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Recent Advances in Biopolymer Composites

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: 31 August 2024 | Viewed by 6259

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Food Quality Analysis and Evaluation, Faculty of Food Technology, University of Agriculture, Balicka Street 122, 30-149 Kraków, Poland
Interests: organic synthesis; chromatography; materials; agriculture; food chemistry; food nanotechnology; material characterization; polymers; nanoparticles; nanomaterials; biocomposites; biopolymers; polymeric materials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology, Faculty of Food Technology, University of Agriculture, ul. Balicka 122, 30-149 Kraków, Poland
Interests: composites; polysaccharide; biopolymers; nanomaterials; nanoparticles; organic synthesis; synthesis; materials chemistry; material characterization; nanomaterials synthesis; nanoparticle synthesis; nanoparticle preparation; quantum dots; carbohydrate chemistry; starch; carbon nanotubes; metal nanoparticles; nanosilver; nanogold
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last decade, environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and nontoxic materials, especially from renewable resources, have attained great levels of attention, and a strong effort has been focused on research on biodegradable and biocompatible polymers to replace petroleum-based commodity plastics. Nonetheless, biopolymers frequently present poor mechanical properties and restricted processing capability and end-use application. In order to overcome these drawbacks and develop advanced materials for a broad range of applications, biopolymers can be reinforced with fillers or nanofillers. The nanostructures show a higher specific surface area and aspect ratio compared to conventional microfillers and lead to materials with novel and enhanced properties.

This Special Issue is planned to bring together a number of original papers and reviews covering (but not restricted to) the following topics:

  • New fabrication methods for biopolymer-based composites;
  • Structure–property relationships in biopolymer composites;
  • Properties of natural polymers, biopolymers, and their blends and composites (mechanical, thermal, electrical, optical, chemical, magnetic, etc.);
  • Antibacterial activity of biopolymer-based composites;
  • Applications of reinforced polymeric biomaterials;
  • Biopolymer composites in medical applications;
  • Biopolymer composites in electronics;
  • Biopolymer composites in water purification;
  • Biopolymer composites in the packaging and food industry;
  • Future perspectives for biopolymeric materials.

Dr. Gohar Khachatryan
Prof. Dr. Karen Khachatryan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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

  • biopolymers
  • composites
  • biodegradability
  • nanoparticles
  • mechanical properties
  • biomedical applications
  • antibacterial activity

