Progress in Polymer Networks

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Polymer Networks".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 October 2024 | Viewed by 2893

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
“Cristofor Simionescu” Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Environment Protection, “Gheorghe Asachi” Technical University, Iasi, Romania
Interests: polysaccharide modification; bioactive polymers; biomaterials; hydrogels; interpenetrated networks; micro- and nanoparticles (spheres and capsules); hybrid and functionalized nanoparticles for drug targeting; drug delivery; polymer–drug conjugates
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medical Bioengineering, “Grigore T. Popa” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 700115 Iaşi, Romania
Interests: polymers; hydrogels; biomaterials; tissue enginering; drug delivery systems; nanotechnologies

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Guest Editor
Laboratorio de Ambiental, Facultad de Ingeniería Culiacán, Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, Ciudad Universitaria, Culiacán, Sinaloa P.O. Box 80013, Mexico
Interests: synthesis and characterization of polymers; controlled drug delivery; polymeric carriers; water remediation; flocculants and adsorbents; chitosan; stimuli-responsive polymers
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue intends to collect reviews and articles on the aspects of the synthesis, characterization, and applications of crosslinked polymers, and achievements in the field. Polymeric networks can be obtained by either chemical crosslinking (when the crosslinks are formed by covalent chemical bonds) or physical gelation (when the crosslinks are formed by physical interaction).

The applications of polymer networks are extremely varied in different fields of technology, as well as in the field of biomedical or environmental protection, with these materials obviously contributing to the increase in the quality of our lives. This special issue deals with all branches of science, biology, medicine, and technology connected to emerging new research in the field of hydrogels, including but not limited to natural and synthetic chemical hydrogels, physical hydrogels, vitrigels, cryogels, hydrogel characterization techniques, interpenetrating and interconnecting networks with hydrogel characteristics, hydrogels as smart polymers and biomaterials, hydrophilic–hydrophobic interpenetrating polymer networks, homopolymers, copolymers and multipolymer hydrogels, nanogels, composite hydrogels, superadsorbent hydrogels, fast responsive hydrogels, smart hydrogels (stimuli responsive hydrogels), micro/nanoparticulate hydrogels, hydrogel films, hydrogel foams and sponges, biodegradation of hydrogels, hydrogels for drug delivery, enzymes immobilized on hydrogels, medical applications of hydrogels (e.g., medical technology, restorative medicine, diagnostic systems, cancer therapy, drug controlled release, gene vectors, biosensors, contact lenses, membranes, medical implants, and inserts), applications of hydrogels in veterinary medicine, cosmetics, tissue engineering, cell culture, biotechnology, environmental remediation, artificial muscles and organs, computational and theoretical aspects, molecular simulations of hydrogel structures, and much more. 

The scope of the special issue covers but is not limited to the following topics:

  • Covalent networks
  • Ionic networks (ionic gelation)
  • Double crosslinked networks
  • Interpolymer complexes
  • Interpenetration networks (IPN)
  • Semi-interpenetrated networks (semi-IPN)
  • Thermosetting polymers
  • Elastomers
  • Hydrogels—films, particles
  • Applications of hydrogels in cosmetics
  • Biomedical applications of hydrogels
  • Hydrogels in tissue engineering

Prof. Dr. Marcel Popa
Prof. Dr. Liliana Verestiuc
Prof. Dr. Lorenzo Antonio Picos Corrales
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. Polymers is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2700 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

  • chemical crosslinking
  • ionic gelation
  • interpolymeric complexes
  • interpenetrated networks
  • semi-interpenetrated networks
  • gels
  • hydrogels
  • hydrogel micro/nanoparticles
  • hydrogel films

