α-1,2-l-rhamnose units, as well as a variety of neutral sugars such as arabinose, galactose, and lesser amounts of other sugars. Currently, native pectins have been compared to modified ones due to the development of natural medicines and health products. In this review, the results of a study of the bioactivity of pectic polysaccharides, including its various pharmacological applications, such as its immunoregulatory, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, antibacterial, antioxidant and antitumor activities, have been summarized. The potential of pectins to contribute to the enhancement of drug delivery systems has been observed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Solid-Phase Synthesis of Cellulose Acetate Butyrate as Microsphere Wall Materials for Sustained Release of Emamectin Benzoate
Polymers 2018, 10(12), 1381; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10121381 - 13 Dec 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Emamectin benzoate (EB), a widely used pesticide, is prone to decomposition by ultraviolet light and suffers from the corresponding loss of efficacy. The timed release of EB based on microspheres is one of the effective methods to solve this issue. As a non-toxic [...] Read more.
Emamectin benzoate (EB), a widely used pesticide, is prone to decomposition by ultraviolet light and suffers from the corresponding loss of efficacy. The timed release of EB based on microspheres is one of the effective methods to solve this issue. As a non-toxic cellulose ester, cellulose acetate butyrate (CAB) is regarded as one of the best wall-forming materials for microcapsules with a good controlled release performance. Herein, two methods—mechanical activation (MA) technology and a conventional liquid phase (LP) method—were employed to synthesize different CABs, namely CAB-MA and CAB-LP, respectively. The molecular structure, rheological property, and thermal stability of these CABs were investigated. The two CABs were used to prepare microspheres for the loading and release of EB via an o/w (oil-in-water) solvent evaporation method. Moreover, the performances such as drug loading, drug entrapment, and anti-photolysis of the drug for these microspheres were studied. The results showed that both CABs were available as wall materials for loading and releasing EB. Compared with CAB-LP, CAB-MA presented a lower molecular weight and a narrower molecular weight distribution. Moreover, the MA method endowed the CAB with more ester substituent groups and less crystalline structure in comparison to the LP method, which had benefits including pelletizing and drug loading. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in the Structure and Digestibility of Wrinkled Pea Starch with Malic Acid Treatment
Polymers 2018, 10(12), 1359; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10121359 - 07 Dec 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Resistant starch has gradually become a popular food component due to its beneficial physiological effects and heat resistance during processing. In this study, the structure, reaction mechanism, and digestibility of wrinkled pea starch with malic acid and heat–moisture treatment (HMT) are investigated. The [...] Read more.
Resistant starch has gradually become a popular food component due to its beneficial physiological effects and heat resistance during processing. In this study, the structure, reaction mechanism, and digestibility of wrinkled pea starch with malic acid and heat–moisture treatment (HMT) are investigated. The degree of substitution (DS) of malate starch, HMT-malate starch, and malate-HMT starch was 0.164, 0.280, and 0.146, respectively. Malate starch remained in its complete particle form and pronounced birefringence was displayed. However, the malate-HMT starch sample was almost completely broken into pieces and lost the polarized cross. All modified starch samples had a decreased swelling power and a new peak at 1731–1741 cm−1 shown by FTIR. From the 13C CP/MAS NMR (Cross Polarizatio/Magic Angle Spinning Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) spectra, all the modified starches had extra peaks at 38.5 ppm and 172.8 ppm. After esterification treatment, the resistant starch (RS) and slowly digestible starch (SDS) content of starch samples increased dramatically. The higher content of RS and lower enzymatic hydrolysis rate of the malate starch could be used to produce low-calorie foods and have potential health benefits. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Drop-in-Drop Encapsulation in Chitosan and Sodium Alginate as a Method of Prolonging the Quality of Linseed Oil
Polymers 2018, 10(12), 1355; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10121355 - 06 Dec 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Nowadays, the encapsulation of sensitive products by various techniques has become popular as a promising preservation method. In particular, this applies to oils with a high content of unsaturated fatty acids and a high susceptibility to deterioration. This work presents the possibility of [...] Read more.
Nowadays, the encapsulation of sensitive products by various techniques has become popular as a promising preservation method. In particular, this applies to oils with a high content of unsaturated fatty acids and a high susceptibility to deterioration. This work presents the possibility of using a chitosan and sodium alginate in the form of a hydrogel membrane to protect food ingredients such as linseed oil, which is stored in an aquatic environment. The obtained results showed the high efficiency of the coaxial method encapsulation, which did not affect the quality of the oil measured after encapsulation. The greatest protective effect was observed in the linseed oil–chitosan membrane system, in which the primary and secondary oxidation products content were 88% and 32% lower than in the control sample, respectively. The smallest changes of the fatty acid profile, conjugated dienes, and trienes were observed in the chitosan capsules with linseed oil compared to the control sample. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Reversible Stability of Emulsion and Polymer Latex Controlled by Oligochitosan and CO2
Polymers 2018, 10(12), 1352; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10121352 - 06 Dec 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The addition of salt to a colloid solution ensures that emulsions can be easily separated into two phases and that polymer latexes can be coagulated. The switchable stability of emulsions and polymer latexes would improve the properties for their current applications. A switchable [...] Read more.
The addition of salt to a colloid solution ensures that emulsions can be easily separated into two phases and that polymer latexes can be coagulated. The switchable stability of emulsions and polymer latexes would improve the properties for their current applications. A switchable process of salt addition can be achieved using CO2 and switchable water, and it is a novel, benign approach to achieving a switchable ionic strength in an aqueous solution. However, the problem associated with switchable water is that its additives are all synthetic tertiary amines, most of which are harmful to human beings and the environment. Oligochitosan, as a natural product, can also be used as a switchable water additive. In this paper, a new switchable water system using oligochitosan to change the ionic strength was explored for use in several potential industrial applications. The conductivity of the aqueous solution of oligochitosan (0.2 wt.%) was switched from 0.2 to 331 μS/cm through the addition and removal of CO2. Oligochitosan and CO2 were successfully utilized to reversibly break a crude oil emulsion. Polystyrene (PS) latexes could also be reversibly destabilized; the zeta potential of the PS latex changed between −5.8 and −45.2 mV in the absence and presence of CO2 after oligochitosan was dissolved in the PS latex. The use of oligochitosan is a more environmentally friendly means for reversibly separating colloid solutions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mixed Membranes Comprising Carboxymethyl Cellulose (as Capping Agent and Gas Barrier Matrix) and Nanoporous ZIF-L Nanosheets for Gas Separation Applications
Polymers 2018, 10(12), 1340; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10121340 - 04 Dec 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Two-dimensional metal–organic framework (MOF) nanosheets with molecular sieving properties and unique dimensional advantages are highly desired as polymer fillers for gas separation applications. Regarding polymer-supported MOF membranes, it is crucial to enhance the adhesion between the polymeric substrate and the MOF component and [...] Read more.
Two-dimensional metal–organic framework (MOF) nanosheets with molecular sieving properties and unique dimensional advantages are highly desired as polymer fillers for gas separation applications. Regarding polymer-supported MOF membranes, it is crucial to enhance the adhesion between the polymeric substrate and the MOF component and avoid MOF particle agglomeration. In this study, hydrophobic, embedded nanoporous nanosheets of a 2D zeolitic imidazolate framework synthesized using zinc salt and 2-methylimidazole (Hmim) aqueous solution (ZIF-L) were incorporated into a carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) solution to form a steady mixed aqueous suspension through one-step solution blending. This prepared the composite membranes with a fine dispersion of ZIF-L nanosheets (up to loadings of 52.88 vol %) and good adhesion within the highly dense structural CMC matrix due to the strong interactions between ZIF-L and CMC, as confirmed by FTIR, Zeta potential, XPS, and SEM analysis. The potential advantages of CMC over classic polymer matrices used for gas separation mainly include: (a) Good interaction, (b) high dispersion of ZIF-L nanosheets, (c) the gas barrier nature of the CMC membrane, and (d) a facile water-based synthetic process. Based on the molecular sieving effect of ZIF-L and the gas barrier nature of the CMC matrix, gas permeation tests (H2, CO2, N2, CH4) of the mixed membrane showed a great improvement in gas selectivities compared with the CMC membrane and the reported pure ZIF membranes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Isothermal Adsorption Properties for the Adsorption and Removal of Reactive Blue 221 Dye from Aqueous Solutions by Cross-Linked β-Chitosan Glycan as Acid-Resistant Adsorbent
Polymers 2018, 10(12), 1328; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10121328 - 30 Nov 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Dye effluent causes serious pollution and damage to the environment and needs a series of treatments before it can be discharged. Among the numerous effluent treatment methods, adsorption is the simplest and does not cause secondary pollution. Bio-adsorbents are especially advantageous in the [...] Read more.
