Special Issue "State-of-the-Art Polymer Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia (2021,2022)"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Mohamed Hassan El-Newehy
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Chemistry, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
2. Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Tanta University, Tanta 31527, Egypt
Interests: polymer synthesis and characterization; electrospinning; nanofibers; biologically active polymers; drug delivery; controlled release; water treatment; fuel cells
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Polymers have a wide range of applications and are of interest in multidisciplinary subject areas including materials science, chemistry, physics, biomedical engineering, biotechnology, and healthcare. In Saudi Arabia, researchers have explored various synthetic and natural polymers in terms of fabrication and materials characterization, targeting their potential applications to a number of biological and engineering applications. This has led to collaborative research and a sharp rise in polymer-related publications originating from Saudi Arabia in recent years. The aim of this Special Issue is to publish high quality and impactful research on “polymer science” conducted either in Saudi Arabia or by researchers affiliated with Saudi Arabian institutes. The topics of this Special Issue include, but are not limited to:

Polymer chemistry and physics;
Polymer-based composites and nanocomposites;
Biodegradable polymers;
Biopolymers and bio-based polymers;
Polymers for biomedical and dental applications;
Polymer fabrication techniques and advanced characterization;
Polymers for tissue engineering scaffolds;
Smart and innovative polymers;
Polymeric fibers and nanofibers;
Polymeric adhesive biomaterials;
Polymers for water treatment;
Polymers for water desalination;
Polymers for energy applications.

We hope this Special Issue will highlight the state of the art and future directions in polymer science and technology research in Saudi Arabia.

Prof. Dr. Muhammad Zafar
Prof. Dr. Mohamed Hassan El-Newehy
Guest Editors

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Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

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Article
Fabrication of Nanofibers Based on Hydroxypropyl Starch/Polyurethane Loaded with the Biosynthesized Silver Nanoparticles for the Treatment of Pathogenic Microbes in Wounds
Polymers 2022, 14(2), 318; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym14020318 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 139
Abstract
Fabrication of electrospun nanofibers based on the blending of modified natural polymer, hydroxyl propyl starch (HPS) as one of the most renewable resources, with synthetic polymers, such as polyurethane (PU) is of great potential for biomedical applications. The as-prepared nanofibers were used as [...] Read more.
Fabrication of electrospun nanofibers based on the blending of modified natural polymer, hydroxyl propyl starch (HPS) as one of the most renewable resources, with synthetic polymers, such as polyurethane (PU) is of great potential for biomedical applications. The as-prepared nanofibers were used as antimicrobial sheets via blending with biosynthesized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), which were prepared in a safe way with low cost using the extract of Nerium oleander leaves, which acted as a reducing and stabilizing agent as well. The biosynthesized AgNPs were fully characterized by various techniques (UV-vis, TEM, DLS, zeta potential and XRD). The obtained results from UV-vis depicted that the AgNPs appeared at a wavelength equal to 404 nm affirming the preparation of AgNPs when compared with the wavelength of extract (there are no observable peaks). The average particle size of the fabricated AgNPs that mediated with HPS exhibited a very small size (less than 5 nm) with excellent stability (more than −30 mv). In addition, the fabricated nanofibers were also fully characterized and the obtained data proved that the diameter of nanofibers was enlarged with increasing the concentration of AgNPs. Additionally, the findings illustrated that the pore sizes of electrospun sheets were in the range of 75 to 350 nm. The obtained results proved that the presence of HPS displayed a vital role in decreasing the contact angle of PU nanofibers and thus, increased the hydrophilicity of the net nanofibers. It is worthy to mention that the prepared nanofibers incorporated with AgNPs exhibited incredible antimicrobial activity against pathogenic microbes that actually presented in human wounds. Moreover, P. aeruginosa was the most sensitive species to the fabricated nanofibers compared to other tested ones. The minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) values of [email protected] against P. aeruginosa, and E. faecalis, were 250 and 500 mg/L within 15 min, respectively. Full article
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Article
Modification of Xanthan Gum for a High-Temperature and High-Salinity Reservoir
Polymers 2021, 13(23), 4212; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym13234212 - 01 Dec 2021
Viewed by 362
Abstract
Tertiary oil recovery, commonly known as enhanced oil recovery (EOR), is performed when secondary recovery is no longer economically viable. Polymer flooding is one of the EOR methods that improves the viscosity of injected water and boosts oil recovery. Xanthan gum is a [...] Read more.
