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Special Issue "Biodegradable Materials 2017"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2017).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Carl Schaschke
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of the West of Scotland (UWS), Glasgow G72 0LH, UK
Interests: Biodegradable Materials; Food Processing; High Pressure Processing of Foods
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Jean-Luc Audic
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Rennes, CNRS, UMR 6226, 11 Allée de Beaulieu, CS 50837, 35708 Rennes Cedex 7, France
Interests: biobased polymers; biodegradable polymers; polymer characterisation; formulation; plasticisation; size exclusion chromatography; protein based materials; by-products; non-food uses of agricultural products; protein based packaging materials; polyesters; polyhydroxyalkanoates; PHB; PHBV; oils and epoxidized oils; exsudation and extraction; permeability (O2 , CO2, water vapour...)
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

During the last 30 years, the development of natural biodegradable polymers has attached significant and increasing scientific and industrial attention particularly in terms of meeting the growing demand for sustainable development. Environmentally friendly polymer materials obtained from natural polymers such as proteins, polysaccharides, lipids or through synthesis from renewable resources have received considerable attention in an effort to replace petroleum-derived polymers with macromolecules whose ecological footprints is relatively low. The special issue of International Journal of Material Science will focus on such new biomaterials, and we are seeking contributions underlying the recent findings in the field of biodegradable/bio-based materials and their applications.

Professor Carl Schaschke
Dr. Jean-Luc Audic
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • bio-based plastics and polymers
  • biodegradability
  • product uses
  • applications
  • materials testing

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Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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Article
UV-Surface Treatment of Fungal Resistant Polyether Polyurethane Film-Induced Growth of Entomopathogenic Fungi
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(7), 1536; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms18071536 - 18 Jul 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3503
Abstract
Synthetic polymers are the cause of some major environmental impacts due to their low degradation rates. Polyurethanes (PU) are widely used synthetic polymers, and their growing use in industry has produced an increase in plastic waste. A commercial polyether-based thermoplastic PU with hydrolytic [...] Read more.
Synthetic polymers are the cause of some major environmental impacts due to their low degradation rates. Polyurethanes (PU) are widely used synthetic polymers, and their growing use in industry has produced an increase in plastic waste. A commercial polyether-based thermoplastic PU with hydrolytic stability and fungus resistance was only attacked by an entomopathogenic fungus, Metarhiziumanisopliae, when the films were pre-treated with Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation in the presence of reactive atmospheres. Water contact angle, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy in attenuated total reflection mode (FTIR-ATR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and profilometer measurements were mainly used for analysis. Permanent hydrophilic PU films were produced by the UV-assisted treatments. Pristine polyether PU films incubated for 10, 30, and 60 days did not show any indication of fungal growth. On the contrary, when using oxygen in the UV pre-treatment a layer of fungi spores covered the sample, indicating a great adherence of the microorganisms to the polymer. However, if acrylic acid vapors were used during the UV pre-treatment, a visible attack by the entomopathogenic fungi was observed. SEM and FTIR-ATR data showed clear evidence of fungal development: growth and ramifications of hyphae on the polymer surface with the increase in UV pre-treatment time and fungus incubation time. The results indicated that the simple UV surface activation process has proven to be a promising alternative for polyether PU waste management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials 2017)
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Article
Impact of Thermomechanical Fiber Pre-Treatment Using Twin-Screw Extrusion on the Production and Properties of Renewable Binderless Coriander Fiberboards
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(7), 1539; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms18071539 - 17 Jul 2017
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2472
Abstract
The aim of this study consisted of manufacturing renewable binderless fiberboards from coriander straw and a deoiled coriander press cake, thus at the same time ensuring the valorization of crop residues and process by-products. The press cake acted as a natural binder inside [...] Read more.