Dye effluent causes serious pollution and damage to the environment and needs a series of treatments before it can be discharged. Among the numerous effluent treatment methods, adsorption is the simplest and does not cause secondary pollution. Bio-adsorbents are especially advantageous in the treatment of low-concentration dye effluent. In this study, the adsorption and removal capacities of unmodified α- and β-chitosan and modified β-chitosan (β-chitosan cross-linked with triethylenetetramine, BCCT) on C.I. Reactive Blue 221 (RB221) dye were compared. The experiments were performed on the adsorption of the RB221 dye by unmodified α- and β-chitosan and cross-linkage–modified BCCT at different temperatures and for different durations, which are presented along with the relevant adsorption kinetics calculations. According to the results, as the temperature increased from 303 to 333 K, the initial adsorption rates of the adsorbents, α-chitosan, β-chitosan, and BCCT, for the RB221 dye, changed from 1.01 × 102, 4.74 × 102, and 1.48 × 106 mg/g min to 5.98 × 104, 4.23 × 108, and 1.52 × 1013 mg/g min, respectively. BCCT thus showed the best adsorption for the dye at all temperatures from the Elovich model. These results confirmed the successful introduction of a polyaminated and cross-linked extended structure as a modification for the BCCT adsorbent, which makes it resistant to acid hydrolysis and gives it the functional amine group for dye adsorption, thereby promoting the ability of BCCT to adsorb dyes under strongly acidic conditions. The compound synthesized in this study is expected to be a good choice in the future for purifying strongly acidic effluent containing anionic organic dyes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Isothermal Crystallization and Rheology Properties of Isotactic Polypropylene/Bacterial Cellulose Composite
Polymers 2018, 10(11), 1284; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10111284 - 18 Nov 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Bacterial cellulose (BC) is a new kind of cellulose with great potential in enhancing preparation of isotactic Polypropylene (iPP) composites, which have been found with excellent performance. However, the interface compatibility between BC and iPP is poor. In this study, iPP/BC composites were [...] Read more.
Bacterial cellulose (BC) is a new kind of cellulose with great potential in enhancing preparation of isotactic Polypropylene (iPP) composites, which have been found with excellent performance. However, the interface compatibility between BC and iPP is poor. In this study, iPP/BC composites were prepared by solution mixing. Esterification modified BC (CO) and Maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene (MAPP) added as a compatibilizer was both used to improve the interfacial compatibility of the iPP/BC composites. The rheology and isothermal crystallization behavior of the composites was tested and discussed. The result shows that the complex viscosity and storage modulus of the composite significantly increase in the rule iPP, iPP/BC2, iPP/CO2, and M-iPP/BC3, which indicates that the compatibility of the composite increases as this rule. According to the isothermal crystallization kinetics result, the crystal growth mode of iPP was not affected by the addition of BC and the interfacial compatibility. The spherulite growth rate of the iPP/BC composite increases with increasing crystallization temperature. Especially, the value decreases as the same rule with the complex viscosity and storage modulus of the composite at the same isothermal crystallization temperature. These results suggest that the interface compatibility of iPP/BC composites is greatly improved and the interface compatibility of the M-iPP/BC3 is better than the iPP/CO2. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Difference in Macroscopic Morphologies of Amylosic Supramolecular Networks Depending on Guest Polymers in Vine-Twining Polymerization
Polymers 2018, 10(11), 1277; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10111277 - 16 Nov 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Amylose, a natural polysaccharide, acts as a host molecule to form supramolecular inclusion complexes in its enzymatically formation process, that is, phosphorylase-catalyzed enzymatic polymerization using the α-d-glucose 1-phosphate monomer and the maltooligosaccharide primer, in the presence of appropriate guest polymers (vine-twining [...] Read more.
Amylose, a natural polysaccharide, acts as a host molecule to form supramolecular inclusion complexes in its enzymatically formation process, that is, phosphorylase-catalyzed enzymatic polymerization using the α-d-glucose 1-phosphate monomer and the maltooligosaccharide primer, in the presence of appropriate guest polymers (vine-twining polymerization). Furthermore, in the vine-twining polymerization using maltooligosaccharide primer-grafted polymers, such as maltoheptaose (G7)-grafted poly(γ-glutamic acid) (PGA), in the presence of poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL), the enzymatically elongated amylose graft chains have formed inclusion complexes with PCL among the PGA main-chains to construct supramolecular networks. Either hydrogelation or aggregation as a macroscopic morphology from the products was observed in accordance with PCL/primer feed ratios. In this study, we evaluated macroscopic morphologies from such amylosic supramolecular networks with different guest polymers in the vine-twining polymerization using G7-grafted PGA in the presence of polytetrahydrofuran (PTHF), PCL, and poly(l-lactide) (PLLA). Consequently, we found that the reaction mixture using PTHF totally turned into a hydrogel form, whereas the products using PCL and PLLA were aggregated in the reaction mixtures. The produced networks were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopic measurements. The difference in the macroscopic morphologies was reasonably explained by stabilities of the complexes depending on the guest polymers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Therapeutic Effect and Metabolic Mechanism of A Selenium-Polysaccharide from Ziyang Green Tea on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Polymers 2018, 10(11), 1269; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10111269 - 15 Nov 2018
Abstract
Ziyang green tea was considered a medicine food homology plant to improve chronic fatigue Ssyndrome (CFS) in China. The aim of this research was to study the therapeutic effect of selenium-polysaccharides (Se-TP) from Ziyang green tea on CFS and explore its metabolic mechanism. [...] Read more.
Ziyang green tea was considered a medicine food homology plant to improve chronic fatigue Ssyndrome (CFS) in China. The aim of this research was to study the therapeutic effect of selenium-polysaccharides (Se-TP) from Ziyang green tea on CFS and explore its metabolic mechanism. A CFS-rats model was established in the present research and Se-TP was administrated to evaluate the therapeutic effect on CFS. Some serum metabolites including blood urea nitrogen (BUN), blood lactate acid (BLA), corticosterone (CORT), and aldosterone (ALD) were checked. Urine metabolites were analyzed via gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Multivariate statistical analysis was also used to check the data. The results selected biomarkers that were entered into the MetPA database to analyze their corresponding metabolic pathways. The results demonstrated that Se-TP markedly improved the level of BUN and CORT in CFS rats. A total of eight differential metabolites were detected in GC-MS analysis, which were benzoic acid, itaconic acid, glutaric acid, 4-acetamidobutyric acid, creatine, 2-hydroxy-3-isopropylbutanedioic acid, l-dopa, and 21-hydroxypregnenolone. These differential metabolites were entered into the MetPA database to search for the corresponding metabolic pathways and three related metabolic pathways were screened out. The first pathway was steroid hormone biosynthesis. The second was tyrosine metabolism, and the third was arginine-proline metabolism. The 21-hydroxypregnenolone level of rats in the CFS group markedly increased after the Se-TP administration. In conclusion, Se-TP treatments on CFS rats improved their condition. Its metabolic mechanism was closely related to that which regulates the steroid hormone biosynthesis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Starch-Based Flexible Coating for Food Packaging Paper with Exceptional Hydrophobicity and Antimicrobial Activity
Polymers 2018, 10(11), 1260; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10111260 - 13 Nov 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
Herein, we fabricated a starch-based flexible coating for food packaging papers with excellent hydrophobicity and antimicrobial properties. FTIR (Fourier transform infrared) and XRD (X-ray diffraction) spectra revealed the homogeneous dispersion of the ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) in the composite film within 5% ZnO NP [...] Read more.
Herein, we fabricated a starch-based flexible coating for food packaging papers with excellent hydrophobicity and antimicrobial properties. FTIR (Fourier transform infrared) and XRD (X-ray diffraction) spectra revealed the homogeneous dispersion of the ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) in the composite film within 5% ZnO NP dosage. SEM (scanning electron microscope) and AFM (atomic force microscope) micrographs confirmed the increased roughness on the composite film with the increased dosages of ZnO NPs. Hydrophobic characteristics showed that dramatic enhancement was obtained in the values and stabilities of DCAs (dynamic contact angles) in the resultant film and coated paper. TG (thermogravimetry) results demonstrated the increased thermal stabilities of the composite films. Significantly, a decreased water vapor transmission rate was observed in the coated paper. When 20% guanidine-based starch and 2% CMC (carboxy methyl cellulose) was added, a flexible coating with excellent antimicrobial activity towards Escherichia coli can be obtained. Furthermore, the migration of ZnO NPs into the food simulants was well below the overall migration legislative limit. The resultant starch-based flexible composite film and coated paper established an effective approach to develop a green-based material for food packaging applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Achyranthes bidentata Polysaccharides on Intestinal Morphology, Immune Response, and Gut Microbiome in Yellow Broiler Chickens Challenged with Escherichia coli K88
Polymers 2018, 10(11), 1233; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10111233 - 07 Nov 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary Achyranthes bidentata polysaccharide (ABPS) supplementation on performance, immune response, intestinal mucosal morphology, and gut microbiome in yellow-feathered broilers challenged with Escherichia coli K88. A 2 × 2 factorial design was used for [...] Read more.
