Recent Advances in Molecularly Imprinted Polymers and Emerging Polymeric Technologies for Hazardous Compounds

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2024 | Viewed by 7258

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Polymers Department-The National Research & Development Institute for Chemistry and Petrochemistry-ICECHIM, 060021 Bucharest, Romania
Interests: polymers; molecularly imprinted polymers; polymeric micro/nanoparticles and films; (bio)sensors for drugs; explosives; pollutants; biological and chemical agents; nanomaterials

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Medical Engineering, University Politehnica of Bucharest, 011061 Bucharest, Romania
Interests: graphene based biomaterials; multifunctional polymer/graphene materials; graphene based novel architectures for biomedical applications; processing graphene based biomaterials; modification of graphene based biomaterials; graphene based materials characterization; in vivo assessment of graphene based materials; computer aided design of graphene based materials
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Guest Editor
Military Technical Academy “Ferdinand I”, 39-49 George Cosbuc Boulevard, 050141 Bucharest, Romania
Interests: polymers; nanomaterials; CBRN defence; toxics; decontamination; hazardous materials; thin films; hydrogels; environmental safety; polyurea; ballistic protection; explosives; energetic materials; nanocomposites; electrochemistry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is our great pleasure to invite you to submit a manuscript for the upcoming Special Issue “Recent Advances in Molecularly Imprinted Polymers and Emerging Polymeric Technologies for Hazardous Compounds” (IF: 4.967, ISSN 2073-4360) in Polymers. The present Special Issue will focus on innovations in the synthesis methods, characterization and applications of molecularly imprinted polymers and alternative smart polymeric platforms designed for sensing purposes (identification, detection) or decontamination (removal and/or neutralization) of hazardous compounds (e.g., drugs, explosives and pollutants and biological or chemical agents).

Versatile, advanced polymeric materials that possess unique functions in response to external factors have become widespread. Smart polymers, or “stimuli-responsive” polymers, can react to a wide range of stimuli (changes in pH, ion content, temperature, solvent, radiation and biological or chemical agents), and their response can include a variety of changes in structural, chemical, mechanical, optical or electrical properties.

In recent years, major advances have been made in the development of MIPs, which have become the most available and well-known artificial recognition sites, with similarities to antibodies. Due to their unique properties (highly selective recognition properties, reusability, long-term stability and low production cost), various types of MIPs (particles, films) can be used for a wide range of applications, including as sensing/diagnostic devices for different hazardous chemicals, biochemicals and pharmaceuticals and in applications for environmental safety or decontamination purposes.

Hazards associated with highly dangerous pollutants/contaminants necessitate specialized handling techniques and risk-control strategies to be operated within an acceptable level of risk. The following specific actions are essential when encountering hazardous materials threats: detection, identification, neutralization, removal and disposal of the contaminants. In this context, due to their capacity to be especially designed for specific types of contaminants, smart polymers offer a plethora of alternatives and incredibly powerful solutions for addressing challenges associated with hazardous compounds.

Original research articles, short communications, review, mini-reviews and perspective articles are all welcome. The keywords cover a nonexhaustive list of topics of interest.

Dr. Ana-Mihaela Gavrila
Dr. Mariana Ionita
Dr. Gabriela Toader
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

  • polymers
  • molecularly imprinted polymers
  • smart materials
  • polymeric platforms
  • decontamination
  • hazardous compounds
  • (bio)sensors for drugs/explosives/dyes/pollutants/biological and chemical agents
  • detection
  • hydrogels

