Physical and Mechanical Properties of Polymer Gels (2nd Edition)

A special issue of Gels (ISSN 2310-2861). This special issue belongs to the section "Gel Analysis and Characterization".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2024 | Viewed by 3585

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, Canada
Interests: soft matter; rheology; composite; nanoparticles; flocculants
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
School of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
Interests: protein; peptide; hydrogel; single molecule; mechanical properties; self-assembly; force spectroscopy; biomaterials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Polymer gels, which are utilized in many industries, created by the self-assembly of small molecules via various non-covalent interactions, are currently a significant class of soft materials attracting significant interest in sensing, catalysis, cell culture, drug delivery, tissue engineering, environmental remediation, and optoelectronics. Polymer gels have the intrinsic dynamic and reversibility dynamic natures of non-covalent bonds, as opposed to covalently cross-linked polymer gels, which are normally static with no additional tunability. Polymer gel development, inspired by nature, has expanded into a much broader science, allowing gel materials to have more fascinating and emergent activities. For example, in the study of polymer-based gels, focus has shifted from classical thermodynamic control to non-equilibrium self-assembly, and from single-component systems to multi-component systems.

We organize this Special Issue on “Physical and Mechanical Properties of Polymer Gels” to summarize recent developments in the layout of polymer-based gels, the enquiry of self-assembly pathways, self-assembly control, and the functionalization and potential applications of polymer gels, among many other relevant issues, based on the great progress in the field of polymer-based gels in recent times. We are looking forward to receiving fresh data and reviews on polymer-based gels from both experimental and theoretical perspectives.

Dr. Aref Abbasi Moud
Dr. Yi Cao
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Gels is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • soft matter
  • rheology
  • gels
  • bijels