Tertiary oil recovery, commonly known as enhanced oil recovery (EOR), is performed when secondary recovery is no longer economically viable. Polymer flooding is one of the EOR methods that improves the viscosity of injected water and boosts oil recovery. Xanthan gum is a relatively cheap biopolymer and is suitable for oil recovery at limited temperatures and salinities. This work aims to modify xanthan gum to improve its viscosity for high-temperature and high-salinity reservoirs. The xanthan gum was reacted with acrylic acid in the presence of a catalyst in order to form xanthan acrylate. The chemical structure of the xanthan acrylate was verified by FT-IR and NMR analysis. The discovery hybrid rheometer (DHR) confirmed that the viscosity of the modified xanthan gum was improved at elevated temperatures, which was reflected in the core flood experiment. Two core flooding experiments were conducted using six-inch sandstone core plugs and Arabian light crude oil. The first formulation—the xanthan gum with 3% NaCl solution—recovered 14% of the residual oil from the core. In contrast, the modified xanthan gum with 3% NaCl solution recovered about 19% of the residual oil, which was 5% higher than the original xanthan gum. The xanthan gum acrylate is therefore more effective at boosting tertiary oil recovery in the sandstone core. Full article
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Article
Investigating the Dimensional Accuracy of the Cavity Produced by ABS P400 Polymer-Based Novel EDM Electrode
Polymers 2021, 13(23), 4109; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym13234109 - 25 Nov 2021
Viewed by 340
Abstract
In the present study, cylindrical ABS P400 polymer parts (diameter 6.5 mm) to be used as die-sinking EDM (electric discharge machining) novel electrodes were fabricated using a fused deposition modeling (FDM) process. To meet the conductivity requirement in EDM, ABS parts were metallized [...] Read more.
In the present study, cylindrical ABS P400 polymer parts (diameter 6.5 mm) to be used as die-sinking EDM (electric discharge machining) novel electrodes were fabricated using a fused deposition modeling (FDM) process. To meet the conductivity requirement in EDM, ABS parts were metallized using an innovative method that comprised putting aluminum–charcoal (Al–C) on them followed by their copper electroplating. Real-time EDM of the mild steel workpiece was performed using novel electrodes, and machining performance of the electrodes, measured in terms of dimensional accuracy, i.e., change in diameter (ΔD) and change in depth (ΔH) of the cavity, under varying levels of three EDM factors, i.e., current (I), pulse on time (Ton), and pulse off time (Toff), was investigated. Machining results were analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA), perturbation graphs, and 3D surface plots. The optimal setting of the EDM parameters for minimizing ΔD and ΔH was determined using the desirability function approach. The suitability of the novel electrodes for EDM was ascertained by comparing their machining results with those of solid copper (SC) electrodes and electrodes fabricated by FDM and metallized using the electro-deposition method (FDM-EM), already reported in the literature, under similar machining conditions. From the results, it was found that ΔD and ΔH were less when EDM was performed using novel electrodes. Full article
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Article
Synthesis and Characterization of Nonwoven Cotton-Reinforced Cellulose Hydrogel for Wound Dressings
Polymers 2021, 13(23), 4098; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym13234098 - 25 Nov 2021
Viewed by 356
Abstract
Hydrogels wound dressings have enormous advantages due to their ability to absorb high wound exudate, capacity to load drugs, and provide quick pain relief. The use of hydrogels as wound dressings in their original form is a considerable challenge, as these are difficult [...] Read more.
Hydrogels wound dressings have enormous advantages due to their ability to absorb high wound exudate, capacity to load drugs, and provide quick pain relief. The use of hydrogels as wound dressings in their original form is a considerable challenge, as these are difficult to apply on wounds without support. Therefore, the incorporation of polymeric hydrogels with a certain substrate is an emerging field of interest. The present study fabricated cellulose hydrogel using the sol–gel technique and reinforced it with nonwoven cotton for sustainable wound dressing application. The nonwoven cotton was immersed inside the prepared solution of cellulose and heated at 50 °C for 2 h to form cellulose hydrogel–nonwoven cotton composites and characterized for a range of properties. In addition, the prepared hydrogel composite was also loaded with titania particles to attain antibacterial properties. The Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy confirmed the formation of cellulose hydrogel layers inside the nonwoven cotton structure. The fabricated composite hydrogels showed good moisture management and air permeability, which are essential for comfortable wound healing. The wound exudate testing revealed that the fluid absorptive capacity of cellulose hydrogel nonwoven cotton composite was improved significantly in comparison to pure nonwoven cotton. The results reveal the successful hydrogel formation, having excellent absorbing, antimicrobial, and sustainable properties. Full article
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Article
Green Enhanced Oil Recovery for Carbonate Reservoirs
Polymers 2021, 13(19), 3269; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym13193269 - 25 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 608
Abstract
Green enhanced oil recovery (GEOR) is an eco-friendly EOR technique involving the injection of specific green fluids to improve macroscopic and microscopic sweep efficiencies, boosting residual oil production. The environmentally friendly surfactant-polymer (SP) flood is successfully tested in a sandstone reservoir. However, the [...] Read more.
