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Polymers, Volume 12, Issue 9 (September 2020) – 316 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The most ubiquitous mixed ionic and electronic conductor (MIEC) material is PEDOT:PSS, where the conducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) is sustained by polystyrene sulfonate. In this work, PEDOT has been combined with the polyelectrolyte PolyDADMA and doped with one of the latest advanced electrolytes, organic ionic plastic crystals (based on N-ethyl-N-methylpyrrolidinium, C2mpyr), leading to an improvement of not only the ionic conductivity but also the electronic and redox activity, creating an ideal scenario for energy storage devices. PEDOT, PolyDADMA and C2mpyr are cationic compounds counterbalanced by four different anions (triflate, tosylate, bis(fluorosulfonylimide) and bis(trifluoromethanesulfonylimide)), which flow around them and form four particular systems. View this paper.
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Article
Resorcinol-Formaldehyde (RF) as a Novel Plasticizer for Starch-Based Solid Biopolymer Electrolyte
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2170; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092170 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1086
Abstract
A starch-resorcinol-formaldehyde (RF)-lithium triflate (LiTf) based biodegradable polymer electrolyte membrane was synthesized via the solution casting technique. The formation of RF crosslinks in the starch matrix was found to repress the starch’s crystallinity as indicated by the XRD data. Incorporation of the RF [...] Read more.
A starch-resorcinol-formaldehyde (RF)-lithium triflate (LiTf) based biodegradable polymer electrolyte membrane was synthesized via the solution casting technique. The formation of RF crosslinks in the starch matrix was found to repress the starch’s crystallinity as indicated by the XRD data. Incorporation of the RF plasticizer improved the conductivity greatly, with the highest room-temperature conductivity recorded being 4.29 × 10−4 S cm−1 achieved by the starch:LiTf:RF (20 wt.%:20 wt.%:60 wt.%) composition. The enhancement in ionic conductivity was an implication of the increase in the polymeric amorphous region concurrent with the suppression of the starch’s crystallinity. Chemical complexation between the plasticizer, starch, and lithium salt components in the electrolyte was confirmed by FTIR spectra. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Chemistry)
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Article
Preparation of Chitosan—Graphene Oxide Composite Aerogel by Hydrothermal Method and Its Adsorption Property of Methyl Orange
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2169; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092169 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1221
Abstract
Graphene based aerogel has become one of the most likely functional adsorption materials that is applicable to purify various contaminated water sources, such as dye wastewater, because of its high porosity, structural stability, large specific surface area, and high adsorption capacity. In this [...] Read more.
Graphene based aerogel has become one of the most likely functional adsorption materials that is applicable to purify various contaminated water sources, such as dye wastewater, because of its high porosity, structural stability, large specific surface area, and high adsorption capacity. In this study, chitosan and graphene oxide were first selected as the matrix to prepare the composite hydrogel through the hydrothermal method, which was further frozen and dried to obtain the target aerogel. The microscopic structures and adsorption capacity of the composite aerogel were then characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) and N2 (nitrogen) physical adsorption and desorption tests. The results show that the specific surface area of the composite aerogel was reached at 297.431 m2/g, which is higher than that of graphene oxide aerogel and chitosan aerogel. The aperture was reduced to about 3 nm. The adsorption rate of the composite aerogel for the methyl orange solution was as high as 97.2% at pH = 1, and the adsorption capacity was 48.6 mg/g. The adsorption process of the composite aerogel satisfies the Langmuir equation and can be described by the second-order adsorption kinetics. In addition, it is worth noting that this composite aerogel can provide a striking adsorption characteristic on methyl orange due to the combining effects from massive amino groups on chitosan and the structural conjugation of graphene oxide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Applications)
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Review
Antibacterial-Integrated Collagen Wound Dressing for Diabetes-Related Foot Ulcers: An Evidence-Based Review of Clinical Studies
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2168; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092168 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1622
Abstract
Diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) is a chronic wound frequently delayed from severe infection. Wound dressing provides an essential barrier between the ulcer and the external environment. This review aimed to analyse the effectiveness of antibacterial collagen-based dressing for DFU treatment in a clinical [...] Read more.
Diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) is a chronic wound frequently delayed from severe infection. Wound dressing provides an essential barrier between the ulcer and the external environment. This review aimed to analyse the effectiveness of antibacterial collagen-based dressing for DFU treatment in a clinical setting. An electronic search in four databases, namely, Scopus, PubMed, Ovid MEDLINE(R), and ISI Web of Science, was performed to obtain relevant articles published within the last ten years. The published studies were included if they reported evidence of (1) collagen-based antibacterial dressing or (2) wound healing for diabetic ulcers, and (3) were written in English. Both randomised and non-randomised clinical trials were included. The search for relevant clinical studies (n) identified eight related references discussing the effectiveness of collagen-based antibacterial wound dressings for DFU comprising collagen impregnated with polyhexamethylene biguanide (n = 2), gentamicin (n = 3), combined-cellulose and silver (n = 1), gentian violet/methylene blue mixed (n = 1), and silver (n = 1). The clinical data were limited by small sample sizes and multiple aetiologies of chronic wounds. The evidence was not robust enough for a conclusive statement, although most of the studies reported positive outcomes for the use of collagen dressings loaded with antibacterial properties for DFU wound healing. This study emphasises the importance of having standardised clinical trials, larger sample sizes, and accurate reporting for reliable statistical evidence confirming DFU treatment efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers for Medical and Pharmaceutical Applications)
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Article
Highly Enhanced Curcumin Delivery Applying Association Type Nanostructures of Block Copolymers, Cyclodextrins and Polycyclodextrins
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2167; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092167 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 905
Abstract
The limited bioavailability of the highly hydrophobic natural compound, curcumin with wide range of beneficial bioactivity is still a challenge. Self-association type systems of polyethylene oxide-polypropylene oxide-polyethylene oxide block copolymers (Pluronic) were applied to enhance the aqueous solubility of curcumin. Comparison of four [...] Read more.
