Polymers from Renewable Resources for Packaging and Biomedical Applications

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomacromolecules, Biobased and Biodegradable Polymers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2022) | Viewed by 25662

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering, University of Bologna, 40126 Bologna, Italy
Interests: polymer design; polymer synthesis and characterization; polymer modification; copolymerization; solid state properties; thermal properties and crystallization kinetics; mechanical characterization; bio-based monomers; bio-based polymers; nano-polymer; nanocomposites; gas barrier behaviour; polymer compostability; biopolymers for engineering tissue; polymeric for controlled drug delivery; biodegradation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering, University of Bologna, Via Terracini 28, 40131 Bologna, Italy
Interests: polymer synthesis; polymer modification; copolymerization; polymer characterization; solid state properties in polymers; polymer thermal properties; polymer crystallization kinetics; mechanical characterization; bio-based monomers; biopolymers; biomaterials; polymer nanostructuring; nanocomposites; gas barrier properties; polymer compostability; biopolymers for tissue engineering; polymeric devices for controlled drug delivery; biodegradation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
N. N. Semenov Federal Research Center for Chemical Physics Academy of Science, 119991 Moscow, Russia
Interests: biodegradable polymers; transport phenomena; electrospun fibers; controlled release; polymer blends; composites; water in macromolecular systems; sorption; gas permeability
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website1 Website2 Website3
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Sciences, Università degli Studi di Catania, 95125 Catania, Italy
Interests: packaging materials; bio-based and biodegradable polymers; bio-based and biodegradable polyesters; green composites; polymerization of biopolymers; processing of bioplastics; sustainable polymer for food preservation; biopolymers for food packaging; edible films; compostable packaging; monomers from renewable resources; polymers from renewable resources; gas barrier properties; life cycle assessment (LCA) study; bioeconomy; circular economy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is widely known that polymers are versatile substances that offer customized solutions for a wide variety of applications and sectors, such as packaging, building, automotive, electronics, sports, agriculture, and medicine. Plastics, thanks to their light weight, durability, easy processability, low cost, and good thermomechanical properties, are produced in large volumes. However, limitations relating to littering and end-of-life options for some kinds of plastic wastes must be overcome in view of a circular and efficient economy. Overcoming this challenge would also allow plastics to play a crucial role in delivering a more sustainable future.

Packaging represents the largest application field of plastics and is responsible for the highest waste volume production. Even if recycling is the preferred option, it is not possible in the case of the multilayered structures which are commercially available to guarantee smart barrier and mechanical performances. Thus, the development of novel monomaterials which are suitable for recycling is strongly encouraged.

Another growing market of great importance in everyday life is that of health, in particular in fields such as regenerative medicine and pharmacology with the fabrication of controlled drug delivery systems. The use of polymeric supports in order to favor cell and tissue regeneration can represent a valid alternative to conventional drug therapies or transplants, overcoming their drawbacks in terms of rejection and non-effectiveness, supporting at the same time correct cell growth.

Bioplastics, and in particular biopolyesters, can represent a valid alternative in all these fields of applications, as they can at the same time satisfy the requirements of biodegradability, and biocompatibility with the environment where they are disposed and the release of non-toxic degradation products, avoiding, in addition, dependence on non-renewable sources.

This Special Issue will offer the academic as well as industrial world the opportunity to present an overview of novel sustainable materials for packaging and biomedical applications.

Research papers, as well as reviews, are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Nadia Lotti
Dr. Michelina Soccio
Prof. Dr. Alexey Iordanskii
Prof. Dr. Valentina Siracusa
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

  • biopolymers
  • renewable resources
  • biodegradability
  • biocompatibility
  • barrier properties
  • mechanical