Green enhanced oil recovery (GEOR) is an eco-friendly EOR technique involving the injection of specific green fluids to improve macroscopic and microscopic sweep efficiencies, boosting residual oil production. The environmentally friendly surfactant-polymer (SP) flood is successfully tested in a sandstone reservoir. However, the applicability of the SP method does not extend to carbonate reservoirs yet and requires comprehensive investigation. This work aims to explore the oil recovery competency of a green SP formulation in carbonate through experimental and modelling studies. Numerous formulations of SP with ketone, alcohol, and organic acid are selected based on phase behavior and interfacial tension (IFT) reduction capabilities to examine their potential for enhancing residual oil production from carbonate cores. A blending of nonionic green surfactant alkyl polyglucoside (APG), xanthan gum (XG) biopolymer, and butanone recovered 22% tertiary oil from the carbonate core. This formulation recovered more than double residual crude than that of the APG, XG, and acetone. Similarly, a combination of APG, XG, acrylic acid, and butanol increased significantly more oil than the APG, XG, and acrylic acid formulation. The APG, XG, and butanone mixture is efficient with regards to boosting tertiary oil recovery from the carbonate core. Full article
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Communication
UV-Protected Polyurethane/f-Oil Fly Ash-CeO2 Coating: Effect of Pre-Mixing f-Oil Fly Ash-CeO2 with Monomers
Polymers 2021, 13(19), 3232; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym13193232 - 23 Sep 2021
Viewed by 372
Abstract
A series of UV-protected coatings were prepared using cerium-oxide-functionalized oil fly ash (f-OFA-CeO2) in waterborne polyurethane (WBPU) dispersions. Three monomers, namely, poly(tetramethyleneoxide glycol) (PTMG), polydimethylsiloxane-hydroxy terminated (PDMS) and 4,4-dicyclohexylmethane diisocyanate (H12MDI), were used to pre-mix with f [...] Read more.
A series of UV-protected coatings were prepared using cerium-oxide-functionalized oil fly ash (f-OFA-CeO2) in waterborne polyurethane (WBPU) dispersions. Three monomers, namely, poly(tetramethyleneoxide glycol) (PTMG), polydimethylsiloxane-hydroxy terminated (PDMS) and 4,4-dicyclohexylmethane diisocyanate (H12MDI), were used to pre-mix with f-OFA-CeO2 separately, followed by the synthesis of WBPU/f-OFA-CeO2 dispersions. The f-OFA-CeO2 distribution and enrichment into any part (top/bottom/bulk) of the coating was strongly affected by the pre-mixing of f-OFA-CeO2. The f-OFA-CeO2 was densely distributed in the top, bottom and bulk when the f-OFA-CeO2 was pre-mixed with PDMS, H12MDI and PTMG, respectively. Only an f-OFA-CeO2-enriched top surface showed excellent UV protection. The lowest UV-degraded exposed coating was found when the top surface of the coating was f-OFA-CeO2-enriched. Full article
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Article
Preparation, Characterization, and Evaluation of Macrocrystalline and Nanocrystalline Cellulose as Potential Corrosion Inhibitors for SS316 Alloy during Acid Pickling Process: Experimental and Computational Methods
Polymers 2021, 13(14), 2275; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym13142275 - 12 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 721
Abstract
Converting low-cost bio-plant residuals into high-value reusable nanomaterials such as microcrystalline cellulose is an important technological and environmental challenge. In this report, nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) was prepared by acid hydrolysis of macrocrystalline cellulose (CEL). The newly synthesized nanomaterials were fully characterized using spectroscopic [...] Read more.