The aim of this study consisted of manufacturing renewable binderless fiberboards from coriander straw and a deoiled coriander press cake, thus at the same time ensuring the valorization of crop residues and process by-products. The press cake acted as a natural binder inside the boards owing to the thermoplastic behavior of its protein fraction during thermopressing. The influence of different fiber-refining methods was evaluated and it was shown that a twin-screw extrusion treatment effectively improved fiber morphology and resulted in fiberboards with enhanced performance as compared to a conventional grinding process. The best fiberboard was produced with extrusion-refined straw using a 0.4 liquid/solid (L/S) ratio and with 40% press cake addition. The water sensitivity of the boards was effectively reduced by 63% through the addition of an extrusion raw material premixing operation and thermal treatment of the panels at 200 °C, resulting in materials with good performance showing a flexural strength of 29 MPa and a thickness swelling of 24%. Produced without the use of any chemical adhesives, these fiberboards could thus present viable, sustainable alternatives for current commercial wood-based materials such as oriented strand board, particleboard and medium-density fiberboard, with high cost-effectiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials 2017)
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Article
Anti-Biofilm Effect of Biodegradable Coatings Based on Hemibastadin Derivative in Marine Environment
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(7), 1520; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms18071520 - 13 Jul 2017
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2541
Abstract
Dibromohemibastadin-1 (DBHB) is an already known potent inhibitor of blue mussel phenoloxidase (which is a key enzyme involved in bioadhesion). Within this study, the potentiality of DBHB against microfouling has been investigated. The activity of DBHB was evaluated on key strains of bacteria [...] Read more.
Dibromohemibastadin-1 (DBHB) is an already known potent inhibitor of blue mussel phenoloxidase (which is a key enzyme involved in bioadhesion). Within this study, the potentiality of DBHB against microfouling has been investigated. The activity of DBHB was evaluated on key strains of bacteria and microalgae involved in marine biofilm formation and bioassays assessing impact on growth, adhesion and biofilm formation were used. To assess the efficiency of DBHB when included in a matrix, DBHB varnish was prepared and the anti-microfouling activity of coatings was assessed. Both in vitro and in situ immersions were carried out. Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM) was principally used to determine the biovolume and average thickness of biofilms developed on the coatings. Results showed an evident efficiency of DBHB as compound and varnish to reduce the biofilm development. The mode of action seems to be based principally on a perturbation of biofilm formation rather than on a biocidal activity in the tested conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials 2017)
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Article
Synthesis and Biodegradation of Poly(l-lactide-co-β-propiolactone)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1312; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms18061312 - 20 Jun 2017
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2303
Abstract
Although the copolymerizations of l-lactide (LA) with seven- or six-membered ring lactones have been extensively studied, the copolymerizations of LA with four-membered ring lactones have scarcely been reported. In this work, we studied the copolymerization of LA with β-propiolactone (PL) and the [...] Read more.
Although the copolymerizations of l-lactide (LA) with seven- or six-membered ring lactones have been extensively studied, the copolymerizations of LA with four-membered ring lactones have scarcely been reported. In this work, we studied the copolymerization of LA with β-propiolactone (PL) and the properties of the obtained copolymers. The copolymerization of LA with PL was carried out using trifluoromethanesulfonic acid as a catalyst and methanol as an initiator to produce poly(LA-co-PL) with Mn of ~50,000 and PL-content of 6–67 mol %. The Tg values of the copolymers were rapidly lowered with increasing PL-contents. The Tm and ΔHm of the copolymers gradually decreased with increasing PL-contents, indicating their decreased crystallinity. Biodegradation test of the copolymers in compost demonstrated their improved biodegradability in comparison with the homopolymer of LA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials 2017)
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Article
Development of Biopolymer Composite Films Using a Microfluidization Technique for Carboxymethylcellulose and Apple Skin Particles
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1278; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms18061278 - 15 Jun 2017
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2450
Abstract
Biopolymer films based on apple skin powder (ASP) and carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) were developed with the addition of apple skin extract (ASE) and tartaric acid (TA). ASP/CMC composite films were prepared by mixing CMC with ASP solution using a microfluidization technique to reduce particle [...] Read more.