The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary Achyranthes bidentata polysaccharide (ABPS) supplementation on performance, immune response, intestinal mucosal morphology, and gut microbiome in yellow-feathered broilers challenged with Escherichia coli K88. A 2 × 2 factorial design was used for the trial. Two hundred and forty one-day-old female broilers were randomly assigned to four treatments: (1) negative-control broilers were fed by a basal diet and saline (NG); (2) positive-control broilers were fed by a basal diet and orally challenged with 108 CFU E. coli K88 (CNG); (3) ABP group broilers were fed by a basal diet containing ABPS (500 mg/kg of feed) and saline; (4) CABP group broilers were fed by a basal diet containing ABPS (500 mg/kg of feed) and orally challenged with 108 CFU E. coli K88. Growth performance, serum biochemical indexes, immune responses, intestinal mucosal morphology, and cecal microbial community structure were evaluated. The ABP group had greatest body weight (BW), average daily body weight gain (ADG), and intestinal villus height compared to other treatments (p < 0.05). The CABP group had a higher villus height/crypt depth ratio (V/C) compared with other treatments (p < 0.05). The expression levels of NF-κB were lower in the ABP group. The CNG group had higher Escherichia coli and Enterococcus contents in cecal samples compared to other treatments (p < 0.05). Serum glucose, uric acid, TNF-α, and Secretory Immunoglobulin A (S-IgA) levels were higher in broilers challenged with E. coli (p < 0.001) than that with saline. Broilers challenged with E. coli had reduced taxa richness in the cecal samples. Sequencing of 16S rRNA genes in cecal samples revealed that a lower proportion of Firmicutes and a higher proportion of Proteobacteria were detected in the broilers challenged with E. coli. Compared with the controls, dietary ABPS supplementation increased serum total protein, albumin, and S-IgA levels, but decreased serum glucose, uric acid, and TNF-α levels in broilers (p < 0.05). Diet supplemented with ABPS increased the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio and the abundance of Ruminococcaceae and Lachnospiraceae, and altered cecal microbiota community structure. These results suggest that ABPS can promote growth performance and improve intestinal morphology and microbiota community structure in broilers challenged with E. coli K88. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Application of Industrially Produced Chitosan in the Surface Treatment of Fibre-Based Material: Effect of Drying Method and Number of Coating Layers on Mechanical and Barrier Properties
Polymers 2018, 10(11), 1232; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10111232 - 07 Nov 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Chitosan is a versatile biopolymer with many interesting functionalities. Its effects on the barrier and mechanical properties of single- or double-coated fibre-based packaging papers in dependence on the applied drying regime were successfully tested. Our investigations revealed chitosan to be a highly robust [...] Read more.
Chitosan is a versatile biopolymer with many interesting functionalities. Its effects on the barrier and mechanical properties of single- or double-coated fibre-based packaging papers in dependence on the applied drying regime were successfully tested. Our investigations revealed chitosan to be a highly robust biopolymer, since the different drying regimes did not alter its contribution to the development of strength and barrier properties of the coated packaging papers. These properties showed a stronger influence of the applied coat weights than of the different drying regimes. The effect of chitosan coatings were quantified by measuring tensile strength (TS), burst strength (BS) and tensile energy absorption (TEA). These revealed that TS, BS and TEA of the coated papers increased significantly. Moreover, the chitosan-coated papers were less permeable against water vapor and air. High grease resistance was observed for double-coated papers, irrespective of the drying regimes. The coated paper surface showed a more hydrophilic character, resulting in lower contact angles and higher water absorption properties. In this study, industrially produced chitosan has been proven to be a renewable, robust biopolymer that can be utilized as an additive to increase strength and the barrier properties of fibre-based materials. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fabrication of Quaternized Chitosan Nanoparticles Using Tripolyphosphate/Genipin Dual Cross-Linkers as a Protein Delivery System
Polymers 2018, 10(11), 1226; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10111226 - 05 Nov 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
Various amounts of 2-((acryloyloxy)ethyl)trimethylammonium chloride were grafted onto chitosan (CS) via redox polymerization method to obtain water-soluble quaternized CS (QCS). The QCS nanoparticles loaded with bovine serum albumin (BSA) were then produced by ionic gelation with tripolyphosphate (TPP) and further covalently cross-linked with [...] Read more.
Various amounts of 2-((acryloyloxy)ethyl)trimethylammonium chloride were grafted onto chitosan (CS) via redox polymerization method to obtain water-soluble quaternized CS (QCS). The QCS nanoparticles loaded with bovine serum albumin (BSA) were then produced by ionic gelation with tripolyphosphate (TPP) and further covalently cross-linked with genipin. The formation of QCS nanoparticles was optimized as a function of monomer grafting yield, QCS/TPP weight ratio, and QCS/genipin weight ratio by Box-Behnken design and response surface methodology. The results showed that QCS nanoparticles prepared with a grafting yield of 50%, QCS/TPP weight ratio of 7.67, and QCS/genipin weight ratio of 60 had a particle size of 193.68 ± 44.92 nm, polydispersity of 0.232, zeta potential of +23.97 mV and BSA encapsulation efficiency of 46.37 ± 2.89%, which were close to the predicted values from mathematical models. In vitro drug release studies at pH 1.2 and pH 7.4 exhibited that the release rate of BSA was significantly decreased and the release period was significantly prolonged after QCS nanoparticles cross-linking with genipin. Therefore, QCS nanoparticles cross-linked with TPP/genipin dual cross-linkers may be a promising protein drug carrier for a prolonged and sustained delivery. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Strategies for Improving Ocular Drug Bioavailability and Corneal Wound Healing with Chitosan-Based Delivery Systems
Polymers 2018, 10(11), 1221; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10111221 - 03 Nov 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
The main inconvenience of conventional eye drops is the rapid washout of the drugs due to nasolacrimal drainage or ophthalmic barriers. The ocular drug bioavailability can be improved by either prolonging retention time in the cul-de-sac or by increasing the ocular permeability. The [...] Read more.
The main inconvenience of conventional eye drops is the rapid washout of the drugs due to nasolacrimal drainage or ophthalmic barriers. The ocular drug bioavailability can be improved by either prolonging retention time in the cul-de-sac or by increasing the ocular permeability. The focus of this review is to highlight some chitosan-based drug delivery approaches that proved to have good clinical efficacy and high potential for use in ophthalmology. They are exemplified by recent studies exploring in-depth the techniques and mechanisms in order to improve ocular bioavailability of the active substances. Used alone or in combination with other compounds with synergistic action, chitosan enables ocular retention time and corneal permeability. Associated with other stimuli-responsive polymers, it enhances the mechanical strength of the gels. Chitosan and its derivatives increase drug permeability through the cornea by temporarily opening tight junctions between epithelial cells. Different types of chitosan-based colloidal systems have the potential to overcome the ocular barriers without disturbing the vision process. Chitosan also plays a key role in improving corneal wound healing by stimulating the migration of keratinocytes when it is used alone or in combination with other compounds with synergistic action. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Injectable and Gellable Chitosan Formulations Filled with Cellulose Nanofibers for Intervertebral Disc Tissue Engineering
Polymers 2018, 10(11), 1202; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10111202 - 27 Oct 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
The development of non-cellularized injectable suspensions of viscous chitosan (CHI) solutions (1.7–3.3% (w/w)), filled with cellulose nanofibers (CNF) (0.02–0.6% (w/w)) of the type nanofibrillated cellulose, was proposed for viscosupplementation of the intervertebral disc nucleus pulposus [...] Read more.
The development of non-cellularized injectable suspensions of viscous chitosan (CHI) solutions (1.7–3.3% (w/w)), filled with cellulose nanofibers (CNF) (0.02–0.6% (w/w)) of the type nanofibrillated cellulose, was proposed for viscosupplementation of the intervertebral disc nucleus pulposus tissue. The achievement of CNF/CHI formulations which can gel in situ at the disc injection site constitutes a minimally-invasive approach to restore damaged/degenerated discs. We studied physico-chemical aspects of the sol and gel states of the CNF/CHI formulations, including the rheological behavior in relation to injectability (sol state) and fiber mechanical reinforcement (gel state). CNF-CHI interactions could be evidenced by a double flow behavior due to the relaxation of the CHI polymer chains and those interacting with the CNFs. At high shear rates resembling the injection conditions with needles commonly used in surgical treatments, both the reference CHI viscous solutions and those filled with CNFs exhibited similar rheological behavior. The neutralization of the flowing and weakly acidic CNF/CHI suspensions yielded composite hydrogels in which the nanofibers reinforced the CHI matrix. We performed evaluations in relation to the biomedical application, such as the effect of the intradiscal injection of the CNF/CHI formulation in pig and rabbit spine models on disc biomechanics. We showed that the injectable formulations became hydrogels in situ after intradiscal gelation, due to CHI neutralization occurring in contact with the body fluids. No leakage of the injectate through the injection canal was observed and the gelled formulation restored the disc height and loss of mechanical properties, which is commonly related to disc degeneration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Modified Tapioca Starch on Mechanical, Thermal, and Morphological Properties of PBS Blends for Food Packaging
Polymers 2018, 10(11), 1187; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10111187 - 25 Oct 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
In this study, polybutylene succinate (PBS) was blended with five types of modified tapioca starch to investigate the effect of modified tapioca starch in PBS blends for food packaging by identifying its properties. Tensile and flexural properties of blends found deteriorated for insertion [...] Read more.