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

31 pages, 12664 KiB  
Article
Green Synthesized Polymeric Iodophors with Thyme as Antimicrobial Agents
by Zehra Edis, Samir Haj Bloukh, Hamed Abu Sara and Iman Haj Bloukh
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(2), 1133; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25021133 - 17 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1173
Abstract
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing concern for the future of mankind. Common antibiotics fail in the treatment of microbial infections at an alarming rate. Morbidity and mortality rates increase, especially among immune-compromised populations. Medicinal plants and their essential oils, as well as [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing concern for the future of mankind. Common antibiotics fail in the treatment of microbial infections at an alarming rate. Morbidity and mortality rates increase, especially among immune-compromised populations. Medicinal plants and their essential oils, as well as iodine could be potential solutions against resistant pathogens. These natural antimicrobials abate microbial proliferation, especially in synergistic combinations. We performed a simple, one-pot synthesis to prepare our formulation with polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)-complexed iodine (I2), Thymus Vulgaris L. (Thyme), and Aloe Barbadensis Miller (AV). SEM/EDS, UV-vis, Raman, FTIR, and XRD analyses verified the purity, composition, and morphology of AV-PVP-Thyme-I2. We investigated the inhibitory action of the bio-formulation AV-PVP-Thyme-I2 against 10 selected reference pathogens on impregnated sterile discs, surgical sutures, cotton gauze bandages, surgical face masks, and KN95 masks. The antimicrobial properties of AV-PVP-Thyme-I2 were studied by disc diffusion methods and compared with those of the antibiotics gentamycin and nystatin. The results confirm AV-PVP-Thyme-I2 as a strong antifungal and antibacterial agent against the majority of the tested microorganisms with excellent results on cotton bandages and face masks. After storing AV-PVP-Thyme-I2 for 18 months, the inhibitory action was augmented compared to the fresh formulation. Consequently, we suggest AV-PVP-Thyme-I2 as an antimicrobial agent against wound infections and a spray-on contact killing agent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Biopolymer Composites)
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17 pages, 1903 KiB  
Article
Nerve Wrap for Local Delivery of FK506/Tacrolimus Accelerates Nerve Regeneration
by Bo Xiao, Firuz Feturi, An-Jey A. Su, Yolandi Van der Merwe, Joshua M. Barnett, Kayvon Jabbari, Neil J. Khatter, Bing Li, Evan B. Katzel, Raman Venkataramanan, Mario G. Solari, William R. Wagner, Michael B. Steketee, Daniel J. Simons and Kia M. Washington
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(2), 847; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25020847 - 10 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 903
Abstract
Peripheral nerve injuries (PNIs) occur frequently and can lead to devastating and permanent sensory and motor function disabilities. Systemic tacrolimus (FK506) administration has been shown to hasten recovery and improve functional outcomes after PNI repair. Unfortunately, high systemic levels of FK506 can result [...] Read more.
Peripheral nerve injuries (PNIs) occur frequently and can lead to devastating and permanent sensory and motor function disabilities. Systemic tacrolimus (FK506) administration has been shown to hasten recovery and improve functional outcomes after PNI repair. Unfortunately, high systemic levels of FK506 can result in adverse side effects. The localized administration of FK506 could provide the neuroregenerative benefits of FK506 while avoiding systemic, off-target side effects. This study investigates the utility of a novel FK506-impregnated polyester urethane urea (PEUU) nerve wrap to treat PNI in a previously validated rat infraorbital nerve (ION) transection and repair model. ION function was assessed by microelectrode recordings of trigeminal ganglion cells responding to controlled vibrissae deflections in ION-transected and -repaired animals, with and without the nerve wrap. Peristimulus time histograms (PSTHs) having 1 ms bins were constructed from spike times of individual single units. Responses to stimulus onsets (ON responses) were calculated during a 20 ms period beginning 1 ms after deflection onset; this epoch captures the initial, transient phase of the whisker-evoked response. Compared to no-wrap controls, rats with PEUU-FK506 wraps functionally recovered earlier, displaying larger response magnitudes. With nerve wrap treatment, FK506 blood levels up to six weeks were measured nearly at the limit of quantification (LOQ ≥ 2.0 ng/mL); whereas the drug concentrations within the ION and muscle were much higher, demonstrating the local delivery of FK506 to treat PNI. An immunohistological assessment of ION showed increased myelin expression for animals assigned to neurorrhaphy with PEUU-FK506 treatment compared to untreated or systemic-FK506-treated animals, suggesting that improved PNI outcomes using PEUU-FK506 is mediated by the modulation of Schwann cell activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Biopolymer Composites)
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15 pages, 3482 KiB  
Article
Force-Induced Alignment of Nanofibrillated Bacterial Cellulose for the Enhancement of Cellulose Composite Macrofibers
by Ruochun Wang, Tetsuo Fujie, Hiroyuki Itaya, Naoki Wada and Kenji Takahashi
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(1), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25010069 - 20 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1062
Abstract
Bacterial cellulose, as an important renewable bioresource, exhibits excellent mechanical properties along with intrinsic biodegradability. It is expected to replace non-degradable plastics and reduce severe environmental pollution. In this study, using dry jet-wet spinning and stretching methods, we fabricate cellulose composite macrofibers using [...] Read more.