The limited bioavailability of the highly hydrophobic natural compound, curcumin with wide range of beneficial bioactivity is still a challenge. Self-association type systems of polyethylene oxide-polypropylene oxide-polyethylene oxide block copolymers (Pluronic) were applied to enhance the aqueous solubility of curcumin. Comparison of four Pluronics (94, 105, 127,108) with different compositions led to the conclusion that solubilization capacity is maximum for Pluronic 105 with intermediate polarity (hydrophilic/lipophilic balance (HLB) = 15) possessing the optimum balance between capacity of hydrophobic core of the micelle and hydrophilic stabilizing shell of the associate. Curcumin concentration in aqueous solution was managed to increase 105 times up to 1–3 g/L applying Pluronic at 0.01 mol/L. Formation of a host–guest complex of cyclodextrin as another way of increasing the curcumin solubility was also tested. Comparing the(2-hydroxypropyl)-α, β and γ cyclodextrins (CD) with 6, 7 and 8 sugar units and their polymers (poly-α-CD, poly-β-CD, poly-γ-CD) the γ-CD with the largest cavity found to be the most effective in curcumin encapsulation approaching the g/L range of concentration. The polymer type of the CDs presented prolonged and pH dependent release of curcumin in the gastrointestinal (GI) system modelled by simulated liquids. This retarding effect of polyCD was also shown and can be used for tuning in the combined system of Pluronic micelle and polyCD where the curcumin release was slower than from the micelle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers and Drug Delivery Systems)
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Article
Highly Sustainable and Completely Amorphous Hierarchical Ceramide Microcapsules for Potential Epidermal Barrier
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2166; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092166 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 965
Abstract
As a main component of the stratum corneum, ceramides can construct protective lamellae to provide an epidermal barrier against dehydration or external microorganisms. However, as ceramide molecules can easily form the isolated crystalline phase through self-assembly due to the amphipathic nature of bioactive [...] Read more.
As a main component of the stratum corneum, ceramides can construct protective lamellae to provide an epidermal barrier against dehydration or external microorganisms. However, as ceramide molecules can easily form the isolated crystalline phase through self-assembly due to the amphipathic nature of bioactive lipids, the effective incorporation of ceramides into liquid media is the remaining issue for controlled release. Here, we report an unprecedented effective strategy to fabricate a completely amorphous and highly sustainable hierarchical ceramide polymer microcapsule for promising epidermal barrier by using the interpenetrating and cooperative self-construction of conical amphiphiles with a different critical packing parameter. The self-constructed amorphous architecture of ceramides in polymer microcapsule is achieved by the facile doping of conical amphiphiles and subsequent in situ polymerization of shell polymer in the core-shell geometry. It is experimentally revealed that an irregular cooperative packing structure formed by adaptive hydrophobic–hydrophilic interactions of cylindrical ceramides and conical amphiphiles in the confined microcapsule geometry enables a completely amorphous morphology of ceramides to be realized during the spontaneous encapsulation process. Furthermore, this elegant approach affords a highly dispersible and uniform hierarchical amorphous ceramide microcapsule with a greatly enhanced long-term stability compared to conventional crystalline ceramides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phase Transitions in Polymers and Polymer Morphologies)
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Article
Preparation and Properties of Plant-Oil-Based Epoxy Acrylate-Like Resins for UV-Curable Coatings
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2165; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092165 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1115
Abstract
Novel oil-based epoxy acrylate (EA)-like prepolymers were synthesized via the ring-opening reaction of epoxidized plant oils with a new unsaturated carboxyl acid precursor (MAAMA) synthesized by reacting maleic anhydride (MA) with methallyl alcohol (MAA). Since the employed epoxidized oils including epoxidized soybean oil [...] Read more.
Novel oil-based epoxy acrylate (EA)-like prepolymers were synthesized via the ring-opening reaction of epoxidized plant oils with a new unsaturated carboxyl acid precursor (MAAMA) synthesized by reacting maleic anhydride (MA) with methallyl alcohol (MAA). Since the employed epoxidized oils including epoxidized soybean oil (ESO), epoxidized rubber seed oil (ERSO), and epoxidized wilsoniana seed oil (EWSO) possessed epoxy values of 7.34–4.38%, the obtained epoxy acrylate (EA)-like prepolymers (MMESO, MMERSO, and MMEWSO) indicated a C=C functionality of 7.81–4.40 per triglyceride. Furthermore, effects of the C=C functionality and the addition of hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) diluent on the ultimate properties of the resulting UV-cured EA-like materials were investigated and compared with those of commercially available acrylated ESO (AESO) resins. As the C=C functionality increased, the storage modulus at 25 °C (E’25), glass transition temperature (Tg), 5% weight–loss temperature (T5), tensile strength and modulus (σ and E), and hardness of the coating for both the pure EA and EA/HEMA resins increased significantly as well. These properties indicated similar trends when comparing the EA materials with 30% of HEMA with those pure EA materials. Specially, although ERSO had a clearly lower epoxy value that ESO, both the UV-cured pure MMERSO and MMERSO/HEMA materials showed much better E’25, Tg, σ, and E than their AESO counterparts, indicating that the MAAMA modification of epoxidized plant oils was much more effective than the modification of acrylic acid to achieve high-performance oil-based epoxy acrylate resins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bio-based Polymers Functionalized by Post-polymerization Modification)
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Article
Effect of Homochirality of Dipeptide to Polymers’ Degradation
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2164; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092164 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 641
Abstract
As natural polymer materials, proteins are readily biodegradable, interestingly, the synthetic polyamides (PAs) that are based on the same amide bonds (also called peptide bonds in proteins) are barely degradable. Whether did the chirality and configuration of the amino acids play an important [...] Read more.
As natural polymer materials, proteins are readily biodegradable, interestingly, the synthetic polyamides (PAs) that are based on the same amide bonds (also called peptide bonds in proteins) are barely degradable. Whether did the chirality and configuration of the amino acids play an important role. By using different configuration of amino acids, 4 types of polyamide-imides (PAIs) containing dipeptides of LL, DL, LD, and DD configurations, respectively, were synthesized. It was found that the PAIs based on natural LL configuration of dipeptide structure are much more readily biodegradable than those based on non-natural LD, DL, and DD configuration of dipeptides. It was confirmed that the natural L-configuration of amino acids play a critical role in degradability of proteins. And it also suggested that different type and amount of peptide fragments can be introduced in polymer to create series of polymer materials that can be biodegraded at controllable speed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomacromolecules, Biobased and Biodegradable Polymers)
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Article
Characterization of Bone Marrow and Wharton’s Jelly Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Response on Multilayer Braided Silk and Silk/PLCL Scaffolds for Ligament Tissue Engineering
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2163; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092163 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 815
Abstract
(1) Background: A suitable scaffold with adapted mechanical and biological properties for ligament tissue engineering is still missing. (2) Methods: Different scaffold configurations were characterized in terms of morphology and a mechanical response, and their interactions with two types of stem cells (Wharton’s [...] Read more.