Converting low-cost bio-plant residuals into high-value reusable nanomaterials such as microcrystalline cellulose is an important technological and environmental challenge. In this report, nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) was prepared by acid hydrolysis of macrocrystalline cellulose (CEL). The newly synthesized nanomaterials were fully characterized using spectroscopic and microscopic techniques including FE-SEM, FT-IR, TEM, Raman spectroscopy, and BET surface area. Morphological portrayal showed the rod-shaped structure for NCC with an average diameter of 10–25 nm in thickness as well as length 100–200 nm. The BET surface area of pure CEL and NCC was found to be 10.41 and 27 m2/g, respectively. The comparative protection capacity of natural polymers CEL and NCC towards improving the SS316 alloy corrosion resistance has been assessed during the acid pickling process by electrochemical (OCP, PDP, and EIS), and weight loss (WL) measurements. The outcomes attained from the various empirical methods were matched and exhibited that the protective efficacy of these polymers augmented with the upsurge in dose in this order CEL (93.1%) < NCC (96.3%). The examined polymers display mixed-corrosion inhibition type features by hindering the active centers on the metal interface, and their adsorption followed the Langmuir isotherm model. Surface morphology analyses by SEM reinforced the adsorption of polymers on the metal substrate. The Density Functional Theory (DFT) parameters were intended and exhibited the anti-corrosive characteristics of CEL and NCC polymers. A Monte Carlo (MC) simulation study revealed that CEL and NCC polymers are resolutely adsorbed on the SS316 alloy surface and forming a powerful adsorbed protective layer. Full article
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Article
Chelating Agents Usage in Optimization of Fracturing Fluid Rheology Prepared from Seawater
Polymers 2021, 13(13), 2111; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym13132111 - 27 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 619
Abstract
Hydraulic fracturing consumes massive volumes of freshwater that is usually scarce and costly. Such operation is not sustainable, and hence seawater could be used as an alternative. Nevertheless, seawater has high total dissolved solids (TDS), affecting the fracturing fluid rheology and providing a [...] Read more.
Hydraulic fracturing consumes massive volumes of freshwater that is usually scarce and costly. Such operation is not sustainable, and hence seawater could be used as an alternative. Nevertheless, seawater has high total dissolved solids (TDS), affecting the fracturing fluid rheology and providing a damage potential to the subterranean hydrocarbon reservoirs. Resolving these issues requires fracturing fluid systems with many additives, which results in an expensive and non-eco-friendly system. This study proposes eco-friendly and biodegradable chelating agents that could replace many additives such as scale inhibitors and crosslinkers. The study aims to optimize the rheology of seawater fracturing fluids using a chelating agent and polymer. By optimizing N,N-Dicarboxymethyl glutamic acid (GLDA) conditions, high viscosity was achieved using a standard industry rheometer. The GLDA was mixed with carboxymethyl hydroxypropyl guar (CMHPG) polymer and tested in both deionized water (DW) and seawater (SW). The polymer was examined first, where the rheology did not show a time-dependent behavior. The polymer in SW showed a slightly higher viscosity than in DW. The GLDA and CMHPG were tested at different temperatures, pH, and concentrations. These sets showed a time-dependent viscosity behavior, which can be utilized in various fracturing steps. Results showed that the solution pH and GLDA concentration significantly impacted the fluid viscosity magnitude and behavior. The developed formulation is shear thinning, where the viscosity declines as the shear rate increases. The temperature negatively impacted the viscosity and caused the formulation to break. The study provided an understanding of how to optimize the rheology of SW fracturing fluid based on GLDA chelating and CMHPG polymer. Full article
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Article
The Role of Microbial Products in Green Enhanced Oil Recovery: Acetone and Butanone
Polymers 2021, 13(12), 1946; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym13121946 - 11 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 679
Abstract
Green enhanced oil recovery is an oil recovery process involving the injection of specific environmentally friendly fluids (liquid chemicals and gases) that effectively displace oil due to their ability to alter the properties of enhanced oil recovery. In the microbial enhanced oil recovery [...] Read more.