In this study, polybutylene succinate (PBS) was blended with five types of modified tapioca starch to investigate the effect of modified tapioca starch in PBS blends for food packaging by identifying its properties. Tensile and flexural properties of blends found deteriorated for insertion of starch. This is due to poor interface, higher void contents and hydrolytic degradation of hydrophilic starch. FTIR results show all starch/PBS blends are found with footprints of starch except OH stretching vibration which is absent in B40 blends. Besides, Broad O–H absorption in all specimens show that these are hydrogen bonded molecules and no free O–H bonding was found. SEM testing shows good interfacial bonding between PBS and starch except E40 blends. Therefore, poor results of E40 blends was expected. In TGA, a slightly weight loss found between 80 to 100 °C due to free water removal. Apart from this, insertion of all types of starch reduces thermal stability of blend. However, high crystallinity of starch/PBS blend observed better thermal stability but lower char yield. Starch A and B blends are suggested to be used as food wrap and food container materials while starch D blend is suitable for grocery plastic bags according to observed results. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation and Characterization of Potato Starch Film with Various Size of Nano-SiO2
Polymers 2018, 10(10), 1172; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10101172 - 22 Oct 2018
Cited by 10
Abstract
The various sizes (15, 30, 80, and 100 nm) of nano-SiO2/potato starch films were synthesized and characterized. The gas permeability, antibacterial properties, and mechanical properties of the films were evaluated to their potential for application as food packaging materials. Results indicated [...] Read more.
The various sizes (15, 30, 80, and 100 nm) of nano-SiO2/potato starch films were synthesized and characterized. The gas permeability, antibacterial properties, and mechanical properties of the films were evaluated to their potential for application as food packaging materials. Results indicated that the 100 nm nano-SiO2 was well dispersed in the starch matrix, which induced an active group on the surface of 100 nm nano-SiO2 adequately combined with starch macromolecule. The water resistance and mechanical properties of the films were improved with the addition of nano-SiO2. Notably, resistance to ultraviolet and thermal aging was also enhanced. The nano-SiO2/potato starch films were more efficient against Escherichia coli (E. coli) than Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). Remarkable preservation properties of the films packaging the white mushrooms were obtained, with those of the 100 nm films considered superior. This study can significantly guide the rational choice of the nano-SiO2 size to meet the packaging requirements of various agricultural products. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Calcium Alginate Submicroparticles on Seed Germination and Seedling Growth of Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)
Polymers 2018, 10(10), 1154; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10101154 - 16 Oct 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Calcium alginate (CaAlg) submicroparticles have a potential application in agricultural delivery systems. This study investigated the effects of CaAlg submicroparticles on seed germination and seedling growth of wheat. CaAlg submicroparticles with a Z-average diameter of around 250.4 nm and a measured zeta potential [...] Read more.
Calcium alginate (CaAlg) submicroparticles have a potential application in agricultural delivery systems. This study investigated the effects of CaAlg submicroparticles on seed germination and seedling growth of wheat. CaAlg submicroparticles with a Z-average diameter of around 250.4 nm and a measured zeta potential value of about −25.4 mV were prepared and characterized by dynamic light scattering (DLS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS). After this, the effects of the concentration of CaAlg submicroparticles (10–500 μg/mL) on germination percentage, seedling length, the number of adventitious roots, chlorophyll content and soluble protein content were evaluated. The results demonstrated a significant increase in the level of germination percentage (9.0%), seedling index (50.3%), adventitious roots (27.5%), seedling length (17.0%), chlorophyll (8.7%) and soluble protein contents (4.5%) at a concentration of 100 μg/mL. However, an inhibitory effect was observed at a concentration of 500 μg/mL. The SEM examination showed that CaAlg submicroparticles could be successfully adsorbed onto the surface of the wheat seed. Further studies proved that CaAlg submicroparticles at a concentration of 100 μg/mL promoted the expression of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA)-related genes (YUCCA9, AUX1, ARF and UGT) in wheat, which resulted in an increase of 69% and 21% in IAA concentration in wheat roots and shoots, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
One-Step Quaternization/Hydroxypropylsulfonation to Improve Paste Stability, Adhesion, and Film Properties of Oxidized Starch
Polymers 2018, 10(10), 1110; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10101110 - 08 Oct 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
To investigate the influences of quaternization/hydroxypropylsulfonation on viscosity stability, adhesion to fibers and film properties of oxidized tapioca starch (OTS) for ameliorating its end-use ability in applications such as warp-sizing and paper-making, a series of quaternized and hydroxypropylsulfonated OTS (QHOTS) samples were synthesized [...] Read more.
To investigate the influences of quaternization/hydroxypropylsulfonation on viscosity stability, adhesion to fibers and film properties of oxidized tapioca starch (OTS) for ameliorating its end-use ability in applications such as warp-sizing and paper-making, a series of quaternized and hydroxypropylsulfonated OTS (QHOTS) samples were synthesized by simultaneous quaternization and hydroxypropylsulfonation of OTS with N-(3-chloro-2-hydroxypropyl) trimethylammonium chloride (CHPTAC) and 3-chloro-2-hydroxy-1-propanesulfonic acid sodium salt (CHPS-Na). The QHOTS granules were characterized by Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopic and scanning electron microscope techniques. Apparent viscosity and viscosity stability were determined, and adhesion was evaluated by measuring the bonding force of starch to the fibers. Film properties were also estimated in terms of tensile strength, breaking elongation, bending endurance, degree of crystallinity, and moisture regain. It was showed that quaternization/hydroxypropylsulfonation was capable of obviously improving viscosity stability of gelatinized OTS paste, enhancing bonding forces of OTS to cotton and polylactic acid (PLA) fibers, increasing breaking elongation, bending endurance and moisture regain of film and decreasing its tensile strength and degree of crystallinity, thereby obviously stabilizing paste viscosity, improving adhesion to fibers and lessening film brittleness. Increasing the level of quaternization/hydroxypropylsulfonation favored improvement in the stability, enhancement in adhesion and decrease in brittleness. The QHOTS showed potential in the applications of cotton and PLA sizing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Nanoporous PLA/(Chitosan Nanoparticle) Composite Fibrous Membranes with Excellent Air Filtration and Antibacterial Performance
Polymers 2018, 10(10), 1085; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10101085 - 30 Sep 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
Particulate matter (PM) pollution, which usually carries viruses and bacteria, has drawn considerable attention as a major threat to public health. In this present study, an environment-friendly antibacterial Poly(lactic acid)(PLA)/chitosan composite air filter was fabricated using the one-step electrospinning technique. The composite PLA/chitosan [...] Read more.
Particulate matter (PM) pollution, which usually carries viruses and bacteria, has drawn considerable attention as a major threat to public health. In this present study, an environment-friendly antibacterial Poly(lactic acid)(PLA)/chitosan composite air filter was fabricated using the one-step electrospinning technique. The composite PLA/chitosan fibres show a highly porous structure, in which chitosan nanoparticles (NPs) were found to be uniformly distributed throughout the entire fibre. The morphologies, through-pore size and distribution, air filtration and anti-microbial properties of these filter media were studied. The results showed that it was not the chitosan content but instead the concentration of the spinning solutions that had the greatest effect on the morphologies of the porous fibres. The relative humidity influenced the nanometre-scale pores on the surface of PLA/chitosan fibres. The PLA/chitosan fibrous membranes with a chitosan to PLA mass ratio of 2.5:8 exhibited a high filtration efficiency of 98.99% and a relatively low pressure drop (147.60 Pa) when the air flow rate was 14 cm/s, while these also had high antibacterial activity of 99.4% and 99.5% against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, respectively. It took 33 min for the PM2.5 concentration to decrease to 0 μg/m3 from 999 μg/m3 using the PLA/chitosan fibrous membranes, which demonstrates obviously effective air purification performance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cellulose–Chitosan Antibacterial Composite Films Prepared from LiBr Solution
Polymers 2018, 10(10), 1058; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10101058 - 23 Sep 2018
Cited by 11
Abstract
Cellulose and chitosan solutions were prepared in 60% LiBr and mixed with a different weight ratio. The washing and drying of the prepared cellulose–chitosan composite films were performed under identical conditions. The color of the liquefied mixtures and films was initially transparent but [...] Read more.