(1) Background: A suitable scaffold with adapted mechanical and biological properties for ligament tissue engineering is still missing. (2) Methods: Different scaffold configurations were characterized in terms of morphology and a mechanical response, and their interactions with two types of stem cells (Wharton’s jelly mesenchymal stromal cells (WJ-MSCs) and bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (BM-MSCs)) were assessed. The scaffold configurations consisted of multilayer braids with various number of silk layers (n = 1, 2, 3), and a novel composite scaffold made of a layer of copoly(lactic acid-co-(e-caprolactone)) (PLCL) embedded between two layers of silk. (3) Results: The insertion of a PLCL layer resulted in a higher porosity and better mechanical behavior compared with pure silk scaffold. The metabolic activities of both WJ-MSCs and BM-MSCs increased from day 1 to day 7 except for the three-layer silk scaffold (S3), probably due to its lower porosity. Collagen I (Col I), collagen III (Col III) and tenascin-c (TNC) were expressed by both MSCs on all scaffolds, and expression of Col I was higher than Col III and TNC. (4) Conclusions: the silk/PLCL composite scaffolds constituted the most suitable tested configuration to support MSCs migration, proliferation and tissue synthesis towards ligament tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers for Cell Engineering)
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Article
Moisture Absorption Effects on Mode II Delamination of Carbon/Epoxy Composites
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2162; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092162 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 783
Abstract
It is necessary to consider the influence of moisture damage on the interlaminar fracture toughness for composite structures that are used for outdoor applications. However, the studies on the progressive variation of the fracture toughness as a function of moisture content M (%) [...] Read more.
It is necessary to consider the influence of moisture damage on the interlaminar fracture toughness for composite structures that are used for outdoor applications. However, the studies on the progressive variation of the fracture toughness as a function of moisture content M (%) is rather limited. In this regard, this study focuses on the characterization of mode II delamination of carbon/epoxy composites conditioned at 70 °C/85% relative humidity (RH). End-notched flexure test is conducted for specimens aged at various moisture absorption levels. Experimental results reveal that mode II fracture toughness degrades with the moisture content, with a maximum of 23% decrement. A residual property model is used to predict the variation of the fracture toughness with the moisture content. Through numerical simulations, it is found that the approaches used to estimate the lamina and cohesive properties are suitable to obtain reliable simulation results. In addition, the damage initiation is noticed during the early loading stage; however, the complete damage is only observed when the numerical peak load is achieved. Results from the present research could serve as guidelines to predict the residual properties and simulate the mode II delamination behavior under moisture attack. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Damage Mechanics of Polymer Composites)
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Review
A Comprehensive Review on Corn Starch-Based Nanomaterials: Properties, Simulations, and Applications
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2161; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092161 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1427
Abstract
Corn (Zea mays L.) is one of the major food crops, and it is considered to be a very distinctive plant, since it is able to produce a large amount of the natural polymer of starch through its capacity to utilize large [...] Read more.
Corn (Zea mays L.) is one of the major food crops, and it is considered to be a very distinctive plant, since it is able to produce a large amount of the natural polymer of starch through its capacity to utilize large amounts of sunlight. Corn starch is used in a wide range of products and applications. In recent years, the use of nanotechnology for applications in the food industry has become more apparent; it has been used for protecting against biological and chemical deterioration, increasing bioavailability, and enhancing physical properties, among other functions. However, the high cost of nanotechnology can make it difficult for its application on a commercial scale. As a biodegradable natural polymer, corn starch is a great alternative for the production of nanomaterials. Therefore, the search for alternative materials to be used in nanotechnology has been studied. This review has discussed in detail the properties, simulations, and wide range of applications of corn starch-based nanomaterials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Starch-Based Composites)
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Review
The Potential for Bio-Sustainable Organobromine-Containing Flame Retardant Formulations for Textile Applications—A Review
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2160; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092160 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1180
Abstract
This review considers the challenge of developing sustainable organobromine flame retardants (BrFRs) and alternative synergists to the predominantly used antimony III oxide. Current BrFR efficiencies are reviewed for textile coatings and back-coatings with a focus on furnishing and similar fabrics covering underlying flammable [...] Read more.
This review considers the challenge of developing sustainable organobromine flame retardants (BrFRs) and alternative synergists to the predominantly used antimony III oxide. Current BrFR efficiencies are reviewed for textile coatings and back-coatings with a focus on furnishing and similar fabrics covering underlying flammable fillings, such as flexible polyurethane foam. The difficulty of replacing them with non-halogen-containing systems is also reviewed with major disadvantages including their extreme specificity with regard to a given textile type and poor durability.The possibility of replacing currently used BrFRs for textiles structures that mimic naturally occurring organobromine-containing species is discussed, noting that of the nearly 2000 such species identified in both marine and terrestrial environments, a significant number are functionalised polybrominated diphenyl ethers, which form part of a series of little understood biosynthetic biodegradation cycles.The continued use of antimony III oxide as synergist and possible replacement by alternatives, such as the commercially available zinc stannates and the recently identified zinc tungstate, are discussed. Both are effective as synergists and smoke suppressants, but unlike Sb203, they have efficiencies dependent on BrFR chemistry and polymer matrix or textile structure. Furthermore, their effectiveness in textile coatings has yet to be more fully assessed.In conclusion, it is proposed that the future of sustainable BrFRs should be based on naturally occurring polybrominated structures developed in conjunction with non-toxic, smoke-suppressing synergists such as the zinc stannates or zinc tungstate, which have been carefully tailored for given polymeric and textile substrates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Flame Retardant Polymeric Materials)
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Article
Synthesis and Characterization of Ionic Graft Copolymers: Introduction and In Vitro Release of Antibacterial Drug by Anion Exchange
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2159; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092159 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 822
Abstract
Amphiphilic graft copolymers based on [2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl]trimethyl- ammonium chloride (TMAMA) were obtained for the delivery of pharmaceutical ionic drugs, such as p-aminosalicylate (PAS) and clavunate (CLV) anions. The side chains were attached by grafting from a multifunctional macroinitiator via atom transfer radical polymerization [...] Read more.