Green enhanced oil recovery is an oil recovery process involving the injection of specific environmentally friendly fluids (liquid chemicals and gases) that effectively displace oil due to their ability to alter the properties of enhanced oil recovery. In the microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) process, microbes produce products such as surfactants, polymers, ketones, alcohols, and gases. These products reduce interfacial tension and capillary force, increase viscosity and mobility, alter wettability, and boost oil production. The influence of ketones in green surfactant-polymer (SP) formulations is not yet well understood and requires further analysis. The work aims to examine acetone and butanone’s effectiveness in green SP formulations used in a sandstone reservoir. The manuscript consists of both laboratory experiments and simulations. The two microbial ketones examined in this work are acetone and butanone. A spinning drop tensiometer was utilized to determine the interfacial tension (IFT) values for the selected formulations. Viscosity and shear rate across a wide range of temperatures were measured via a Discovery hybrid rheometer. Two core flood experiments were then conducted using sandstone cores at reservoir temperature and pressure. The two formulations selected were an acetone and SP blend and a butanone and SP mixture. These were chosen based on their IFT reduction and viscosity enhancement capabilities for core flooding, both important in assessing a sandstone core’s oil recovery potential. In the first formulation, acetone was mixed with alkyl polyglucoside (APG), a non-ionic green surfactant, and the biopolymer Xanthan gum (XG). This formulation produced 32% tertiary oil in the sandstone core. In addition, the acetone and SP formulation was effective at recovering residual oil from the core. In the second formulation, butanone was blended with APG and XG; the formulation recovered about 25% residual oil from the sandstone core. A modified Eclipse simulator was utilized to simulate the acetone and SP core-flood experiment and examine the effects of surfactant adsorption on oil recovery. The simulated oil recovery curve matched well with the laboratory values. In the sensitivity analysis, it was found that oil recovery decreased as the adsorption values increased. Full article
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Article
Dentin Bond Integrity of Filled and Unfilled Resin Adhesive Enhanced with Silica Nanoparticles—An SEM, EDX, Micro-Raman, FTIR and Micro-Tensile Bond Strength Study
Polymers 2021, 13(7), 1093; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym13071093 - 30 Mar 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 831
Abstract
The objective of this study was to synthesize and assess unfilled and filled (silica nanoparticles) dentin adhesive polymer. Methods encompassing scanning electron microscopy (SEM)—namely, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), micro-tensile bond strength (µTBS) test, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), and micro-Raman spectroscopy—were utilized to [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to synthesize and assess unfilled and filled (silica nanoparticles) dentin adhesive polymer. Methods encompassing scanning electron microscopy (SEM)—namely, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), micro-tensile bond strength (µTBS) test, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), and micro-Raman spectroscopy—were utilized to investigate Si particles’ shape and incorporation, dentin bond toughness, degree of conversion (DC), and adhesive–dentin interaction. The Si particles were incorporated in the experimental adhesive (EA) at 0, 5, 10, and 15 wt. % to yield Si-EA-0% (negative control group), Si-EA-5%, Si-EA-10%, and Si-EA-15% groups, respectively. Teeth were set to form bonded samples using adhesives in four groups for µTBS testing, with and without aging. Si particles were spherical shaped and resin tags having standard penetrations were detected on SEM micrographs. The EDX analysis confirmed the occurrence of Si in the adhesive groups (maximum in the Si-EA-15% group). Micro-Raman spectroscopy revealed the presence of characteristic peaks at 638, 802, and 1300 cm−1 for the Si particles. The µTBS test revealed the highest mean values for Si-EA-15% followed by Si-EA-10%. The greatest DC was appreciated for the control group trailed by the Si-EA-5% group. The addition of Si particles of 15 and 10 wt. % in dentin adhesive showed improved bond strength. The addition of 15 wt. % resulted in a bond strength that was superior to all other groups. The Si-EA-15% group demonstrated acceptable DC, suitable dentin interaction, and resin tag formation. Full article
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Article
Synthesis and Characterization of Aminophosphonate Containing Chitosan Polymer Derivatives: Investigations of Cytotoxic Activity and in Silico Study of SARS-CoV-19
Polymers 2021, 13(7), 1046; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym13071046 - 26 Mar 2021
Viewed by 824
Abstract
Chitosan is broadly used as a biological material since of its excellent biological activities. This work describes investigations of chitosan interaction with SARS-CoV-2, which is occupied by human respiratory epithelial cells through communication with the human angiotension-converting enzyme II (ACE2). The β-chitosan derivatives [...] Read more.