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Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 2823 KiB  
Article
The Role of WO3 Nanoparticles on the Properties of Gelatin Films
by Katia Rubini, Arianna Menichetti, Maria Cristina Cassani, Marco Montalti, Adriana Bigi and Elisa Boanini
Gels 2024, 10(6), 354; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels10060354 - 21 May 2024
Viewed by 477
Abstract
Gelatin films are very versatile materials whose properties can be tuned through functionalization with different systems. This work investigates the influence of WO3 nanoparticles on the swelling, barrier, mechanical, and photochromic properties of gelatin films. To this purpose, polyvinylpirrolidone (PVP)-stabilized WO3 [...] Read more.
Gelatin films are very versatile materials whose properties can be tuned through functionalization with different systems. This work investigates the influence of WO3 nanoparticles on the swelling, barrier, mechanical, and photochromic properties of gelatin films. To this purpose, polyvinylpirrolidone (PVP)-stabilized WO3 nanoparticles were loaded on gelatin films at two different pH values, namely, 4 and 7. The values of swelling and solubility of functionalized films displayed a reduction of around 50% in comparison to those of pristine, unloaded films. In agreement, WO3 nanoparticles provoked a significant decrease in water vapor permeability, whereas the decrease in the values of elastic modulus (from about 2.0 to 0.7 MPa) and stress at break (from about 2.5 to 1.4 MPa) can be ascribed to the discontinuity created by the nanoparticles inside the films. The results of differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray diffraction analysis suggest that interaction of PVP with gelatin reduce gelatin renaturation. No significant differences were found between the samples prepared at pH 4 and 7, whereas crosslinking with glutaraldehyde greatly influenced the properties of gelatin films. Moreover, the incorporation of WO3 nanoparticles in gelatin films, especially in the absence of glutaraldehyde, conferred excellent photochromic properties, inducing the appearance of an intense blue color after a few seconds of light irradiation and providing good resistance to several irradiation cycles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical and Mechanical Properties of Polymer Gels (2nd Edition))
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23 pages, 7846 KiB  
Article
Adsorption Efficiency of Cadmium (II) by Different Alkali-Activated Materials
by Nataša Mladenović Nikolić, Ljiljana Kljajević, Snežana S. Nenadović, Jelena Potočnik, Sanja Knežević, Sabina Dolenec and Katarina Trivunac
Gels 2024, 10(5), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels10050317 - 5 May 2024
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Abstract
The objective of this study was to demonstrate the potential utilization of fly ash (FA), wood ash (WA), and metakaolin (MK) in developing new alkali-activated materials (AAMs) for the removal of cadmium ions from waste water. The synthesis of AAMs involved the dissolution [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to demonstrate the potential utilization of fly ash (FA), wood ash (WA), and metakaolin (MK) in developing new alkali-activated materials (AAMs) for the removal of cadmium ions from waste water. The synthesis of AAMs involved the dissolution of solid precursors, FA, WA, and MK, by a liquid activator (Na2SiO3 and NaOH). In concentrated solutions of the activator, the formation of an aluminosilicate gel structure occurred. DRIFT spectroscopy of the AAMs indicated main vibration bands between 1036 cm−1 and 996 cm−1, corresponding to Si-O-Si/Si-O-Al bands. Shifting vibration bands were seen at 1028 cm−1 to 1021 cm−1, indicating that the Si-O-Si/Si-O-Al bond is elongating, and the bond angle is decreasing. Based on the X-ray diffraction results, alkali-activated samples consist of an amorphous phase and residual mineral phases. The characteristic “hump” of an amorphous phase in the range from 20 to 40° 2θ was observed in FA and in all AWAFA samples. By the XRD patterns of the AAMs obtained by the activation of a solid three-component system, a new crystalline phase, gehlenite, was identified. The efficiency of AAMs in removing cadmium ions from aqueous solutions was tested under various conditions. The highest values of adsorption capacity, 64.76 mg/g (AWAFA6), 67.02 mg/g (AWAFAMK6), and 72.84 mg/g mg/g (AWAMK6), were obtained for materials activated with a 6 M NaOH solution in the alkali activator. The Langmuir adsorption isotherm and pseudo-second kinetic order provided the best fit for all investigated AAMs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical and Mechanical Properties of Polymer Gels (2nd Edition))
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24 pages, 12442 KiB  
Article
The Optimization Study of Rheological Characteristics of Wind Power Grease Based on Gel-State
by Han Peng, Defang Zhao, Linjian Shangguan, Songyin Li, Ruixue Cheng and Yanchi Li
Gels 2024, 10(4), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels10040253 - 9 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1027
Abstract
The gel-state grease plays a vital and indispensable role in the long-term operation of wind turbines. To reduce carbon emissions and increase the reliability of wind turbines, this paper takes the gel-state Mobil SHC 461WT grease as the study object. Firstly, the rheological [...] Read more.
The gel-state grease plays a vital and indispensable role in the long-term operation of wind turbines. To reduce carbon emissions and increase the reliability of wind turbines, this paper takes the gel-state Mobil SHC 461WT grease as the study object. Firstly, the rheological properties of the gel-state Mobil SHC 461WT grease were investigated using the Anton Paar MCR302 rotational rheometer. Secondly, the rheological characteristics of three different gel states of the Mobil SHC 461WT grease (additive content of 0.1% of RFM3000, SK3115, and PV611, respectively, in the gel-state Mobil SHC 461WT grease) were optimized under the same conditions. Finally, according to the experimental results and the Herschel–Bulkley (H–B) model, the RFM3000 additive has the best effect on improving the rheological characteristics of the gel-state Mobil SHC 461WT grease. This research provides a new idea and direction for the technological advancement of the gel-state grease industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical and Mechanical Properties of Polymer Gels (2nd Edition))
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17 pages, 1365 KiB  
Article
Comparison of the Adsorption and Desorption Dynamics of Biological Molecules on Alginate Hydrogel Microcapsules—The Case of Sugars, Polyphenols, and Proteins
by Maja Benković, Izvorka Laljak, Davor Valinger, Tamara Jurina, Tea Sokač Cvetnić, Jasenka Gajdoš Kljusurić and Ana Jurinjak Tušek
Gels 2024, 10(3), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels10030201 - 16 Mar 2024
Viewed by 922
Abstract
The aim of this work was to analyze and compare the adsorption and desorption processes of carbohydrates (glucose as a model molecule), polyphenols (gallic acid as a model molecule), and proteins (bovine serum albumin, BSA as a model molecule) on alginate microcapsules. The [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to analyze and compare the adsorption and desorption processes of carbohydrates (glucose as a model molecule), polyphenols (gallic acid as a model molecule), and proteins (bovine serum albumin, BSA as a model molecule) on alginate microcapsules. The adsorption and desorption processes were described by mathematical models (pseudo-first-order, pseudo-second-order, and Weber–Morris intraparticle diffusion model for adsorption, and first-order, Korsmeyer–Peppas, and the Higuchi model for desorption) in order to determine the dominant mechanisms responsible for both processes. By comparing the values of adsorption rate (k2) and initial adsorption rate (h0) based on the pseudo-first-order model, the lowest values were recorded for BSA (k1 = 0.124 ± 0.030 min−1), followed by glucose (k1 = 0.203 ± 0.041 min−1), while the model-obtained values for gallic acid were not considered significant at p < 0.05. For glucose and gallic acid, the limiting step of the adsorption process is the chemical sorption of substances, and the rate of adsorption does not depend on the adsorbate concentration, but depends on the capacity of the hydrogel adsorbent. Based on the desorption rates determined by the Korsmeyer–Peppas model (k), the highest values were recorded for gallic acid (k = 3.66236 ± 0.20776 g beads/mg gallic acid per min), followed by glucose (k = 2.55760 ± 0.16960 g beads/mg glucose per min) and BSA (k = 0.78881 ± 0.11872 g beads/mg BSA per min). The desorption process from alginate hydrogel microcapsules is characterized by the pseudo Fickian diffusion mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical and Mechanical Properties of Polymer Gels (2nd Edition))
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