Amphiphilic graft copolymers based on [2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl]trimethyl- ammonium chloride (TMAMA) were obtained for the delivery of pharmaceutical ionic drugs, such as p-aminosalicylate (PAS) and clavunate (CLV) anions. The side chains were attached by grafting from a multifunctional macroinitiator via atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) to get polymers with different grafting degrees and ionic content. The self-assembling ability, confirmed by determining the critical micelle concentration (CMC) through interfacial tension (IFT) with the use of goniometry, was reduced after ion exchange (CMC twice higher than for chloride anions contained copolymers 0.005–0.026 mg/mL). Similarly, the hydrophilicity level (adjusted by the content of ionic fraction) evaluated by the water contact angle (WCA) of the polymer film surfaces was decreased with the increase of trimethylammonium units (68°–44°) and after introduction of pharmaceutical anions. The exchange of Cl onto PAS and CLV in the polymer matrix was yielded at 31%–64% and 79%–100%, respectively. The exchange onto phosphate anions to release the drug was carried out (PAS: 20%–42%, 3.1–8.8 μg/mL; CLV: 25%–73%, 11–31 μg/mL from 1 mg of drug conjugates). Because of the bacteriostatic activity of PAS and the support of the action of the antibiotics by CLV, the designed water-soluble systems could be alternatives for the treatment of bacterial infections, including pneumonia and tuberculosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Macromolecular Designing for Drug Delivery Systems)
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Article
Biocompatible Nanocomposites Based on Poly(styrene-block-isobutylene-block-styrene) and Carbon Nanotubes for Biomedical Application
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2158; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092158 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 931
Abstract
In this study, we incorporated carbon nanotubes (CNTs) into poly(styrene-block-isobutylene-block-styrene) (SIBS) to investigate the physical characteristics of the resulting nanocomposite and its cytotoxicity to endothelial cells. CNTs were dispersed in chloroform using sonication following the addition of a SIBS [...] Read more.
In this study, we incorporated carbon nanotubes (CNTs) into poly(styrene-block-isobutylene-block-styrene) (SIBS) to investigate the physical characteristics of the resulting nanocomposite and its cytotoxicity to endothelial cells. CNTs were dispersed in chloroform using sonication following the addition of a SIBS solution at different ratios. The resultant nanocomposite films were analyzed by X-ray microtomography, optical and scanning electron microscopy; tensile strength was examined by uniaxial tension testing; hydrophobicity was evaluated using a sessile drop technique; for cytotoxicity analysis, human umbilical vein endothelial cells were cultured on SIBS–CNTs for 3 days. We observed an uneven distribution of CNTs in the polymer matrix with sporadic bundles of interwoven nanotubes. Increasing the CNT content from 0 wt% to 8 wt% led to an increase in the tensile strength of SIBS films from 4.69 to 16.48 MPa. The engineering normal strain significantly decreased in 1 wt% SIBS–CNT films in comparison with the unmodified samples, whereas a further increase in the CNT content did not significantly affect this parameter. The incorporation of CNT into the SIBS matrix resulted in increased hydrophilicity, whereas no cytotoxicity towards endothelial cells was noted. We suggest that SIBS–CNT may become a promising material for the manufacture of implantable devices, such as cardiovascular patches or cusps of the polymer heart valve. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Materials Modified Polymeric Composites)
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Article
Preparation of PP-g-(AA-MAH) Fibers Using Suspension Grafting and Melt-Blown Spinning and its Adsorption for Aniline
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2157; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092157 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 824
Abstract
This paper uses polypropylene (PP) as the matrix and acrylic acid (AA) and maleic anhydride (MAH) as functional monomers to prepare PP-g-(AA-MAH) fibers by suspension grafting and melt-blown spinning technology that are easy to industrially scale-up. The fibers can be used to adsorb [...] Read more.
This paper uses polypropylene (PP) as the matrix and acrylic acid (AA) and maleic anhydride (MAH) as functional monomers to prepare PP-g-(AA-MAH) fibers by suspension grafting and melt-blown spinning technology that are easy to industrially scale-up. The fibers can be used to adsorb aniline. Results showed that the grafting ratio reached the maximum of 12.47%. The corresponding optimal conditions were grafting time of 3 h, AA: MAH = 0.75, total monomer content of 55%, benzoyl peroxide 1.4%, xylene concentration of 6 mL/g PP, and deionized water content of 8 mL/g PP. Owing to its good fluidity and thermal stability, the product of suspension grafting can be used for melt-blown spinning. Infrared spectroscopic and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopic analyses indicated that AA and MAH were successfully grafted onto PP fibers. After grafting, the hydrophilicity of PP-g-(AA-MAH) fiber increased. Therefore, it had higher absorptivity for aniline and the adsorption capacity could reach 42.2 mg/g at 45 min and pH = 7. Moreover, the PP-g-(AA-MAH) fibers showed good regeneration performance. Full article
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Article
Thermo-Tunable Pores and Antibiotic Gating Properties of Bovine Skin Gelatin Gels Prepared with Poly(n-isopropylacrylamide) Network
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2156; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092156 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 677
Abstract
Polystyrene nanospheres (PNs) were embedded in bovine skin gelatin gels with a poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm) network, which were denoted as NGHHs, to generate thermoresponsive behavior. When 265 nm PNs were exploited to generate the pores, bovine skin gelatin extended to completely occupy [...] Read more.