Cellulose and chitosan solutions were prepared in 60% LiBr and mixed with a different weight ratio. The washing and drying of the prepared cellulose–chitosan composite films were performed under identical conditions. The color of the liquefied mixtures and films was initially transparent but changed from colorless to brownish yellow depending on the ratio of chitosan in the solution. The cross section observed in the SEM results indicated that the film developed with a higher ratio of chitosan was more robust and possessed greater antibacterial properties. FT-IR analysis of the films showed that hydrogen bonds between cellulose and chitosan in composite films were successfully achieved and retained excellent mechanical properties. The proper ratio of chitosan in the cellulose solution can increase the tensile strength and improve the elongation of the films; however, the E-modulus property was consistently reduced. The antibacterial activity and mechanical properties of the films were greatly improved as the amount of chitosan in the film increased. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Nanocomposite Film Containing Fibrous Cellulose Scaffold and Ag/TiO2 Nanoparticles and Its Antibacterial Activity
Polymers 2018, 10(10), 1052; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10101052 - 20 Sep 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Cellulose is a natural polymer that is widely used in daily life, but it is susceptible to microorganism growth. In this study, a simple sol–gel technique was utilized to incorporate the cellulose scaffold with Ag/TiO2 nanoparticles. The morphology and crystal structure of [...] Read more.
Cellulose is a natural polymer that is widely used in daily life, but it is susceptible to microorganism growth. In this study, a simple sol–gel technique was utilized to incorporate the cellulose scaffold with Ag/TiO2 nanoparticles. The morphology and crystal structure of the as-prepared Ag/TiO2/cellulose composite film were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) methods. Antibacterial tests involving the use of Escherichia coli (E. coli) were carried out under dark and UV-light conditions to evaluate the efficiency of the Ag/TiO2/cellulose composite film in comparison with pristine cellulose paper and TiO2/cellulose composite film. The results indicated that the antibacterial activity of the Ag/TiO2/cellulose composite film outperformed all other samples, where the Ag content of 0.030 wt% could inhibit more than 99% of E. coli. This study suggests that finely dispersed nanocale Ag/TiO2 particles in the cellulose scaffold were effective at slowing down bacterial growth, and the mechanisms of this are also discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Electrospun Cellulose Nanocrystals/Chitosan/Polyvinyl Alcohol Nanofibrous Films and their Exploration to Metal Ions Adsorption
Polymers 2018, 10(10), 1046; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10101046 - 20 Sep 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Cellulose nanocrystals/chitosan/polyvinyl alcohol (CNC/CS/PVA) composite nanofibrous films were prepared while using an electrospinning technique and successfully thiol-functionalized. Then, the modified films were used for the sorption-desorption of Cu(II) and Pb(II) ions. Subsequently, the adsorption capacity of the films was investigated by changing the [...] Read more.
Cellulose nanocrystals/chitosan/polyvinyl alcohol (CNC/CS/PVA) composite nanofibrous films were prepared while using an electrospinning technique and successfully thiol-functionalized. Then, the modified films were used for the sorption-desorption of Cu(II) and Pb(II) ions. Subsequently, the adsorption capacity of the films was investigated by changing the CNC loading level, solution pH, and adsorption time. Results showed that the adsorption of metal ions by the films was the best with CNC loading level of 5 wt %, pH of 6, and adsorption time of 4 h. The adsorption behavior of the films was agreed with the Freundlich model. The adsorption equation of metal ions could be described while using a pseudo-second order model. Based on the Langmuir model, the maximum adsorption capacities of Cu(II) and Pb(II) ions were estimated to be 484.06 and 323.49 mg/g, respectively. The Cu(II) and Pb(II) ions adsorption efficiencies of the films after 4 adsorption-desorption cycles were 90.58% and 90.21%, respectively. This study may provide a feasible approach for the application of functional CNC/CS/PVA nanofibrous films in the treatment of water. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Removal of Aromatic Chlorinated Pesticides from Aqueous Solution Using β-Cyclodextrin Polymers Decorated with Fe3O4 Nanoparticles
Polymers 2018, 10(9), 1038; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10091038 - 19 Sep 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
This article describes the sorption properties of cyclodextrin polymers (nanosponges; NS) with the pesticides 4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid (4-CPA) and 2,3,4,6-tetrachlorophenol (TCF), including an evaluation of its efficiency and a comparison with other materials, such as granulated activated carbon (GAC). NS-pesticide complexes were characterized by [...] Read more.
This article describes the sorption properties of cyclodextrin polymers (nanosponges; NS) with the pesticides 4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid (4-CPA) and 2,3,4,6-tetrachlorophenol (TCF), including an evaluation of its efficiency and a comparison with other materials, such as granulated activated carbon (GAC). NS-pesticide complexes were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD), proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR), UV–VIS, and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). This confirms the interactions of the guests with nanosponges and shows that the polymers have favorable sorption capacities for chlorinated aromatic guests. Our studies also show that the inclusion complex is predominantly favored for NS/CPA rather than those formed between TCF and NS due to the size of the adsorbate and steric effects. Sorption studies carried with repeated cycles demonstrate that NS polymers could be an improved technology for pollutant removal from aquatic environments, as they are very efficient and reusable materials. Our experiments and characterization by SEM, EDS, UV–VIS, and magnetization saturation (VSM) also show that NS is an optimal substrate for the deposition of magnetite nanoparticles, thus improving the usefulness and properties of the polymer, as the nanosponges could be retrieved from aqueous solution with a neodymium magnet without losing its efficiency as a pesticide sorbent. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Photo-Crosslinked Keratin/Chitosan Membranes as Potential Wound Dressing Materials
Polymers 2018, 10(9), 987; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10090987 - 04 Sep 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
In this study, we combined two kinds of natural polymers, chitosan and keratin, to develop a portable composite membrane via UV irradiation. UV-crosslinking without an additional chemical agent makes the fabrication more ideal by reducing reactants and avoiding residual toxic chemicals. This novel [...] Read more.
In this study, we combined two kinds of natural polymers, chitosan and keratin, to develop a portable composite membrane via UV irradiation. UV-crosslinking without an additional chemical agent makes the fabrication more ideal by reducing reactants and avoiding residual toxic chemicals. This novel composite could perform synergistic functions benefitting from chitosan and keratin; including a strong mechanical strength, biodegradability, biocompatibility, better cell adhesion, and proliferation characteristics. Furthermore, compared with our previous research, this keratin-chitosan composite membrane was improved in that it was made to be portable, enabling it to be versatile and have various applications in vitro and in vivo. Based on these facts, this innovative composite membrane has high potential for serving as an outstanding candidate for wound healing or other biomedical applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Soft Gelatin Films Modified with Cellulose Acetate Phthalate Pseudolatex Dispersion—Structure and Permeability
Polymers 2018, 10(9), 981; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10090981 - 03 Sep 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Gastroresistant material, based on gelatin and intended to form capsule shells, was characterized. The films were obtained by mixing a gelatin solution with cellulose acetate phthalate (CAP) pseudolatex at an elevated temperature. Microscopic and spectroscopic analyses of the films—intact or subjected to the [...] Read more.
Gastroresistant material, based on gelatin and intended to form capsule shells, was characterized. The films were obtained by mixing a gelatin solution with cellulose acetate phthalate (CAP) pseudolatex at an elevated temperature. Microscopic and spectroscopic analyses of the films—intact or subjected to the acidic treatment—were performed, along with a permeability study of tritium-labeled water. A uniform porous structure formed by CAP within the gelatin gel was observed. The results demonstrated that no interaction of a chemical nature occurred between the components. Additionally, the performed permeability and solubility studies proved that the diffusion of water through the membranes at an acidic pH can be noticeably reduced by adding carrageenan as a secondary gelling/thickening agent. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Enhanced Flexibility of Biodegradable Polylactic Acid/Starch Blends Using Epoxidized Palm Oil as Plasticizer
Polymers 2018, 10(9), 977; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10090977 - 02 Sep 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
The brittleness of polylactic acid (PLA) has always limited its usage, although it has good mechanical strength. In this study, flexibility of PLA/starch (PSt) blend was enhanced using epoxidized palm oil (EPO) as the green plasticizer. The PLA/starch/EPO (PSE) blends were prepared while [...] Read more.