Biopolymer films based on apple skin powder (ASP) and carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) were developed with the addition of apple skin extract (ASE) and tartaric acid (TA). ASP/CMC composite films were prepared by mixing CMC with ASP solution using a microfluidization technique to reduce particle size. Then, various concentrations of ASE and TA were incorporated into the film solution as an antioxidant and an antimicrobial agent, respectively. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), optical, mechanical, water barrier, and solubility properties of the developed films were then evaluated to determine the effects of ASE and TA on physicochemical properties. The films were also analyzed for antioxidant effect on 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging activity and antimicrobial activities against Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica, and Shigella flexneri. From the results, the ASP/CMC film containing ASE and TA was revealed to enhance the mechanical, water barrier, and solubility properties. Moreover, it showed the additional antioxidant and antimicrobial properties for application as an active packaging film. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials 2017)
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Article
Plasticizing Effects of Polyamines in Protein-Based Films
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(5), 1026; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms18051026 - 10 May 2017
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2279
Abstract
Zeta potential and nanoparticle size were determined on film forming solutions of native and heat-denatured proteins of bitter vetch as a function of pH and of different concentrations of the polyamines spermidine and spermine, both in the absence and presence of the plasticizer [...] Read more.
Zeta potential and nanoparticle size were determined on film forming solutions of native and heat-denatured proteins of bitter vetch as a function of pH and of different concentrations of the polyamines spermidine and spermine, both in the absence and presence of the plasticizer glycerol. Our results showed that both polyamines decreased the negative zeta potential of all samples under pH 8.0 as a consequence of their ionic interaction with proteins. At the same time, they enhanced the dimension of nanoparticles under pH 8.0 as a result of macromolecular aggregations. By using native protein solutions, handleable films were obtained only from samples containing either a minimum of 33 mM glycerol or 4 mM spermidine, or both compounds together at lower glycerol concentrations. However, 2 mM spermidine was sufficient to obtain handleable film by using heat-treated samples without glycerol. Conversely, brittle materials were obtained by spermine alone, thus indicating that only spermidine was able to act as an ionic plasticizer. Lastly, both polyamines, mainly spermine, were found able to act as “glycerol-like” plasticizers at concentrations higher than 5 mM under experimental conditions at which their amino groups are undissociated. Our findings open new perspectives in obtaining protein-based films by using aliphatic polycations as components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials 2017)
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Article
Waste Soybean Oil and Corn Steep Liquor as Economic Substrates for Bioemulsifier and Biodiesel Production by Candida lipolytica UCP 0998
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(10), 1608; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms17101608 - 23 Sep 2016
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2951
Abstract
Almost all oleaginous microorganisms are available for biodiesel production, and for the mechanism of oil accumulation, which is what makes a microbial approach economically competitive. This study investigated the potential that the yeast Candida lipolytica UCP0988, in an anamorphous state, has to produce [...] Read more.