Polystyrene nanospheres (PNs) were embedded in bovine skin gelatin gels with a poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm) network, which were denoted as NGHHs, to generate thermoresponsive behavior. When 265 nm PNs were exploited to generate the pores, bovine skin gelatin extended to completely occupy the pores left by PNs below the lower critical solution temperature (LCST), forming a pore-less structure. Contrarily, above the LCST, the collapse of hydrogen bonding between bovine skin gelatin and PNIPAAm occurred, resulting in pores in the NGHH. The behavior of pore closing and opening below and above the LCST, respectively, indicates the excellent drug gating efficiency. Amoxicillin (AMX) was loaded into the NGHHs as smart antibiotic gating due to the pore closing and opening behavior. Accordingly, E. coli. and S. aureus were exploited to test the bacteria inhibition ratio (BIR) of the AMX-loaded NGHHs. BIRs of NGHH without pores were 48% to 46.7% at 25 and 37 °C, respectively, for E. coli during 12 h of incubation time. The BIRs of nanoporous NGHH could be enhanced from 61.5% to 90.4% providing a smart antibiotic gate of bovine skin gelatin gels against inflammation from infection or injury inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wettabilities and Surface Properties of Polymer Materials)
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Article
On the Effects of Process Parameters and Optimization of Interlaminate Bond Strength in 3D Printed ABS/CF-PLA Composite
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2155; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092155 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1132
Abstract
The scope of additive manufacturing, particularly fused deposition modelling (FDM), can indeed be explored with the fabrication of multi-material composite laminates using this technology. Laminar composite structures made up of two distinct materials, namely acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and carbon fiber reinforced polylactic [...] Read more.
The scope of additive manufacturing, particularly fused deposition modelling (FDM), can indeed be explored with the fabrication of multi-material composite laminates using this technology. Laminar composite structures made up of two distinct materials, namely acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and carbon fiber reinforced polylactic acid (CF-PLA), were produced using the FDM process. The current study analyzes the effect of various printing parameters on the interfacial bond strength (IFBS) of the ABS/CF-PLA laminar composite by employing response surface methodology. The physical examination of the tested specimens revealed two failure modes, where failure mode 1 possessed high IFBS owing to the phenomenon of material patch transfer. Contrarily, failure mode 2 yielded low IFBS, while no patch transfer was observed. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed that printing parameters were highly interactive in nature. After extensive experimentation, it was revealed that good quality of IFBS is attributed to the medium range of printing speed, high infill density, and low layer height. At the same time, a maximum IFBS of 20.5 MPa was achieved. The study presented an empirical relation between printing parameters and IFBS that can help in forecasting IFBS at any given printing parameters. Finally, the optimized printing conditions were also determined with the aim to maximize IFBS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Polymer Applications)
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Article
Improving Photophysical Properties of White Emitting Ternary Conjugated Polymer Blend Thin Film via Additions of TiO2 Nanoparticles
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2154; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092154 - 21 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1046
Abstract
The effect of TiO2 nanoparticles on the photophysical properties of ternary conjugated polymer (CP) blends of poly(9,9-dioctylfluorene-2,7-diyl) (PFO), poly 9,9-dioctylfluorene-alt-benzothiadiazole (F8BT) and poly(2-methoxy-5(2-ethylhexyl)-1,4 -phenylenevinylene (MEH-PPV) thin films was investigated. This ternary blend used a fixed amount of PFO as the donor with [...] Read more.
The effect of TiO2 nanoparticles on the photophysical properties of ternary conjugated polymer (CP) blends of poly(9,9-dioctylfluorene-2,7-diyl) (PFO), poly 9,9-dioctylfluorene-alt-benzothiadiazole (F8BT) and poly(2-methoxy-5(2-ethylhexyl)-1,4 -phenylenevinylene (MEH-PPV) thin films was investigated. This ternary blend used a fixed amount of PFO as the donor with MEH-PPV and F8BT in various ratios as the acceptors. The solution-blending method and the spin-coating technique were used to prepare the blends and the thin films, respectively. Through efficient Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET), the desired white emission was achieved with PFO/0.3 wt.% F8BT/0.5 wt.% MEH-PPV ternary blend thin film. Additions of nanoparticles up to 10 wt.% dramatically intensified the white emission which then dimmed at higher contents due to agglomerations. The current density–voltage characteristics of the nanocomposite thin films exhibited dependency on the content and distributions of the nanoparticles. Finally, a possible underlying mechanism for the intensification of emission is proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inorganic-Nanoparticle Modified Polymers)
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Article
Raman Spectroscopy Study of Structurally Uniform Hydrogenated Oligomers of α-Olefins
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2153; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092153 - 21 Sep 2020
Viewed by 960
Abstract
The expansion of the range of physico-chemical methods in the study of industrially significant α-olefin oligomers and polymers is of particular interest. In our article, we present a comparative Raman study of structurally uniform hydrogenated dimers, trimers, tetramers, and pentamers of 1-hexene and [...] Read more.
The expansion of the range of physico-chemical methods in the study of industrially significant α-olefin oligomers and polymers is of particular interest. In our article, we present a comparative Raman study of structurally uniform hydrogenated dimers, trimers, tetramers, and pentamers of 1-hexene and 1-octene, that are attractive as bases for freeze-resistant engine oils and lubricants. We found out that the joint monitoring of the disorder longitudinal acoustic mode (D-LAM) and symmetric C–C stretching modes allows the quantitative characterization of the number and length of alkyl chains (i.e., two structural characteristics), upon which the pour point and viscosity of the hydrocarbons depend, and to distinguish these compounds from both each other and linear alkanes. We demonstrated that the ratio of the contents of CH2 and CH3 groups in these hydrocarbons can be determined by using the intensities of the bands in the spectra, related to the asymmetric stretching vibrations of these groups. The density functional theory (DFT) calculations were applied to reveal the relations between the wavenumber and bandshape of the symmetric C–C stretching mode and a conformation arrangement of the 1-hexene and 1-octene dimers. We found that the branched double-chain conformation results in the splitting of the C–C mode into two components with the wavenumbers, which can be used as a measure of the length of branches. This conformation is preferable to the extended-chain conformation for hydrogenated 1-hexene and 1-octene dimers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coordination Catalysis in Additive Polymerization)
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Article
Erroneous or Arrhenius: A Degradation Rate-Based Model for EPDM during Homogeneous Ageing
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2152; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092152 - 21 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 956
Abstract
To improve the predictive capability of long-term stress relaxation of elastomers during thermo-oxidative ageing, a method to separate reversible and irreversible processes was adopted. The separation is performed through the analysis of compression set after tempering. On the basis of this separation, a [...] Read more.