The brittleness of polylactic acid (PLA) has always limited its usage, although it has good mechanical strength. In this study, flexibility of PLA/starch (PSt) blend was enhanced using epoxidized palm oil (EPO) as the green plasticizer. The PLA/starch/EPO (PSE) blends were prepared while using the solution casting method by fixing the content of starch and varying ratio of EPO. The thermal properties, such as glass transition temperature (Tg), melting temperature (Tm), and crystallization temperature (Tcc) were decreased by increasing the amount of EPO into PSt, indicating that EPO increases the chain mobility. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) showed that thermal degradation resistance of PSE was higher when compared to PSt. The mechanical testing revealed that EPO at all contents improved the mechanical properties, such as increment of the elongation-at-break and impact strength. Whereas, dynamic mechanical analysis showed that the addition of filler into PLA decreased the storage modulus of PLA. The carbonyl group of the aliphatic ester remained the same in the PSE blends. The morphological study verified the ductility of PSE blends surface when compared to the brittle surface of PSt. As for the soil burial tests, EPO accelerated the degradation of blends. From these results, it can be concluded that EPO improved the flexibility of PLA blends. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Insights into Bacterial Cellulose Biosynthesis from Different Carbon Sources and the Associated Biochemical Transformation Pathways in Komagataeibacter sp. W1
Polymers 2018, 10(9), 963; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10090963 - 31 Aug 2018
Cited by 10
Abstract
Cellulose is the most abundant and widely used biopolymer on earth and can be produced by both plants and micro-organisms. Among bacterial cellulose (BC)-producing bacteria, the strains in genus Komagataeibacter have attracted wide attention due to their particular ability in furthering BC production. [...] Read more.
Cellulose is the most abundant and widely used biopolymer on earth and can be produced by both plants and micro-organisms. Among bacterial cellulose (BC)-producing bacteria, the strains in genus Komagataeibacter have attracted wide attention due to their particular ability in furthering BC production. Our previous study reported a new strain of genus Komagataeibacter from a vinegar factory. To evaluate its capacity for BC production from different carbon sources, the present study subjected the strain to media spiked with 2% acetate, ethanol, fructose, glucose, lactose, mannitol or sucrose. Then the BC productivity, BC characteristics and biochemical transformation pathways of various carbon sources were fully investigated. After 14 days of incubation, strain W1 produced 0.040–1.529 g L−1 BC, the highest yield being observed in fructose. Unlike BC yields, the morphology and microfibrils of BCs from different carbon sources were similar, with an average diameter of 35–50 nm. X-ray diffraction analysis showed that all membranes produced from various carbon sources had 1–3 typical diffraction peaks, and the highest crystallinity (i.e., 90%) was found for BC produced from mannitol. Similarly, several typical spectra bands obtained by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were similar for the BCs produced from different carbon sources, as was the Iα fraction. The genome annotation and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analysis revealed that the biochemical transformation pathways associated with the utilization of and BC production from fructose, glucose, glycerol, and mannitol were found in strain W1, but this was not the case for other carbon sources. Our data provides suggestions for further investigations of strain W1 to produce BC by using low molecular weight sugars and gives clues to understand how this strain produces BC based on metabolic pathway analysis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Biodegradable Rice Starch/Carboxymethyl Chitosan Films with Added Propolis Extract for Potential Use as Active Food Packaging
Polymers 2018, 10(9), 954; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10090954 - 28 Aug 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Active films from rice starch/carboxymethyl chitosan (RS/CMCh) incorporated with propolis extract (ppl) were developed and characterized. The effect of the ppl content (0–10% w/w based on RS/CMCh) on the developed films’ properties were determined by measuring the optical, mechanical, thermal, swelling, barrier, antimicrobial, [...] Read more.
Active films from rice starch/carboxymethyl chitosan (RS/CMCh) incorporated with propolis extract (ppl) were developed and characterized. The effect of the ppl content (0–10% w/w based on RS/CMCh) on the developed films’ properties were determined by measuring the optical, mechanical, thermal, swelling, barrier, antimicrobial, and antioxidant attributes. The thermal stability and biodegradability of the films were also investigated. As the ppl content increased, free radical scavenging and a* and b* color values increased, whereas luminosity (L*) and swellability of the films decreased. The active films with 5–10% ppl possessed antimicrobial ability against Gram-positive bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus). The active film with 10% ppl displayed increased flexibility and thermal stability, without a change in oxygen permeability. The results indicated that incorporation of ppl into RS/CMCh film could enhance the films’ antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development and Characterization of Polyamide-Supported Chitosan Nanocomposite Membranes for Hydrophilic Pervaporation
Polymers 2018, 10(8), 868; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10080868 - 04 Aug 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
An experimental protocol of preparation of homogeneous and nanocomposite chitosan (Ch) based membranes supported on polyamide-6 (PA6) films was developed and described in detail. Montmorillonite (MMT) and Cloisite 30B (C30B) nanoclays were used as nanofillers to improve mechanical properties of chitosan films. The [...] Read more.
An experimental protocol of preparation of homogeneous and nanocomposite chitosan (Ch) based membranes supported on polyamide-6 (PA6) films was developed and described in detail. Montmorillonite (MMT) and Cloisite 30B (C30B) nanoclays were used as nanofillers to improve mechanical properties of chitosan films. The surface, mechanical, and transport properties of PA6 supported Ch, Ch/MMT and Ch/C30B membranes were studied and compared with a pristine, non-supported chitosan membrane. Implementation of advanced analytical techniques e.g., SEM reveal the clays nanoparticles are well dispersed in the chitosan matrix. According to AFM images, composite chitosan/nanoclay membranes possess higher roughness compared with unfilled ones. On the other hand, an incorporation of clay particles insignificantly changed the mechanical and thermal properties of the membranes. It was also found that all membranes are hydrophilic and water is preferentially removed from EtOH/H2O and iPrOH/H2O mixtures by pervaporation. Supporting of chitosan and chitosan/nanoclay thin films onto PA6 porous substrate enhanced permeate flux and pervaporation separation index, in comparison to the pristine Ch membrane. Concerning separation factor (β), the highest value equal to 4500 has been found for a chitosan composite membrane containing Cloisite 30B contacting 85/15 wt % iPrOH/H2O mixture. The mentioned membrane was characterized by the normalized flux of 0.5 μm·kg·m−2·h−1. Based on the established data, it was possible to conclude that chitosan membranes are meaningful material in dehydration of azeotropic mixtures. Nevertheless, to boost up the membrane efficiency, the further modification process is required. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Enhanced Electrorheological Response of Cellulose: A Double Effect of Modification by Urea-Terminated Silane
Polymers 2018, 10(8), 867; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10080867 - 04 Aug 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
As a natural polymer with abundant sources, cellulose was one of the earliest applied electrorheological (ER) materials. However, cellulose-based ER materials have not attracted much attention because of their relatively low ER effect and sensitivity to water. In this study, cellulose rods were [...] Read more.
As a natural polymer with abundant sources, cellulose was one of the earliest applied electrorheological (ER) materials. However, cellulose-based ER materials have not attracted much attention because of their relatively low ER effect and sensitivity to water. In this study, cellulose rods were decorated with a urea-terminated silane, 1-(3-(trimethoxysilyl) propyl) urea, after being swelled in sodium hydroxide solution. The morphologies and structures of the cellulose particles were investigated using scanning electron microscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction, confirming the dramatic differences of the treated cellulose particles from the pristine cellulose. Rheological behaviors of the pristine and modified cellulose particles in silicone oil were observed using a rotational rheometer. It was found that the silane-modified cellulose showed higher ER effect and higher dielectric properties than the pristine cellulose particles, which was not only related to the grafted polar molecules but may also be associated with the porous morphologies of the treated cellulose particles. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Processing of Superfine Grinding Corn Straw Fiber-Reinforced Starch Film and the Enhancement on Its Mechanical Properties
Polymers 2018, 10(8), 855; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10080855 - 02 Aug 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this study, corn straw (CS) was reduced in size using the superfine grinding process to generate powders with particles of varying sizes (9~16 μm). The lignin, hemicellulose, and cellulose content; particle size distribution; and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of the CS samples [...] Read more.
In this study, corn straw (CS) was reduced in size using the superfine grinding process to generate powders with particles of varying sizes (9~16 μm). The lignin, hemicellulose, and cellulose content; particle size distribution; and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of the CS samples were analyzed. Superfine CS, of varying particle sizes, was added to the starch-based films (SF) in various amounts. The resulting corn straw starch-based films (CS/SFs) appeared to have significantly different properties, compared to the original starch-based film (SF, p < 0.05). The power law model and Burger’s model were used to investigate the dynamic mechanical analysis, which indicated that the mechanical properties of CS/SF performed better than that of SF, especially CS/SFs at 0.5–1.5 h ball milling and CS/SFs at a 15% addition amount. The power law model and Burger’s model also presented a strong correlation with the experimental data (>0.90). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Structural Properties and Macrophage Activation of Cell Wall Polysaccharides from the Fruiting Bodies of Hericium erinaceus
Polymers 2018, 10(8), 850; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10080850 - 01 Aug 2018
Abstract
In this study, water-soluble and alkali-soluble cell wall polysaccharides were obtained from fruiting body extracted residual micropowders of Hericium erinaceus, harvested at seven different growing stages. The structural properties and in vitro immunity activities of cell wall polysaccharides extracted successively by hot [...] Read more.
