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Biodegradable Polymer: From Design to Applications 2.0

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2023) | Viewed by 9460

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Guest Editor
School of Science, College of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM), RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia
Interests: Polymers and biopolymers application in Medical, Agriculture, and industrial applications
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

The frontier of bio-based and biodegradable polymers is constantly moving forward. With finite petroleum resources, and a growing problem of persistent plastics accumulating in the environment, bio-based and biodegradable plastics are the clear material of choice for the future.

For medical, agricultural, and industrial applications, there has been a huge interest in, and research conducted, on advancing the knowledge and understanding of their synthesis, and the structure–property–application relationship. Emerging areas of research in the fabrication and processing of biodegradable nanomaterials, nanoparticles, and nanofibers into devices has taken biodegradable polymers to advanced applications such as sensors, smart scaffolds, and the controlled delivery of bioactives and therapeutics. 

This Special Issue focuses on a broad range of state-of-the-art technologies in the synthesis and fabrication of biodegradable polymers, and their properties and applications in novel and commercial products, as well as unmet challenges and future frontiers.

Dr. Raju Adhikari
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • biodegradable polymers
  • biodegradable nanomaterials
  • biopolymers
  • bioplastics
  • biocomposites
  • applications
  • fabrications
  • synthesis
  • drug delivery