To improve the predictive capability of long-term stress relaxation of elastomers during thermo-oxidative ageing, a method to separate reversible and irreversible processes was adopted. The separation is performed through the analysis of compression set after tempering. On the basis of this separation, a numerical model for long-term stress relaxation during homogeneous ageing is proposed. The model consists of an additive contribution of physical and chemical relaxation. Computer simulations of compression stress relaxation were performed for long ageing times and the results were validated with the Arrhenius treatment, the kinetic study and the time-temperature superposition technique based on experimental data. For chemical relaxation, two decay functions are introduced each with an activation energy and a degradative process. The first process with the lower activation energy dominates at lower ageing times, while the second one with the higher activation energy at longer ageing times. A degradation-rate based model for the evolution of each process and its contribution to the total system during homogeneous ageing is proposed. The main advantage of the model is the possibility to quickly validate the interpolation at lower temperatures within the range of slower chemical processes without forcing a straight-line extrapolation. Full article
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Article
Highly Thermal Stable Phenolic Resin Based on Double-Decker-Shaped POSS Nanocomposites for Supercapacitors
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2151; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092151 - 21 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 979
Abstract
In this study we incorporated various amounts of a double-decker silsesquioxane (DDSQ) into phenolic/DDSQ hybrids, which we prepared from a bifunctionalized phenolic DDSQ derivative (DDSQ-4OH), phenol, and CH2O under basic conditions (with DDSQ-4OH itself prepared through hydrosilylation of nadic anhydride with [...] Read more.
In this study we incorporated various amounts of a double-decker silsesquioxane (DDSQ) into phenolic/DDSQ hybrids, which we prepared from a bifunctionalized phenolic DDSQ derivative (DDSQ-4OH), phenol, and CH2O under basic conditions (with DDSQ-4OH itself prepared through hydrosilylation of nadic anhydride with DDSQ and subsequent reaction with 4-aminophenol). We characterized these phenolic/DDSQ hybrids using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy; 1H, 13C, and 29Si nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy; X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS); and thermogravimetric analysis. The thermal decomposition temperature and char yield both increased significantly upon increasing the DDSQ content, with the DDSQ units providing an inorganic protection layer on the phenolic surface, as confirmed through XPS analyses. We obtained carbon/DDSQ hybrids from the phenolic/DDSQ hybrids after thermal curing and calcination at 900 °C; these carbon/DDSQ hybrids displayed electrochemical properties superior to those of previously reported counterparts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Polymer Nanocomposites II)
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Article
Different Strategies for the Preparation of Galactose-Functionalized Thermo-Responsive Nanogels with Potential as Smart Drug Delivery Systems
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2150; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092150 - 21 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 894
Abstract
Different synthetic strategies were tested for the incorporation of galactose molecules on thermoresponsive nanogels owing to their affinity for receptors expressed in cancer cells. Three families of galactose-functionalized poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) nanogels were prepared with the aim to control the introduction of galactose-moieties [...] Read more.
Different synthetic strategies were tested for the incorporation of galactose molecules on thermoresponsive nanogels owing to their affinity for receptors expressed in cancer cells. Three families of galactose-functionalized poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) nanogels were prepared with the aim to control the introduction of galactose-moieties into the core, the core-shell interface and the shell. First and second of the above mentioned, were prepared via surfactant free emulsion polymerization (SFEP) by a free-radical mechanism and the third one, via SFEP/reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. Synthetic recipes for the SFEP/free radical method included besides N-vinylcaprolactam (NVCL), a shell forming poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (PEGMA), while the galactose (GAL) moiety was introduced via 6-O-acryloyl-1,2,:3,4-bis-O-(1-methyl-ethylidene)-α-D-galactopiranose (6-ABG, protected GAL-monomer): nanogels I, or 2-lactobionamidoethyl methacrylate (LAMA, GAL-monomer): nanogels II. For the SFEP/RAFT methodology poly(2-lactobionamidoethyl methacrylate) as GAL macro-chain transfer agent (PLAMA macro-CTA) was first prepared and on a following stage, the macro-CTA was copolymerized with PEGMA and NVCL, nanogels III. The crosslinker ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) was added in both methodologies for the polymer network construction. Nanogel’s sizes obtained resulted between 90 and 370 nm. With higher content of PLAMA macro-CTA or GAL monomer in nanogels, a higher the phase-transition temperature (TVPT) was observed with values ranging from 28 to 46 °C. The ρ-parameter, calculated by the ratio of gyration and hydrodynamic radii from static (SLS) and dynamic (DLS) light scattering measurements, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) micrographs suggest that core-shell nanogels of flexible chains were obtained; in either spherical (nanogels II and III) or hyperbranched (nanogels I) form. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermoresponsive Polymers)
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Article
Synthesis, Physical Properties and Enzymatic Degradation of Biodegradable Nanocomposites Fabricated Using Poly(Butylene Carbonate-Co-Terephthalate) and Organically Modified Layered Zinc Phenylphosphonate
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2149; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092149 - 21 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 694
Abstract
A new biodegradable aliphatic-aromatic poly (butylene carbonate-co-terephthalate) (PBCT-85) with the molar ratio [BC]/[BT] = 85/15, successfully synthesized through transesterification and polycondensation processes, was identified using 1H-NMR spectra. Various weight ratios of PBCT/organically modified layered zinc phenylphosphonate (m-PPZn) nanocomposites were manufactured using the solution [...] Read more.