In this study, water-soluble and alkali-soluble cell wall polysaccharides were obtained from fruiting body extracted residual micropowders of Hericium erinaceus, harvested at seven different growing stages. The structural properties and in vitro immunity activities of cell wall polysaccharides extracted successively by hot water and sodium hydroxide solution were studied, and the results indicated that the yield and content of polysaccharides increased during the reproductive growth stage and decreased with the maturity of the fruiting body. Water-soluble cell wall polysaccharides mainly composed of glucose and galactose at a molar ratio of 3.4–14:1.0, and also contained a small ratio of glucuronic acid. The alkali-soluble cell wall polysaccharides were glucans with lower molecular weight and higher macrophage activation activity in vitro than water-soluble ones. Our findings suggest that the growth stages (H4 and H5) are suitable for harvesting H. erinaceus fruiting bodies with higher cell wall polysaccharide yield and functional benefits. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Hexanoyl Glycol Chitosan on the Proliferation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Polymers 2018, 10(8), 839; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10080839 - 30 Jul 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AD-MSCs) have been studied as desirable cell sources for regenerative medicine and therapeutic application. However, it has still remained a challenge to obtain enough adequate and healthy cells in large quantities. To overcome this limitation, various biomaterials have been [...] Read more.
Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AD-MSCs) have been studied as desirable cell sources for regenerative medicine and therapeutic application. However, it has still remained a challenge to obtain enough adequate and healthy cells in large quantities. To overcome this limitation, various biomaterials have been used to promote expansion of MSCs in vitro. Recently, hexanoyl glycol chitosan (HGC) was introduced as a new biomaterial for various biomedical applications, in particular 3D cell culture, because of its biodegradability, biocompatibility, and other promising biofunctional properties. In this study, the effect of HGC on the proliferation of AD-MSCs was examined in vitro, and its synergistic effect with basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), which has been widely used to promote proliferation of cells, was evaluated. We found that the presence of HGC increased the proliferative capacity of AD-MSCs during long-term culture, even at low concentrations of bFGF. Furthermore, it suppressed the expression of senescence-related genes and improved the mitochondrial functionality. Taken all together, these findings suggest that the HGC demonstrate a potential for sustained growth of AD-MSCs in vitro. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Drug Release Properties of Diflunisal from Layer-By-Layer Self-Assembled κ-Carrageenan/Chitosan Nanocapsules: Effect of Deposited Layers
Polymers 2018, 10(7), 760; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10070760 - 10 Jul 2018
Cited by 13
Abstract
Engineering of multifunctional drug nanocarriers combining stability and good release properties remains a great challenge. In this work, natural polymers κ-carrageenan (κ-CAR) and chitosan (CS) were deposited onto olive oil nanoemulsion droplets (NE) via layer-by-layer (LbL) self-assembly to study the release mechanisms of [...] Read more.
Engineering of multifunctional drug nanocarriers combining stability and good release properties remains a great challenge. In this work, natural polymers κ-carrageenan (κ-CAR) and chitosan (CS) were deposited onto olive oil nanoemulsion droplets (NE) via layer-by-layer (LbL) self-assembly to study the release mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory diflunisal (DF) as a lipophilic drug model. The nano-systems were characterized by dynamic light scattering (DLS), zeta potential (ζ-potential) measurements, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) to confirm the NE-coating with polymer layers. In addition, kinetic release studies of DF were developed by the dialysis diffusion bag technique. Mathematical models were applied to investigate the release mechanisms. The results showed that stable and suitably sized nanocapsules (~300 nm) were formed. Also, the consecutive adsorption of polyelectrolytes by charge reversal was evidenced. More interestingly, the drug release mechanism varied depending on the number of layers deposited. The nanosized systems containing up to two layers showed anomalous transport and first order kinetics. Formulations with three and four layers exhibited Case II transport releasing diflunisal with zero order kinetics. Hence, our results suggest that these polyelectrolyte nanocapsules have great potential as a multifunctional nanocarrier for drug delivery applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Oil-Water Separation of Electrospun Cellulose Triacetate Nanofiber Membranes Modified by Electrophoretically Deposited TiO2/Graphene Oxide
Polymers 2018, 10(7), 746; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10070746 - 05 Jul 2018
Cited by 10
Abstract
Recycled waste industrial cellulose triacetate (TAC) film, which is one of the key materials in polarizers, was used to produce nanofiber membranes by electrospinning and synergistic assembly with graphene oxide (GO) and titanium dioxide (TiO2) for oil-water separation. In this study, [...] Read more.
Recycled waste industrial cellulose triacetate (TAC) film, which is one of the key materials in polarizers, was used to produce nanofiber membranes by electrospinning and synergistic assembly with graphene oxide (GO) and titanium dioxide (TiO2) for oil-water separation. In this study, GO and TiO2 coated by an electrophoretic deposition method introduced super hydrophilicity onto the recycled TAC (rTAC) membrane, with enhanced water permeability. The results indicate that when the outermost TiO2 layer of an asymmetric composite fiber membrane is exposed to ultraviolet irradiation; the hydrophilicity of the hydrophilic layer is more effectively promoted. Moreover, this coating could efficiently repel oil, and demonstrated robust self-cleaning performance during the cycle test, with the aid of the photocatalytic properties of TiO2. The rTAC membrane of networked hydrophobic fibers could also increase the speed of the filtrate flow and the water flux of the oil-water emulsion. The permeate carbon concentration in the water was analyzed using a total organic carbon analyzer. Incorporation of TiO2/GO onto the rTAC membrane contributed greatly towards enhanced membrane hydrophilicity and antifouling performance. Therefore, the novel TiO2/GO/rTAC asymmetric composite fiber has promise for applications in oil-water separation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel In Situ Self-Assembling Fabrication Method for Bacterial Cellulose-Electrospun Nanofiber Hybrid Structures
Polymers 2018, 10(7), 712; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10070712 - 28 Jun 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
Self-assembling fabrication methodology has recently attracted attention for the production of bio-degradable polymer nanocomposites. In this research work, bacterial cellulose/electrospun nanofiber hybrid mats (BC/CA-ENM) were formed by incorporating cellulose acetate electrospun nanofiber membranes (CA-ENMs) in the fermentation media, followed by in situ self-assembly [...] Read more.
Self-assembling fabrication methodology has recently attracted attention for the production of bio-degradable polymer nanocomposites. In this research work, bacterial cellulose/electrospun nanofiber hybrid mats (BC/CA-ENM) were formed by incorporating cellulose acetate electrospun nanofiber membranes (CA-ENMs) in the fermentation media, followed by in situ self-assembly of bacterial cellulose (BC) nanofibers. ENMs exhibit excessive hydrophobicity, attributed to their high crystallinity and reorientation of hydrophobic groups at the air/solid interfaces. We aimed to improve the hydrophilic and other functional properties of ENMs. As-prepared nanohybrid structures were characterized using SEM and FTIR. SEM results revealed that in situ self-assembling of BC nanofibers onto the electrospun membrane’s surface and penetration into pores gradually increased with extended fermentation periods. The surface hydrophilicity and water absorption capacity of as-prepared hybrid mats was also tested and analyzed. Hybrid mats were observably more hydrophilic than an electrospun membrane and more hydrophobic compared to BC films. In addition, the incorporation of CA electrospun membranes in the culture media as a foundation for BC nanofiber growth resulted in improved tensile strength of the hybrid nanocomposites compared to ENMs. Overall, the results indicated the successful fabrication of nanocomposites through a novel approach, with samples demonstrating improved functional properties. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cellulose-Based Absorbent Production from Bacterial Cellulose and Acrylic Acid: Synthesis and Performance
Polymers 2018, 10(7), 702; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10070702 - 25 Jun 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
Cellulose-based superabsorbent was synthesized by bacterial cellulose (BC) grafting acrylic acid (AA) in the presence of N,N′-methylenebisacrylamide (NMBA) as a crosslinker and ammonium persulfate (APS) as an initiator. The influence of different factors on composite synthesis, including the weight ratio [...] Read more.