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 1964 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Initiators, Particle Size and Composition on the Electrokinetic Potential of N-(Isopropyl)acrylamide Derivatives
by Monika Gasztych, Aleksandra Malamis and Witold Musiał
Polymers 2024, 16(7), 907; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16070907 - 26 Mar 2024
Viewed by 411
Abstract
The aim of this study was to characterize and compare the zeta potential of particles sensitive to external thermal stimuli. Poly N-(isopropyl) acrylamide (PNIPA) was selected as the thermosensitive polymer with a volume phase transition temperature (VPTT) between 32 and 33 °C. The [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to characterize and compare the zeta potential of particles sensitive to external thermal stimuli. Poly N-(isopropyl) acrylamide (PNIPA) was selected as the thermosensitive polymer with a volume phase transition temperature (VPTT) between 32 and 33 °C. The hydrodynamic diameter (DH) of the nanoparticles was measured by dynamic light scattering. Zeta potential (ZP) measurements were performed with the same instrument used for DH measurements. ZP measurements allow the prediction of the stability of colloidal systems in aqueous solutions. These measurements were combined with a pH study before and after the purification process of the particles. The ZP was measured to determine the electrostatic interactions between the particles, which can lead to particle aggregation and decrease their colloidal stability. The effect of the composition of the synthesized particles on the ZP was assessed. One of the most important factors influencing ZP is pH, especially in aqueous solutions. The initiator did not significantly affect the DH of the particles, but it did significantly affect the ZP. The synthesized particles were subjected to a visible radiation absorption study in the selected temperature range to determine the VPTT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Polymer Networks)
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25 pages, 5137 KiB  
Article
Study of Synthesis of Dual-Curing Thermoplastic Polyurethane Hot-Melt Adhesive and Optimization by Using Gray Relational Analysis to Apply in Fabric Industry to Solve Seamless Bonding Issues
by Sheng-Yu Lin, Naveed Ahmad and Chung-Feng Jeffrey Kuo
Polymers 2024, 16(4), 467; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16040467 - 07 Feb 2024
Viewed by 674
Abstract
People wear clothes for warmth, survival and necessity in modern life, but in the modern era, eco-friendliness, shortened production times, design and intelligence also matter. To determine the relationship between data series and verify the proximity of each data series, a gray relational [...] Read more.
People wear clothes for warmth, survival and necessity in modern life, but in the modern era, eco-friendliness, shortened production times, design and intelligence also matter. To determine the relationship between data series and verify the proximity of each data series, a gray relational analysis, or GRA, is applied to textiles, where seamless bonding technology enhances the bond between components. In this study, a polyurethane prepolymer, 2-hydroxyethyl acrylate (2-HEA) as an end-capping agent and n-octyl acrylate (ODA) as a photoinitiator were used to synthesize a dual-curing polyurethane hot-melt adhesive. Taguchi quality engineering and a gray relational analysis were used to discuss the influence of different mole ratios of NCO:OH and the effect of the molar ratio of the addition of octyl decyl acrylate on the mechanical strength. The Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) results showed the termination of the prepolymer’s polymerization reaction and the C=O peak intensity at 1730 cm−1, indicating efficient bonding to the main chain. Advanced Polymer Chromatography (APC) was used to investigate the high-molecular-weight (20,000–30,000) polyurethane polymer bonded with octyl decyl acrylate to achieve a photothermosetting effect. The thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) results showed that the thermal decomposition temperature of the polyurethane hot-melt adhesive also increased, and they showed the highest pyrolysis temperature (349.89 °C) for the polyhydric alcohols. Furthermore, high peel strength (1.68 kg/cm) and shear strength (34.94 kg/cm2) values were detected with the dual-cure photothermosetting polyurethane hot-melt adhesive. The signal-to-noise ratio was also used to generate the gray relational degree. It was observed that the best parameter ratio of NCO:OH was 4:1 with five moles of monomer. The Taguchi quality engineering method was used to find the parameters of single-quality optimization, and then the gray relation calculation was used to obtain the parameter combination of multi-quality optimization for thermosetting the polyurethane hot-melt adhesive. The study aims to meet the requirements of seamless bonding in textile factories and optimize experimental parameter design by setting target values that can effectively increase production speed and reduce processing time and costs as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Polymer Networks)
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12 pages, 3251 KiB  
Article
Formulation and Characterization of Sustainable Algal-Derived Nanoemulgels: A Green Approach to Minimize the Dependency on Synthetic Surfactants
by Patricia Tello, Jenifer Santos, Nuria Calero and Luis A. Trujillo-Cayado
Polymers 2024, 16(2), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16020194 - 09 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 668
Abstract
Phycocyanin (PC), a natural protein that is very interesting from the medical point of view due to its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, is obtained from algae. This compound is gaining positions for applications in the food industry. The main objective of this [...] Read more.
Phycocyanin (PC), a natural protein that is very interesting from the medical point of view due to its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, is obtained from algae. This compound is gaining positions for applications in the food industry. The main objective of this work was to obtain nanoemulgels formulated with PC and k-carrageenan (a polymer that is obtained from algae as well). An optimization of the processing parameters (homogenization pressure and number of cycles) and the ratio of PC and a well-known synthetic surfactant (Tween 80) was developed using response surface methodology. The results of this optimization were 25,000 psi, seven cycles, and a 1:1 ratio of PC/Tween80. However, the necessity for the incorporation of a polymer that plays a thickener role was observed. Hence, k-carrageenan (k-C) was used to retard the creaming process that these nanoemulsions suffered. The incorporation of this biopolymer provoked the creation of a network that showed gel-type behavior and flow indexes very close to zero. Thanks to the combined use of these two sustainable and algae-obtained compounds, stable nanoemulgels were obtained. This work has proved that the combined use of PC and k-C has emerged as a sustainable alternative to stabilize dispersed systems for the food industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Polymer Networks)
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23 pages, 9391 KiB  
Article
Superparamagnetic Hybrid Nanospheres Based on Chitosan Obtained by Double Crosslinking in a Reverse Emulsion for Cancer Treatment
by Mohammed Dellali, Kheira Zanoune, Mihaela Hamcerencu, Corina-Lenuța Logigan, Marcel Popa and Hacene Mahmoudi
Polymers 2023, 15(23), 4493; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15234493 - 22 Nov 2023
Viewed by 581
Abstract
Nowadays, the Magnetically Targeted Drug Delivery System (MTDDS) is among the most attractive and promising strategies for delivering drugs to the target site. The present study aimed to obtain a biopolymer–magnetite–drug nanosystem via a double crosslinking (ionic and covalent) technique in reverse emulsion, [...] Read more.
Nowadays, the Magnetically Targeted Drug Delivery System (MTDDS) is among the most attractive and promising strategies for delivering drugs to the target site. The present study aimed to obtain a biopolymer–magnetite–drug nanosystem via a double crosslinking (ionic and covalent) technique in reverse emulsion, which ensures the mechanical stability of the polymer support in the form of original hybrid nanospheres (NSMs) loaded with biologically active principles (the 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU)) as a potential treatment for cancer. Obtained NSMs were characterized in terms of structure (FT-IR), size (DLS), morphology (SEM), swelling, and 5-FU entrapment/release properties, which were dependent on the synthesis parameters (polymer concentration, dispersion speed, and amount of ionic crosslinking agent). SEM analysis results revealed that NSMs presented a spherical shape and are homogeneous and separated. Moreover, NSMs’ ability to load/release 5-FU was tested in vitro, the results confirming, as expected, their dependence on the varied synthesis process and NSM swelling ability in physiological liquids. The drug transport mechanism through the polymer matrix of its release is the Fickian type. The morphological, bio-material characteristics and the ability to include and release an antitumor drug highlight the utility of the NSMs obtained for targeting and treating some tumor diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progress in Polymer Networks)
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