Almost all oleaginous microorganisms are available for biodiesel production, and for the mechanism of oil accumulation, which is what makes a microbial approach economically competitive. This study investigated the potential that the yeast Candida lipolytica UCP0988, in an anamorphous state, has to produce simultaneously a bioemulsifier and to accumulate lipids using inexpensive and alternative substrates. Cultivation was carried out using waste soybean oil and corn steep liquor in accordance with 22 experimental designs with 1% inoculums (107 cells/mL). The bioemulsifier was produced in the cell-free metabolic liquid in the late exponential phase (96 h), at Assay 4 (corn steep liquor 5% and waste soybean oil 8%), with 6.704 UEA, IE24 of 96.66%, and showed an anionic profile. The emulsion formed consisted of compact small and stable droplets (size 0.2–5 µm), stable at all temperatures, at pH 2 and 4, and 2% salinity, and showed an ability to remove 93.74% of diesel oil from sand. The displacement oil (ODA) showed 45.34 cm2 of dispersion (central point of the factorial design). The biomass obtained from Assay 4 was able to accumulate lipids of 0.425 g/g biomass (corresponding to 42.5%), which consisted of Palmitic acid (28.4%), Stearic acid (7.7%), Oleic acid (42.8%), Linoleic acid (19.0%), and γ-Linolenic acid (2.1%). The results showed the ability of C. lipopytica to produce both bioemulsifier and biodiesel using the metabolic conversion of waste soybean oil and corn steep liquor, which are economic renewable sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials 2017)
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Article
Protection of Historical Wood against Microbial Degradation—Selection and Application of Microbiocides
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(8), 1364; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms17081364 - 22 Aug 2016
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2917
Abstract
The aim of this study was to select effective and safe microbiocides for the disinfection and protection of historical wooden surfaces at the former Auschwitz II-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp. We tested seven active compounds against bacteria and moulds, of which didecyldimethylammonium chloride [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to select effective and safe microbiocides for the disinfection and protection of historical wooden surfaces at the former Auschwitz II-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp. We tested seven active compounds against bacteria and moulds, of which didecyldimethylammonium chloride and N-(3-aminopropyl)-N-dodecylpropane-1,3-diamine were effective even at 0.02%–2%. Subsequently, eight microbiocides containing the selected active ingredients were chosen and applied three times on the surface of wood samples colonized by bacteria and moulds. ABM-1 and ABM-2—6% solution; Rocima 101—8%; Preventol R 80—12%; Acticide 706 LV—15% and Boramon—30% were the most effective disinfectants. Under laboratory conditions, ABM-1, Boramon and Rocima 101 ensured antimicrobial protection of new wood samples for six months. In situ, 30% Boramon and 8% Rocima 101 applied by spraying effectively protected the historical wood from bacterial and mould growth for 12 and 3 months, respectively. Colour and luminance of the new wood were not altered after exposure to the biocides. Boramon and Rocima 101, applied by the spraying method, caused no significant change in the colour of the historical wood. Results from this study were used to develop a procedure for the protection of wood in historical buildings against biodeterioration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials 2017)
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Communication
Navicula sp. Sulfated Polysaccharide Gels Induced by Fe(III): Rheology and Microstructure
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(8), 1238; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms17081238 - 30 Jul 2016
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2499
Abstract
A sulfated polysaccharide extracted from Navicula sp. presented a yield of 4.4 (% w/w dry biomass basis). Analysis of the polysaccharide using gas chromatography showed that this polysaccharide contained glucose (29%), galactose (21%), rhamnose (10%), xylose (5%) and mannose (4%). This [...] Read more.
A sulfated polysaccharide extracted from Navicula sp. presented a yield of 4.4 (% w/w dry biomass basis). Analysis of the polysaccharide using gas chromatography showed that this polysaccharide contained glucose (29%), galactose (21%), rhamnose (10%), xylose (5%) and mannose (4%). This polysaccharide presented an average molecular weight of 107 kDa. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) micrographs showed that the lyophilized Navicula sp. polysaccharide is an amorphous solid with particles of irregular shapes and sharp angles. The polysaccharide at 1% (w/v) solution in water formed gels in the presence of 0.4% (w/v) FeCl3, showing elastic and viscous moduli of 1 and 0.7 Pa, respectively. SEM analysis performed on the lyophilized gel showed a compact pore structure, with a pore size of approximately 150 nm. Very few studies on the gelation of sulfated polysaccharides using trivalent ions exist in the literature, and, to the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to describe the gelation of sulfated polysaccharides extracted from Navicula sp. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials 2017)
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Review

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Review
Impact of the Hydration States of Polymers on Their Hemocompatibility for Medical Applications: A Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(8), 1422; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms18081422 - 03 Aug 2017
Cited by 43 | Viewed by 3438
Abstract
Water has a key role in the functioning of all biological systems, it mediates many biochemical reactions, as well as other biological activities such as material biocompatibility. Water is often considered as an inert solvent, however at the molecular level, it shows different [...] Read more.