A new biodegradable aliphatic-aromatic poly (butylene carbonate-co-terephthalate) (PBCT-85) with the molar ratio [BC]/[BT] = 85/15, successfully synthesized through transesterification and polycondensation processes, was identified using 1H-NMR spectra. Various weight ratios of PBCT/organically modified layered zinc phenylphosphonate (m-PPZn) nanocomposites were manufactured using the solution mixing process. Wide-angle X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy were used to examine the morphology of PBCT-85/m-PPZn nanocomposites. Both results exhibited that the stacking layers of m-PPZn were intercalated into the PBCT-85 polymer matrix. The additional m-PPZn into PBCT-85 copolymer matrix significantly enhanced the storage modulus at −70 °C, as compared to that of neat PBCT-85. The lipase from Pseudomonas sp. was used to investigate the enzymatic degradation of PBCT-85/m-PPZn nanocomposites. The weight loss decreased as the loading of m-PPZn increased, indicating that the existence of m-PPZn inhibits the degradation of the PBCT-85 copolymers. This result might be attributed to the higher degree of contact angle for PBCT-85/m-PPZn nanocomposites. The PBCT-85/m-PPZn composites approved by MTT assay are appropriate for cell growth and might have potential in the application of biomedical materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Polymer Nanocomposites)
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Article
Efficient Production of Poly(Cyclohexene Carbonate) via ROCOP of Cyclohexene Oxide and CO2 Mediated by NNO-Scorpionate Zinc Complexes
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2148; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092148 - 21 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1308
Abstract
New mono- and dinuclear chiral alkoxide/thioalkoxide NNO-scorpinate zinc complexes were easily synthesized in very high yields, and characterized by spectroscopic methods. X-ray diffraction analysis unambiguously confirmed the different nuclearity of the new complexes as well as the variety of coordination modes of the [...] Read more.
New mono- and dinuclear chiral alkoxide/thioalkoxide NNO-scorpinate zinc complexes were easily synthesized in very high yields, and characterized by spectroscopic methods. X-ray diffraction analysis unambiguously confirmed the different nuclearity of the new complexes as well as the variety of coordination modes of the scorpionate ligands. Scorpionate zinc complexes 2, 4 and 6 were assessed as catalysts for polycarbonate production from epoxide and carbon dioxide with no need for a co-catalyst or activator under mild conditions. Interestingly, at 70 °C, 10 bar of CO2 pressure and 1 mol % of loading, the dinuclear thioaryloxide [Zn(bpzaepe)2{Zn(SAr)2}] (4) behaves as an efficient and selective one-component initiator for the synthesis of poly(cyclohexene carbonate) via ring-opening copolymerization of cyclohexene oxide (CHO) and CO2, affording polycarbonate materials with narrow dispersity values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Complexes-Mediated Catalysis in Polymerization II)
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Article
Fatigue Behavior of 3D Braided Composites Containing an Open-Hole
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2147; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092147 - 21 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 866
Abstract
The static and dynamic mechanical performances of notched and un-notched 3D braided composites were studied. The effect of longitudinal laid-in yarn was investigated in comparison with low braiding angle composites. The specimens were fatigue tested for up to millions of cycles, and the [...] Read more.
The static and dynamic mechanical performances of notched and un-notched 3D braided composites were studied. The effect of longitudinal laid-in yarn was investigated in comparison with low braiding angle composites. The specimens were fatigue tested for up to millions of cycles, and the residual strength of the samples that survived millions of cycles was tested. The cross-section of the 3D braided specimens was observed after fatigue loading. It was found that the static and fatigue properties of low angle 3D braided behaved better than longitudinally reinforced 3D braided composites. For failure behavior, pure braids contain damage better and show less damage area than the braids with longitudinal yarns under fatigue loading. More cracks occurred in the 3D braided specimen with axial yarn cross-section along the longitudinal and transverse direction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reinforced Polymer Composites II)
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Review
Review on UV-Induced Cationic Frontal Polymerization of Epoxy Monomers
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2146; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092146 - 20 Sep 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2098
Abstract
Ultraviolet (UV)-induced cationic frontal polymerization has emerged as a novel technique that allows rapid curing of various epoxy monomers upon UV irradiation within a few seconds. In the presence of a diaryliodonium salt photoinitiator together with a thermal radical initiator, the cationic ring [...] Read more.
Ultraviolet (UV)-induced cationic frontal polymerization has emerged as a novel technique that allows rapid curing of various epoxy monomers upon UV irradiation within a few seconds. In the presence of a diaryliodonium salt photoinitiator together with a thermal radical initiator, the cationic ring opening polymerization of an epoxide monomer is auto-accelerated in the form of a self-propagating front upon UV irradiation. This hot propagating front generates the required enthalpy to sustain curing reaction throughout the resin formulation without further need for UV irradiation. This unique reaction pathway makes the cationic frontal polymerization a promising route towards the efficient curing of epoxy-based thermosetting resins and related composite structures. This review represents a comprehensive overview of the mechanism and progress of UV-induced cationic frontal polymerization of epoxy monomers that have been reported so far in literature. At the same time, this review covers important aspects on the frontal polymerization of various epoxide monomers involving the chemistry of the initiators, the effect of appropriate sensitizers, diluents and fillers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in UV Polymerization—New Polymeric Materials)
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Article
Denaturation Behavior and Kinetics of Single- and Multi-Component Protein Systems at Extrusion-Like Conditions
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2145; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092145 - 20 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 866
Abstract
In this study, the influence of defined extrusion-like treatment conditions on the denaturation behavior and kinetics of single- and multi-component protein model systems at a protein concentration of 70% (w/w) was investigated. α-Lactalbumin (αLA) and β-Lactoglobulin (βLG), and whey protein isolate [...] Read more.
In this study, the influence of defined extrusion-like treatment conditions on the denaturation behavior and kinetics of single- and multi-component protein model systems at a protein concentration of 70% (w/w) was investigated. α-Lactalbumin (αLA) and β-Lactoglobulin (βLG), and whey protein isolate (WPI) were selected as single- and multi-component protein model systems, respectively. To apply defined extrusion-like conditions, treatment temperatures in the range of 60 and 100 °C, shear rates from 0.06 to 50 s⁻1, and treatment times up to 90 s were chosen. While an aggregation onset temperature was determined at approximately 73 °C for WPI systems at a shear rate of 0.06 s⁻1, two significantly different onset temperatures were determined when the shear rate was increased to 25 and 50 s⁻1. These two different onset temperatures could be related to the main fractions present in whey protein (βLG and αLA), suggesting shear-induced phase separation. Application of additional mechanical treatment resulted in an increase in reaction rates for all the investigated systems. Denaturation was found to follow 2.262 and 1.865 order kinetics for αLA and WPI, respectively. The reaction order of WPI might have resulted from a combination of a lower reaction order in the unsheared system (i.e., fractional first order) and higher reaction order for sheared systems, probably due to phase separation, leading to isolated behavior of each fraction at the local level (i.e., fractional second order). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers for Medicinal, Macromolecules, and Food Applications)
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Article
Impact Strength and Water Uptake Behavior of Bleached Kraft Softwood-Reinforced PLA Composites as Alternative to PP-Based Materials
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2144; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092144 - 20 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 862
Abstract
The research toward environmentally friendly materials has devoted a great effort on composites based on natural fiber-reinforced biopolymers. These materials have shown noticeable mechanical properties, mainly tensile and flexural strengths, as a consequence of increasingly strong interfaces. Previous studies have shown a good [...] Read more.