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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25 pages, 5076 KiB  
Article
Nanocomposite Hydrogel Films Based on Sequential Interpenetrating Polymeric Networks as Drug Delivery Platforms
by Gabriela Toader, Alice Ionela Podaru, Aurel Diacon, Edina Rusen, Alexandra Mocanu, Oana Brincoveanu, Mioara Alexandru, Florina Lucica Zorila, Mihaela Bacalum, Florin Albota, Ana Mihaela Gavrila, Bogdan Trica, Traian Rotariu, Mariana Ionita and Marcel Istrate
Polymers 2023, 15(15), 3176; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15153176 - 26 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1121
Abstract
In this study, novel materials have been obtained via a dual covalent and ionic crosslinking strategies, leading to the formation of a fully interpenetrated polymeric network with remarkable mechanical performances as drug delivery platforms for dermal patches. The polymeric network was obtained by [...] Read more.
In this study, novel materials have been obtained via a dual covalent and ionic crosslinking strategies, leading to the formation of a fully interpenetrated polymeric network with remarkable mechanical performances as drug delivery platforms for dermal patches. The polymeric network was obtained by the free-radical photopolymerization of N-vinylpyrrolidone using tri(ethylene glycol) divinyl ether as crosslinker in the presence of sodium alginate (1%, weight%). The ionic crosslinking was achieved by the addition of Zn2+, ions which were coordinated by the alginate chains. Bentonite nanoclay was incorporated in hydrogel formulations to capitalize on its mechanical reinforcement and adsorptive capacity. TiO2 and ZnO nanoparticles were also included in two of the samples to evaluate their influence on the morphology, mechanical properties and/or the antimicrobial activity of the hydrogels. The double-crosslinked nanocomposite hydrogels presented a good tensile resistance (1.5 MPa at 70% strain) and compression resistance (12.5 MPa at a strain of 70%). Nafcillin was loaded into nanocomposite hydrogel films with a loading efficiency of up to 30%. The drug release characteristics were evaluated, and the profile was fitted by mathematical models that describe the physical processes taking place during the drug transfer from the polymer to a PBS (phosphate-buffered saline) solution. Depending on the design of the polymeric network and the nanofillers included, it was demonstrated that the nafcillin loaded into the nanocomposite hydrogel films ensured a high to moderate activity against S. aureus and S. pyogenes and no activity against E. coli. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that the presence of zinc ions in these polymeric matrices can be correlated with the inactivation of E. coli. Full article
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15 pages, 3609 KiB  
Article
“Green” PBX Formulations Based on High Explosives (RDX and HMX) and Water-Soluble pH-Sensitive Polymeric Binders
by Traian Rotariu, Andreea Elena Moldovan, Gabriela Toader, Aurel Diacon, Edina Rusen, Raluca Elena Ginghina, Ovidiu Iorga, Horia Răzvan Botiș and Thomas Klapötke
Polymers 2023, 15(7), 1790; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15071790 - 04 Apr 2023
Viewed by 2639
Abstract
The increasingly harsher and more complex international and European environmental legislation drives the current development of “greener” energetics materials and munitions. The aerospace and defense industries rely on extensive research in the formulation and scale-up production of polymer-bonded explosives (PBX). In this context, [...] Read more.
The increasingly harsher and more complex international and European environmental legislation drives the current development of “greener” energetics materials and munitions. The aerospace and defense industries rely on extensive research in the formulation and scale-up production of polymer-bonded explosives (PBX). In this context, this paper aims to present a versatile method for obtaining “green” PBX formulations based on two high explosives (hexogen (RDX) and octogen (HMX)) and acrylic acid—ethyl acrylate copolymeric binders. This study developed an innovative “eco-friendly” technology for coating the RDX and HMX crystals, allowing straightforward and safer manufacture of PBX, avoiding the use of traditional organic solvents. At the same time, these polymeric binders are soluble in water at a slightly alkaline pH and insoluble at acidic or neutral pH, thus ensuring a safer manipulation of the energetic materials during their entire life cycle and a facile recovery of the explosive in its original shape and morphology in demilitarization. The PBX formulations were characterized via specific analytical tools to evaluate the influence of their composition on the safety and performance characteristics: scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), alkaline pH solubility tests, differential thermal analysis (DTA), impact sensitivity test (BAM Fall Hammer Test), friction sensitivity test (BAM Friction Test), electrostatic sensitivity test (ESD), vacuum stability test, small scale shock reactivity test (SSRT), detonation velocity test. The “green” PBX formulations obtained through a simple and innovative coating method, based on the polymeric binders’ adjustable water solubility, demonstrated remarkable energetic performances and a facile recovery of the explosive crystals by the dissolution of the polymeric binder at pH 11 and 30 °C. Full article
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18 pages, 6726 KiB  
Article
Preparation of Immobilised 17β-Estradiol-Imprinted Nanoparticles onto Bacterial Cellulose Nanofibres to Use for the Removal of 17β-Estradiol from Wastewater
by İlker Koç, Koray Şarkaya, Deniz Türkmen, Süleyman Aşır and Adil Denizli
Polymers 2023, 15(5), 1201; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15051201 - 27 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1155
Abstract
Estradiol, a phenolic steroid oestrogen, is one of the endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) found in natural and tap waters. The detection and removal of EDCs is attracting attention daily as they negatively affect animals’ and humans’ endocrine functions and physiological conditions. Therefore, developing a [...] Read more.
Estradiol, a phenolic steroid oestrogen, is one of the endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) found in natural and tap waters. The detection and removal of EDCs is attracting attention daily as they negatively affect animals’ and humans’ endocrine functions and physiological conditions. Therefore, developing a fast and practical method for the selective removal of EDCs from waters is essential. In this study, we prepared 17β-estradiol (E2)-imprinted HEMA-based nanoparticles onto bacterial cellulose nanofibres (E2-NP/BC-NFs) to use for the removal of E2 from wastewater. FT-IR and NMR confirmed the structure of the functional monomer. The composite system was characterised by BET, SEM, µCT, contact angle, and swelling tests. Additionally, the non-imprinted bacterial cellulose nanofibres (NIP/BC-NFs) were prepared to compare the results of E2-NP/BC-NFs. Adsorption of E2 from aqueous solutions was performed in batch mode and investigated via several parameters for optimisation conditions. The effect of pH studies was examined in the 4.0–8.0 range using acetate and phosphate buffers and a concentration of E2 of 0.5 mg/mL. The maximum E2 adsorption amount was 254 µg/g phosphate buffer at 45 °C. The experimental data show that the Langmuir is a relevant isotherm model for E2 adsorption. Additionally, the relevant kinetic model was the pseudo-second-order kinetic model. It was observed that the adsorption process reached equilibrium in less than 20 min. The E2 adsorption decreased with the increase in salt at varying salt concentrations. The selectivity studies were performed using cholesterol and stigmasterol as competing steroids. The results show that E2 is 46.0 times more selective than cholesterol and 21.0 times more selective than stigmasterol. According to the results, the relative selectivity coefficients for E2/cholesterol and E2/stigmasterol were 8.38 and 86.6 times greater for E2-NP/BC-NFs than for E2-NP/BC-NFs, respectively. The synthesised composite systems were repeated ten times to assess the reusability of E2-NP/BC-NFs. Full article
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Review