Bacterial cellulose, as an important renewable bioresource, exhibits excellent mechanical properties along with intrinsic biodegradability. It is expected to replace non-degradable plastics and reduce severe environmental pollution. In this study, using dry jet-wet spinning and stretching methods, we fabricate cellulose composite macrofibers using nanofibrillated bacterial cellulose (BCNFs) which were obtained by agitated fermentation. Ionic liquid (IL) was used as a solvent to perform wet spinning. In this process, force-induced alignment of BCNFs was applied to enhance the mechanical properties of the macrofibers. The results of scanning electron microscopy revealed the well-aligned structure of BCNF along the fiber axis. The fiber prepared with an extrusion rate of 30 m min−1 and a stretching ratio of 46% exhibited a strength of 174 MPa and a Young’s modulus of 13.7 GPa. In addition, we investigated the co-spinning of carboxymethyl cellulose-containing BCNF with chitosan using IL as a “container”, which indicated the compatibility of BCNFs with other polysaccharides. Recycling of the ionic liquid was also verified to validate the sustainability of our strategy. This study provides a scalable method to fabricate bacterial cellulose composite fibers, which can be applied in the textile or biomaterial industries with further functionalization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Biopolymer Composites)
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21 pages, 7300 KiB  
Article
Polymer Biocompositions and Nanobiocomposites Based on P3HB with Polyurethane and Montmorillonite
by Beata Krzykowska, Anna Czerniecka-Kubicka, Anita Białkowska, Mohamed Bakar, Karol Hęclik, Lucjan Dobrowolski, Michał Longosz and Iwona Zarzyka
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(24), 17405; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242417405 - 12 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 708
Abstract
Due to the growing interest in biopolymers, biosynthesizable and biodegradable polymers currently occupy a special place. Unfortunately, the properties of native biopolymers make them not good enough for use as substitutes for conventional polymers. Therefore, attempts are being made to modify their properties. [...] Read more.
Due to the growing interest in biopolymers, biosynthesizable and biodegradable polymers currently occupy a special place. Unfortunately, the properties of native biopolymers make them not good enough for use as substitutes for conventional polymers. Therefore, attempts are being made to modify their properties. In this work, in order to improve the properties of the poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (P3HB) biopolymer, linear aliphatic polyurethane (PU) based on 1,4-butanediol (BD) and hexamethylene 1,6-diisocyanate (HDI) was used. The conducted studies on the effect of the amount of PU used (5, 10, 15 and 20 m/m%) showed an improvement in the thermal properties of the prepared polymer blends. As part of the tested mechanical properties of the new polymer blends, we noted the desired increase in the tensile strength, and the impact strength showed a decrease in hardness, in particular at the presence of 5 m/m% PU. Therefore, for further improvement, hybrid nanobiocomposites with 5 m/m% PU and organically modified montmorillonite (MMT) (Cloisite 30®B) were produced. The nanoadditive was used in a typical amount of 1–3 m/m%. It was found that the obtained nanobiocomposites containing the smallest amount of nanofillers, i.e., 1 m/m% Cloisite®30B, exhibited the best mechanical and thermal properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Biopolymer Composites)
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18 pages, 9674 KiB  
Article
Preparation and Characterisation of Acid–Base-Change-Sensitive Binary Biopolymer Films with Olive Oil and Ozonated Olive Oil Nano/Microcapsules and Added Hibiscus Extract
by Magdalena Janik, Karen Khachatryan, Gohar Khachatryan, Magdalena Krystyjan, Sandra Żarska and Wojciech Ciesielski
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(14), 11502; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241411502 - 15 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1696
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to develop and characterise bionanocomposites based on chitosan (CHIT) and alginate (ALG) in two series, which were subsequently functionalised with emulsions based on a combination of water, oil, ozonated oil and hibiscus flower extracts. The structure and [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to develop and characterise bionanocomposites based on chitosan (CHIT) and alginate (ALG) in two series, which were subsequently functionalised with emulsions based on a combination of water, oil, ozonated oil and hibiscus flower extracts. The structure and morphology of the materials produced were characterised by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and ultraviolet and visible light (UV-Vis) absorption spectroscopy, along with a surface colour analysis and the determination of the mechanical and thermal properties of the resulting composites. Functionalisation did affect the analysed composite parameters. The FTIR spectra indicated that the polysaccharide matrix components were compatible. The SEM images also confirmed the presence of nano/microcapsules in the polysaccharide matrix. The obtained results indicate that the order of adding polysaccharides has a significant impact on the encapsulation capacity. The encapsulation resulted in the improved thermal stability of the composites. The emissions analysis showed that the composites containing nano/microcapsules are characterised by a higher emission intensity and are sensitive to acid or base changes. Significant differences in emission intensity were observed even at low concentrations of acids and bases. A drop in the mechanical properties was observed following functionalisation. The results of this study suggest that these bionanocomposites can be used as active and/or smart packaging materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Biopolymer Composites)
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