Cellulose-based superabsorbent was synthesized by bacterial cellulose (BC) grafting acrylic acid (AA) in the presence of N,N′-methylenebisacrylamide (NMBA) as a crosslinker and ammonium persulfate (APS) as an initiator. The influence of different factors on composite synthesis, including the weight ratio of the monomer to BC, initiator content, crosslinker content, AA neutralization degree, reaction temperature, and reaction time on the water absorbency of the composite, were systematically learned. Under the optimized conditions, the maximum water absorbency of the composite was 322 ± 23 g/g distilled water. However, the water absorbency was much less for the different salt solutions and the absorption capacity of the composite decreased as the concentration of the salt solutions increased. The pH value had a significant influence on water absorption performance, and with the increase of temperature, the water retention rate of the composite decreased. Additionally, the structure of this composite was characterized with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The results of NMR and FT-IR provided evidence that the composite was synthesized by BC and AA, and the microstructure showed that it had good performance for water absorption. In addition, the composite possessed suitable thermal stability, and that it could be used in a few high-temperature environments. Overall, this composite is promising for application in water absorption. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A One Pot Method for Preparing an Antibacterial Superabsorbent Hydrogel with a Semi-IPN Structure Based on Tara Gum and Polyquaternium-7
Polymers 2018, 10(7), 696; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10070696 - 22 Jun 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
An antibacterial superabsorbent polymer was prepared by graft polymerization of acrylic acid onto tara gum polysaccharide, by adding N,N-dimethyl-N-2-propenyl-2-propen-1-aminium chloride and a polymer with 2-propenamide (polyquaternium-7, PQ7) as an antibacterial agent. The effects of the amount of PQ7 [...] Read more.
An antibacterial superabsorbent polymer was prepared by graft polymerization of acrylic acid onto tara gum polysaccharide, by adding N,N-dimethyl-N-2-propenyl-2-propen-1-aminium chloride and a polymer with 2-propenamide (polyquaternium-7, PQ7) as an antibacterial agent. The effects of the amount of PQ7 in the hydrogel on its swelling ratio were investigated and maximum swelling ratios of 712 g/g and 68 g/g, in distilled water and 0.9 wt % NaCl solution were attained with 0.5 g PQ7 per gram of tara gum. The superabsorbent hydrogel was characterized by using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and thermal gravimetric analysis. The results showed that poly (acrylic acid) was successfully grafted onto tara gum and a three-dimensional network structure formed with PQ7 chains penetrated in the networks. The antibacterial properties of these superabsorbent hydrogels against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli improved with increasing PQ7 content. This study demonstrates a method of preparing novel functional superabsorbent hydrogels. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Wound Dressings Based on Chitosan-Dialdehyde Cellulose Nanocrystals-Silver Nanoparticles: Mechanical Strength, Antibacterial Activity and Cytotoxicity
Polymers 2018, 10(6), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10060673 - 16 Jun 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
The present work envisages a simple approach to synthesize a new wound dressing based on chitosan-dialdehyde cellulose nanocrystal-silver nanoparticles (CS-DCNC-AgNPs). Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were generated in-situ by periodate oxidation of cellulose nanocrystals to generate aldehyde functions, which were used to reduce Ag+ [...] Read more.
The present work envisages a simple approach to synthesize a new wound dressing based on chitosan-dialdehyde cellulose nanocrystal-silver nanoparticles (CS-DCNC-AgNPs). Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were generated in-situ by periodate oxidation of cellulose nanocrystals to generate aldehyde functions, which were used to reduce Ag+ into Ag0 in mild alkaline conditions. Subsequently, the dialdehyde cellulose nanocrystal-silver nanoparticles (DCNC-AgNPs) were added to chitosan (CS) to form the wound dressings by solution casting method. The aim was to enhance the antibacterial effect of CS by incorporation of AgNPs and to improve the mechanical strength and hydrophobicity of CS by incorporation of DCNC that cross-linked by hydrogen bonds. The antibacterial activities were evaluated against five gram-negative bacteria, one gram-positive bacteria, and three fungi. The in vitro cytotoxicity assay was performed using the NIH3T3 cell lines by Sulforhodamine B assay. Research outputs signified that CS-DCNC-AgNPs possessed good mechanical strength and hydrophobicity, high antibacterial activity and less cytotoxicity. Our results propose that CS-DCNC-AgNPs can be a promising, safe antibacterial to be incorporated in wound dressings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation and Properties of 3D Printed Alginate–Chitosan Polyion Complex Hydrogels for Tissue Engineering
Polymers 2018, 10(6), 664; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10060664 - 14 Jun 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
Three-dimensional (3D) printing holds great potential for preparing sophisticated scaffolds for tissue engineering. As a result of the shear thinning properties of an alginate solution, it is often used as 3D printing ink. However, it is difficult to prepare scaffolds with complexity structure [...] Read more.
Three-dimensional (3D) printing holds great potential for preparing sophisticated scaffolds for tissue engineering. As a result of the shear thinning properties of an alginate solution, it is often used as 3D printing ink. However, it is difficult to prepare scaffolds with complexity structure and high fidelity, because the alginate solution has a low viscosity and alginate hydrogels prepared with Ca2+ crosslinking are mechanically weak. In this work, chitosan powders were dispersed and swelled in an alginate solution, which could effectively improve the viscosity of an alginate solution by 1.5–4 times. With the increase of chitosan content, the shape fidelity of the 3D printed alginate–chitosan polyion complex (AlCh PIC) hydrogels were improved. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) photographs showed that the lateral pore structure of 3D printed hydrogels was becoming more obvious. As a result of the increased reaction ion pairs in comparison to the alginate hydrogels that were prepared with Ca2+ crosslinking, AlCh PIC hydrogels were mechanically strong, and the compression stress of hydrogels at a 90% strain could achieve 1.4 MPa without breaking. In addition, human adipose derived stem cells (hASCs) adhered to the 3D printed AlCh PIC hydrogels and proliferated with time, which indicated that the obtained hydrogels were biocompatible and could potentially be used as scaffolds for tissue engineering. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Renewable Polysaccharides as Supports for Palladium Phosphine Catalysts
Polymers 2018, 10(6), 659; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10060659 - 12 Jun 2018
Cited by 11
Abstract
The investigation of the use of polysaccharides derived from natural sources to support metal catalysis has been the focus of several studies. Even though these molecules seem to be attractive materials, their full potential for use in support of heterogeneous catalysis still needs [...] Read more.
The investigation of the use of polysaccharides derived from natural sources to support metal catalysis has been the focus of several studies. Even though these molecules seem to be attractive materials, their full potential for use in support of heterogeneous catalysis still needs to be revealed. To that end, we developed a new preparation technique for polysaccharide-based palladium catalysts by immobilizing the palladium phosphine complexes on various renewable polysaccharides. The Suzuki cross-coupling in ethanol, using PdCl2(TPPTS)2 supported by various polysaccharides, was determined by gas chromatography and compared to homogeneous free-catalyst support. The PdCl2(TPPTS)2, that was immobilized on red algae supports, was successfully used as a heterogeneous catalyst in the Suzuki cross-coupling reaction, yielding high activity, higher than that of the homogeneous complex, without leaching. The FTIR spectrometry of representative heterogeneous polysaccharide-based TPPTS–PdCl2 catalysts was compared to that of native polysaccharide and polysaccharide-based TPP–PdCl2 catalysts, indicated on new bands, suggesting that the heterogenization occurs via interactions between the sulfonate group on the TPPTS and the hydroxyl groups on the polysaccharides. EDS and XPS analysis were also performed, confirming that the Pd complex was embedded within the i-carrageenan. A comparison of SEM images of i-carrageenan preparations also shed light on the interaction occurring between the polysaccharides and the TPPTS. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Cellulose Aerogels: Synthesis, Applications, and Prospects
Polymers 2018, 10(6), 623; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10060623 - 06 Jun 2018
Cited by 39
Abstract
Due to its excellent performance, aerogel is considered to be an especially promising new material. Cellulose is a renewable and biodegradable natural polymer. Aerogel prepared using cellulose has the renewability, biocompatibility, and biodegradability of cellulose, while also having other advantages, such as low [...] Read more.
Due to its excellent performance, aerogel is considered to be an especially promising new material. Cellulose is a renewable and biodegradable natural polymer. Aerogel prepared using cellulose has the renewability, biocompatibility, and biodegradability of cellulose, while also having other advantages, such as low density, high porosity, and a large specific surface area. Thus, it can be applied for many purposes in the areas of adsorption and oil/water separation, thermal insulation, and biomedical applications, as well as many other fields. There are three types of cellulose aerogels: natural cellulose aerogels (nanocellulose aerogels and bacterial cellulose aerogels), regenerated cellulose aerogels, and aerogels made from cellulose derivatives. In this paper, more than 200 articles were reviewed to summarize the properties of these three types of cellulose aerogels, as well as the technologies used in their preparation, such as the sol–gel process and gel drying. In addition, the applications of different types of cellulose aerogels were also introduced. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation and Characterization of Regenerated Cellulose Film from a Solution in Lithium Bromide Molten Salt Hydrate
Polymers 2018, 10(6), 614; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10060614 - 04 Jun 2018
Cited by 6