Water has a key role in the functioning of all biological systems, it mediates many biochemical reactions, as well as other biological activities such as material biocompatibility. Water is often considered as an inert solvent, however at the molecular level, it shows different behavior when sorbed onto surfaces like polymeric implants. Three states of water have been recognized: non-freezable water, which does not freeze even at −100 °C; intermediate water, which freezes below 0 °C; and, free water, which freezes at 0 °C like bulk water. This review describes the different states of water and the techniques for their identification and quantification, and analyzes their relationship with hemocompatibility in polymer surfaces. Intermediate water content higher than 3 wt % is related to better hemocompatibility for poly(ethylene glycol), poly(meth)acrylates, aliphatic carbonyls, and poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) surfaces. Therefore, characterizing water states in addition to water content is key for polymer selection and material design for medical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials 2017)
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Review
The Ultimaster Biodegradable-Polymer Sirolimus-Eluting Stent: An Updated Review of Clinical Evidence
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(9), 1490; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms17091490 - 06 Sep 2016
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3700
Abstract
The Ultimaster coronary stent system (Terumo Corporation, Tokyo, Japan) represents a new iteration in drug-eluting stent (DES) technology that has recently received the Conformité Européenne (CE) mark approval for clinical use. The Ultimaster is a thin-strut, cobalt chromium, biodegradable-polymer, sirolimus-eluting coronary stent. The [...] Read more.
The Ultimaster coronary stent system (Terumo Corporation, Tokyo, Japan) represents a new iteration in drug-eluting stent (DES) technology that has recently received the Conformité Européenne (CE) mark approval for clinical use. The Ultimaster is a thin-strut, cobalt chromium, biodegradable-polymer, sirolimus-eluting coronary stent. The high elasticity of the biodegradable-polymer (PDLLA-PCL) and the abluminal gradient coating technology are additional novel features of this coronary device. The Ultimaster DES has undergone extensive clinical evaluation in two studies: The CENTURY I and II trials. Results from these two landmark studies suggested an excellent efficacy and safety profile of the Ultimaster DES across several lesion and patient subsets, with similar clinical outcomes to contemporary, new-generation DES. The aim of this review is to summarize the rationale behind this novel DES technology and to provide an update of available evidence about the clinical performance of the Ultimaster DES. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials 2017)
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Review
Carbon Sources for Polyhydroxyalkanoates and an Integrated Biorefinery
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(7), 1157; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms17071157 - 19 Jul 2016
Cited by 84 | Viewed by 4682
Abstract
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are a group of bioplastics that have a wide range of applications. Extensive progress has been made in our understanding of PHAs’ biosynthesis, and currently, it is possible to engineer bacterial strains to produce PHAs with desired properties. The substrates for [...] Read more.
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are a group of bioplastics that have a wide range of applications. Extensive progress has been made in our understanding of PHAs’ biosynthesis, and currently, it is possible to engineer bacterial strains to produce PHAs with desired properties. The substrates for the fermentative production of PHAs are primarily derived from food-based carbon sources, raising concerns over the sustainability of their production in terms of their impact on food prices. This paper gives an overview of the current carbon sources used for PHA production and the methods used to transform these sources into fermentable forms. This allows us to identify the opportunities and restraints linked to future sustainable PHA production. Hemicellulose hydrolysates and crude glycerol are identified as two promising carbon sources for a sustainable production of PHAs. Hemicellulose hydrolysates and crude glycerol can be produced on a large scale during various second generation biofuels’ production. An integration of PHA production within a modern biorefinery is therefore proposed to produce biofuels and bioplastics simultaneously. This will create the potential to offset the production cost of biofuels and reduce the overall production cost of PHAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Materials 2017)
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