The research toward environmentally friendly materials has devoted a great effort on composites based on natural fiber-reinforced biopolymers. These materials have shown noticeable mechanical properties, mainly tensile and flexural strengths, as a consequence of increasingly strong interfaces. Previous studies have shown a good interface between natural fibers and poly (lactic acid) (PLA) when these fibers present a low lignin content in their surface chemical composition (bleached fibers). Nonetheless, one of the main drawbacks of these materials is the hydrophilicity of the reinforcements in front of the mineral ones like glass fiber. Meanwhile, the behavior of such materials under impact is also of importance to evaluate its usefulness. This research evaluates the water uptake behavior and the impact strength of bleached Kraft softwood-reinforced PLA composites that have been reported to show noticeable tensile and flexural properties. The paper explores the differences between these bio-based materials and commodity composites like glass fiber-reinforced polypropylene. Full article
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Article
Rheology-Assisted Microstructure Control for Printing Magnetic Composites—Material and Process Development
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2143; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092143 - 20 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 884
Abstract
Magnetic composites play a significant role in various electrical and electronic devices. Properties of such magnetic composites depend on the particle microstructural distribution within the polymer matrix. In this study, a methodology to manufacture magnetic composites with isotropic and anisotropic particle distribution was [...] Read more.
Magnetic composites play a significant role in various electrical and electronic devices. Properties of such magnetic composites depend on the particle microstructural distribution within the polymer matrix. In this study, a methodology to manufacture magnetic composites with isotropic and anisotropic particle distribution was introduced using engineered material formulations and manufacturing methods. An in-house developed material jetting 3D printer with particle alignment capability was utilized to dispense a UV curable resin formulation to the desired computer aided design (CAD) geometry. Formulations engineered using additives enabled controlling the rheological properties and the microstructure at different manufacturing process stages. Incorporating rheological additives rendered the formulation with thixotropic properties suitable for material jetting processes. Particle alignment was accomplished using a magnetic field generated using a pair of permanent magnets. Microstructure control in printed composites was observed to depend on both the developed material formulations and the manufacturing process. The rheological behavior of filler-modified polymers was characterized using rheometry, and the formulation properties were derived using mathematical models. Experimental observations were correlated with the observed mechanical behavior changes in the polymers. It was additionally observed that higher additive content controlled particle aggregation but reduced the degree of particle alignment in polymers. Directionality analysis of optical micrographs was utilized as a tool to quantify the degree of filler orientation in printed composites. Characterization of in-plane and out-of-plane magnetic properties using a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) magnetometer exhibited enhanced magnetic characteristics along the direction of field structuring. Results expressed in this fundamental research serve as building blocks to construct magnetic composites through material jetting-based additive manufacturing processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Process–Structure–Properties in Polymer Additive Manufacturing)
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Review
Microbial Exopolysaccharides as Drug Carriers
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2142; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092142 - 19 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1122
Abstract
Microbial exopolysaccharides are peculiar polymers that are produced by living organisms and protect them against environmental factors. These polymers are industrially recovered from the medium culture after performing a fermentative process. These materials are biocompatible and biodegradable, possessing specific and beneficial properties for [...] Read more.
Microbial exopolysaccharides are peculiar polymers that are produced by living organisms and protect them against environmental factors. These polymers are industrially recovered from the medium culture after performing a fermentative process. These materials are biocompatible and biodegradable, possessing specific and beneficial properties for biomedical drug delivery systems. They can have antitumor activity, they can produce hydrogels with different characteristics due to their molecular structure and functional groups, and they can even produce nanoparticles via a self-assembly phenomenon. This review studies the potential use of exopolysaccharides as carriers for drug delivery systems, covering their versatility and their vast possibilities to produce particles, fibers, scaffolds, hydrogels, and aerogels with different strategies and methodologies. Moreover, the main properties of exopolysaccharides are explained, providing information to achieve an adequate carrier selection depending on the final application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers and Drug Delivery Systems)
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Article
Strong Plasmon–Exciton Coupling in Ag Nanoparticle—Conjugated Polymer Core-Shell Hybrid Nanostructures
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2141; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym12092141 - 19 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1066
Abstract
Strong plasmon–exciton coupling between tightly-bound excitons in organic molecular semiconductors and surface plasmons in metal nanostructures has been studied extensively for a number of technical applications, including low-threshold lasing and room-temperature Bose-Einstein condensates. Typically, excitons with narrow resonances, such as J-aggregates, are [...] Read more.
Strong plasmon–exciton coupling between tightly-bound excitons in organic molecular semiconductors and surface plasmons in metal nanostructures has been studied extensively for a number of technical applications, including low-threshold lasing and room-temperature Bose-Einstein condensates. Typically, excitons with narrow resonances, such as J-aggregates, are employed to achieve strong plasmon–exciton coupling. However, J-aggregates have limited applications for optoelectronic devices compared with organic conjugated polymers. Here, using numerical and analytical calculations, we demonstrate that strong plasmon–exciton coupling can be achieved for Ag-conjugated polymer core-shell nanostructures, despite the broad spectral linewidth of conjugated polymers. We show that strong plasmon–exciton coupling can be achieved through the use of thick shells, large oscillator strengths, and multiple vibronic resonances characteristic of typical conjugated polymers, and that Rabi splitting energies of over 1000 meV can be obtained using realistic material dispersive relative permittivity parameters. The results presented herein give insight into the mechanisms of plasmon–exciton coupling when broadband excitonic materials featuring strong vibrational–electronic coupling are employed and are relevant to organic optoelectronic devices and hybrid metal–organic photonic nanostructures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Optical Applications II)
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