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15 pages, 1351 KiB  
Review
Advances in Molecular Imprinting Technology for the Extraction and Detection of Quercetin in Plants
by Kexi Ye, Shufang Xu, Qingqing Zhou, Sitao Wang, Zhigang Xu and Zhimin Liu
Polymers 2023, 15(9), 2107; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15092107 - 28 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1640
Abstract
Quercetin is a kind of flavonoid compound, which has antioxidative, anti-aging and anti-cancer effects, so it is of great importance to study the efficient extraction and highly sensitive detection of quercetin. Molecular imprinting technology has remarkable selectivity and resistance to complex matrix interference, [...] Read more.
Quercetin is a kind of flavonoid compound, which has antioxidative, anti-aging and anti-cancer effects, so it is of great importance to study the efficient extraction and highly sensitive detection of quercetin. Molecular imprinting technology has remarkable selectivity and resistance to complex matrix interference, which is often used for extracting quercetin. The methods of molecular imprinted solid phase extraction, molecularly imprinted microsphere extraction, molecularly imprinted electrochemical sensor recognition and molecularly imprinted composite material extraction of quercetin from plant samples were discussed in detail. This review provides valuable information on efficient and sensitive methods for separating and purifying quercetin in plants. It also provides a technical reference for further investigation of the separation and analysis of active ingredients in natural products. Full article
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