Chitosan is broadly used as a biological material since of its excellent biological activities. This work describes investigations of chitosan interaction with SARS-CoV-2, which is occupied by human respiratory epithelial cells through communication with the human angiotension-converting enzyme II (ACE2). The β-chitosan derivatives are synthesized and characterized by FT-IR, nuclear magnetic resonance (1H and 13C NMR), mass spectrometry, X-ray diffraction, TGA, DSC, and elemental analysis. The β-chitosan derivatives were screened for cytotoxic activity against the HepG2 and MCF-7 (breast) cancer cell lines. Compound 1h (GI50 0.02 µM) is moderately active against the HepG2 cancer cell line, and Compound 1c is highly active (GI50 0.01 µM) against the MCF-7 cancer cell line. In addition, chitosan derivatives (1a–1j) docking against the SARS coronavirus are found by in-silico docking analysis. The findings show that compound 1c exhibits notable inhibition ability compared with other compounds, with a binding energy value of −7.9 kcal/mol. Based on the molecular docking results, the chitosan analog is proposed to be an alternative antiviral agent for SARS-CoV2. Full article
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Review

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Review
Recent Advancements in Microbial Polysaccharides: Synthesis and Applications
Polymers 2021, 13(23), 4136; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym13234136 - 26 Nov 2021
Viewed by 482
Abstract
Polysaccharide materials are widely applied in different applications including food, food packaging, drug delivery, tissue engineering, wound dressing, wastewater treatment, and bioremediation sectors. They were used in these domains due to their efficient, cost-effective, non-toxicity, biocompatibility, and biodegradability. As is known, polysaccharides can [...] Read more.
Polysaccharide materials are widely applied in different applications including food, food packaging, drug delivery, tissue engineering, wound dressing, wastewater treatment, and bioremediation sectors. They were used in these domains due to their efficient, cost-effective, non-toxicity, biocompatibility, and biodegradability. As is known, polysaccharides can be synthesized by different simple, facile, and effective methods. Of these polysaccharides are cellulose, Arabic gum, sodium alginate, chitosan, chitin, curdlan, dextran, pectin, xanthan, pullulan, and so on. In this current article review, we focused on discussing the synthesis and potential applications of microbial polysaccharides. The biosynthesis of polysaccharides from microbial sources has been considered. Moreover, the utilization of molecular biology tools to modify the structure of polysaccharides has been covered. Such polysaccharides provide potential characteristics to transfer toxic compounds and decrease their resilience to the soil. Genetically modified microorganisms not only improve yield of polysaccharides, but also allow economically efficient production. With the rapid advancement of science and medicine, biosynthesis of polysaccharides research has become increasingly important. Synthetic biology approaches can play a critical role in developing polysaccharides in simple and facile ways. In addition, potential applications of microbial polysaccharides in different fields with a particular focus on food applications have been assessed. Full article
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Review
Catalytic and Photocatalytic Electrospun Nanofibers for Hydrogen Generation from Ammonia Borane Complex: A Review
Polymers 2021, 13(14), 2290; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/polym13142290 - 13 Jul 2021
Viewed by 743
Abstract
Hydrogen (H2) is a promising renewable energy source that can replace fossil fuels since it can solve several environmental and economic issues. However, the widespread usage of H2 is constrained by its storage and safety issues. Many researchers consider solid [...] Read more.
Hydrogen (H2) is a promising renewable energy source that can replace fossil fuels since it can solve several environmental and economic issues. However, the widespread usage of H2 is constrained by its storage and safety issues. Many researchers consider solid materials with an excellent capacity for H2 storage and generation as the solution for most H2-related issues. Among solid materials, ammonia borane (abbreviated hereafter as AB) is considered one of the best hydrogen storage materials due to its extraordinary H2 content and small density. However, the process must be conducted in the presence of efficient catalysts to obtain a reasonable amount of generated H2. Electrospun nanofibrous catalysts are a new class of efficient catalysts that involves the usage of polymers. Here, a comprehensive review of the ceramic-supported electrospun NF catalysts for AB hydrolysis is presented, with a special focus on catalytic and photolytic performance and preparation steps. Photocatalytic AB hydrolysis was discussed in detail due to its importance and promising results. AB photocatalytic hydrolysis mechanisms under light were also explained. Electrospun catalysts show excellent activity for AB hydrolysis with good recyclability. Kinetics studies show that the AB hydrolysis reaction is independent of AB concentration and the first-order reaction of NF catalysts. Full article
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