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Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 3983 KiB  
Article
Chromium Complexes Supported by Salen-Type Ligands for the Synthesis of Polyesters, Polycarbonates, and Their Copolymers through Chemoselective Catalysis
by Ilaria Grimaldi, Federica Santulli, Marina Lamberti and Mina Mazzeo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(8), 7642; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24087642 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1755
Abstract
Salen, Salan, and Salalen chromium (III) chloride complexes have been investigated as catalysts for the ring-opening copolymerization reactions of cyclohexene oxide (CHO) with CO2 and of phthalic anhydride (PA) with limonene oxide (LO) or cyclohexene oxide (CHO). In the production of polycarbonates, [...] Read more.
Salen, Salan, and Salalen chromium (III) chloride complexes have been investigated as catalysts for the ring-opening copolymerization reactions of cyclohexene oxide (CHO) with CO2 and of phthalic anhydride (PA) with limonene oxide (LO) or cyclohexene oxide (CHO). In the production of polycarbonates, the more flexible skeleton of salalen and salan ancillary ligands favors high activity. Differently, in the copolymerization of phthalic anhydride with the epoxides, the salen complex showed the best performance. Diblock polycarbonate-polyester copolymers were selectively obtained by one-pot procedures from mixtures of CO2, cyclohexene oxide, and phthalic anhydride with all complexes. In addition, all chromium complexes were revealed to be very active in the chemical depolymerization of polycyclohexene carbonate producing cyclohexene oxide with high selectivity, thus offering the opportunity to close the loop on the life of these materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Polymer: From Design to Applications 2.0)
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14 pages, 2869 KiB  
Article
Study on Properties and Degradation Behavior of Poly (Adipic Acid/Butylene Terephthalate-Co-Glycolic Acid) Copolyester Synthesized by Quaternary Copolymerization
by Yanning Wang, Boyou Hou, Liping Huang, Bingjian Li, Shi Liu, Mingyang He, Qun Chen and Jinchun Li
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(7), 6451; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24076451 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1431
Abstract
At present, the development and usage of degradable plastics instead of traditional plastics is an effective way to solve the pollution of marine microplastics. Poly (butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) is known as one of the most promising biodegradable materials. Nevertheless, the degradation rate of [...] Read more.
At present, the development and usage of degradable plastics instead of traditional plastics is an effective way to solve the pollution of marine microplastics. Poly (butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) is known as one of the most promising biodegradable materials. Nevertheless, the degradation rate of PBAT in water environment is slow. In this work, we successfully prepared four kinds of high molecular weight polyester copolyesters (PBATGA) via quaternary copolymerization. The results showed that the intrinsic viscosity of PBATGA copolymers ranged from 0.74 to 1.01 dL/g with a glycolic acid content of 0–40%. PBATGA copolymers had excellent flexibility and thermal stability. The tensile strength was 5~40 MPa, the elongation at break was greater than 460%, especially the elongation at break of PBATGA10 at 1235%, and the thermal decomposition temperature of PBATGA copolyesters was higher than 375 °C. It was found that PBATGA copolyester had a faster hydrolysis rate than PBAT, and the weight loss of PBATGA copolymers showed a tendency of pH = 12 > Lipase ≈ pH = 7 > pH = 2. The quaternary polymerization of PBAT will have the advantage of achieving industrialization, unlike the previous polymerization process. In addition, the polymerization of PBATGA copolyesters not only utilizes the by-products of the coal chemical industry, but also it can be promising in the production of biodegradable packaging to reduce marine plastic pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Polymer: From Design to Applications 2.0)
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15 pages, 5506 KiB  
Article
Degradation of Polymer-Drug Conjugate Nanoparticles Based on Lactic and Itaconic Acid
by Mai Dang Le Vuong, Mohamed Haouas, Merve Seray Ural, Didier Desmaële, Charlotte Martineau-Corcos and Ruxandra Gref
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(22), 14461; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232214461 - 21 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1714
Abstract
Tuberculosis (TB) is still a significant threat to human health. A promising solution is engineering nanoparticulate drug carriers to deliver anti-TB molecules. Itaconic acid (ITA) potentially has anti-TB activity; however, its incorporation in nanoparticles (NP) is challenging. Here we show an approach for [...] Read more.
Tuberculosis (TB) is still a significant threat to human health. A promising solution is engineering nanoparticulate drug carriers to deliver anti-TB molecules. Itaconic acid (ITA) potentially has anti-TB activity; however, its incorporation in nanoparticles (NP) is challenging. Here we show an approach for preparing polymer-ITA conjugate NPs and a methodology for investigating the NP degradation and ITA release mechanism. The conjugate was synthesized by the two-directional growing of polylactic acid (PLA) chains, followed by capping their extremities with ITA. The poly(lactate)-itaconate PLA-ITA was then used to formulate NPs. The degradation and drug release processes of the polymer conjugate NPs were studied qualitatively and quantitatively. The molecular structures of released species were characterized by using liquid NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. We discovered a complex NP hydrolysis process forming diverse oligomers, as well as monomeric lactic acid (LA) and drug ITA. The slow degradation process led to a low release of free drugs, although raising the pH from 5.3 to 7.4 induced a slight increase in the amounts of released products. TEM images showed that bulk erosion is likely to play the primary role in the degradation of PLA-ITA NPs. The overall results and methodology can be of interest for understanding the mechanisms of NP degradation and drug release of this new polymer-drug conjugate system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Polymer: From Design to Applications 2.0)
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16 pages, 4156 KiB  
Article
Poly(Butylene Adipate/Terephthalate-Co-Glycolate) Copolyester Synthesis Based on Methyl Glycolate with Improved Barrier Properties: From Synthesis to Structure-Property
by Yanning Wang, Haicun Yang, Bingjian Li, Shi Liu, Mingyang He, Qun Chen and Jinchun Li
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(19), 11074; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms231911074 - 21 Sep 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1927
Abstract
The main problem of manufacturing with traditional biodegradable plastics is that it is more expensive than manufacturing with polymers derived from petroleum, and the application scope is currently limited due to poor comprehensive performance. In this study, a novel biodegradable poly(butylene adipic acid/terephthalate-co-glycolic [...] Read more.
The main problem of manufacturing with traditional biodegradable plastics is that it is more expensive than manufacturing with polymers derived from petroleum, and the application scope is currently limited due to poor comprehensive performance. In this study, a novel biodegradable poly(butylene adipic acid/terephthalate-co-glycolic acid) (PBATGA) copolyester with 25–60% glycolic acid units was successfully synthesized by esterification and polycondensation using cheap coal chemical byproduct methyl glycolate instead of expensive glycolic acid. The structure of the copolyester was characterized by ATR-FTIR, 1H NMR, DSC, and XRD; and its barrier property, water contact angle, heat resistance, and mechanical properties were tested. According to the experiment result, the PBATGA copolyesters showed improved oxygen (O2) and water vapor barrier character, and better hydrophilicity when compared with PBAT. The crystallization peaks of PBATGAs were elevated from 64 °C to 77 °C when the content of the GA unit was 25 mol %, meanwhile, the elongation at the break of PBATGA25 was more than 1300%. These results indicate that PBATGA copolyesters have good potentiality in high O2 and water vapor barrier and degradable packaging material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Polymer: From Design to Applications 2.0)
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25 pages, 6097 KiB  
Article
Bio-Based Degradable Poly(ether-ester)s from Melt-Polymerization of Aromatic Ester and Ether Diols
by Lesly Dasilva Wandji Djouonkep, Alain Pierre Tchameni, Naomie Beolle Songwe Selabi, Arnaud Kamdem Tamo, Ingo Doench, Zhengzai Cheng, Mario Gauthier, Binqiang Xie and Anayancy Osorio-Madrazo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(16), 8967; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23168967 - 11 Aug 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2130
Abstract
Vanillin, as a promising aromatic aldehyde, possesses worthy structural and bioactive properties useful in the design of novel sustainable polymeric materials. Its versatility and structural similarity to terephthalic acid (TPA) can lead to materials with properties similar to conventional poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET). In [...] Read more.
Vanillin, as a promising aromatic aldehyde, possesses worthy structural and bioactive properties useful in the design of novel sustainable polymeric materials. Its versatility and structural similarity to terephthalic acid (TPA) can lead to materials with properties similar to conventional poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET). In this perspective, a symmetrical dimethylated dialkoxydivanillic diester monomer (DEMV) derived from vanillin was synthesized via a direct-coupling method. Then, a series of poly(ether-ester)s were synthesized via melt-polymerization incorporating mixtures of phenyl/phenyloxy diols (with hydroxyl side-chains in the 1,2-, 1,3- and 1,4-positions) and a cyclic diol, 1,4-cyclohexanedimethanol (CHDM). The polymers obtained had high molecular weights (Mw = 5.3–7.9 × 104 g.mol−1) and polydispersity index (Đ) values of 1.54–2.88. Thermal analysis showed the polymers are semi-crystalline materials with melting temperatures of 204–240 °C, and tunable glass transition temperatures (Tg) of 98–120 °C. Their 5% decomposition temperature (Td,5%) varied from 430–315 °C, which endows the polymers with a broad processing window, owing to their rigid phenyl rings and trans-CHDM groups. These poly(ether-ester)s displayed remarkable impact strength and satisfactory gas barrier properties, due to the insertion of the cyclic alkyl chain moieties. Ultimately, the synergistic influence of the ester and ether bonds provided better control over the behavior and mechanism of in vitro degradation under passive and enzymatic incubation for 90 days. Regarding the morphology, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging confirmed considerable surface degradation in the polymer matrices of both polymer series, with weight losses reaching up to 35% in enzymatic degradation, which demonstrates the significant influence of ether bonds for biodegradation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Polymer: From Design to Applications 2.0)
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