Published Papers (6 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

24 pages, 6261 KiB  
Article
Chitin Nanocomposite Based on Plasticized Poly(lactic acid)/Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PLA/PHB) Blends as Fully Biodegradable Packaging Materials
by Magdalena L. Iglesias-Montes, Michelina Soccio, Valentina Siracusa, Massimo Gazzano, Nadia Lotti, Viviana P. Cyras and Liliana B. Manfredi
Polymers 2022, 14(15), 3177; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14153177 - 03 Aug 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2318
Abstract
Fully bio-based poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) blends plasticized with tributyrin (TB), and their nanocomposite based on chitin nanoparticles (ChNPs) was developed using melt mixing followed by a compression molding process. The combination of PHB and ChNPs had an impact on the [...] Read more.
Fully bio-based poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) blends plasticized with tributyrin (TB), and their nanocomposite based on chitin nanoparticles (ChNPs) was developed using melt mixing followed by a compression molding process. The combination of PHB and ChNPs had an impact on the crystallinity of the plasticized PLA matrix, thus improving its oxygen and carbon dioxide barrier properties as well as displaying a UV light-blocking effect. The addition of 2 wt% of ChNP induced an improvement on the initial thermal degradation temperature and the overall migration behavior of blends, which had been compromised by the presence of TB. All processed materials were fully disintegrated under composting conditions, suggesting their potential application as fully biodegradable packaging materials. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

19 pages, 7953 KiB  
Article
Starch/Polyaniline Biopolymer Film as Potential Intelligent Food Packaging with Colourimetric Ammonia Sensor
by Min-Rui Chia, Ishak Ahmad and Sook-Wai Phang
Polymers 2022, 14(6), 1122; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14061122 - 11 Mar 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3980
Abstract
The use of petroleum-based plastics in food packaging leads to various environmental impacts, while spoilage of food and misinterpretation of food-date labelling account for food insecurity; therefore, a biopolymer capable of indicating food edibility is prepared to resolve these issues. In this research, [...] Read more.
The use of petroleum-based plastics in food packaging leads to various environmental impacts, while spoilage of food and misinterpretation of food-date labelling account for food insecurity; therefore, a biopolymer capable of indicating food edibility is prepared to resolve these issues. In this research, starch/polyaniline (starch/PANI) biopolymer film was synthesised and investigated as an ammonia sensor for potential application as intelligent food packaging. FT-IR and XRD were used to confirm the composition of the biopolymer films, while UV-Vis spectrometry was applied to identify the oxidation state of PANI in emeraldine form. PANI was successfully incorporated into the starch matrix, leading to better thermal stability (TGA) but decreasing the crystallinity of the matrix (DSC). The performance of the polymer-film sensor was determined through ammonia-vapour sensitivity analysis. An obvious colour change from green to blue of starch/PANI films was observed upon exposure to the ammonia vapour. Starch/PANI 0.4% is the optimum composition, having the best sensor performance with good linearity (R2 = 0.9459) and precision (RSD = 8.72%), and exhibiting excellent LOD (245 ppm). Furthermore, the starch/PANI films are only selective to ammonia. Therefore, the starch/PANI films can be potentially applied as colourimetric ammonia sensors for intelligent food packaging. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

19 pages, 2968 KiB  
Article
Upcycling Biodegradable PVA/Starch Film to a Bacterial Biopigment and Biopolymer
by Brana Pantelic, Marijana Ponjavic, Vukasin Jankovic, Ivana Aleksic, Sanja Stevanovic, James Murray, Margaret Brennan Fournet and Jasmina Nikodinovic-Runic
Polymers 2021, 13(21), 3692; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13213692 - 27 Oct 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 4082
Abstract
Meeting the challenge of circularity for plastics requires amenability to repurposing post-use, as equivalent or upcycled products. In a compelling advancement, complete circularity for a biodegradable polyvinyl alcohol/thermoplastic starch (PVA/TPS) food packaging film was demonstrated by bioconversion to high-market-value biopigments and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) [...] Read more.
Meeting the challenge of circularity for plastics requires amenability to repurposing post-use, as equivalent or upcycled products. In a compelling advancement, complete circularity for a biodegradable polyvinyl alcohol/thermoplastic starch (PVA/TPS) food packaging film was demonstrated by bioconversion to high-market-value biopigments and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) polyesters. The PVA/TPS film mechanical properties (tensile strength (σu), 22.2 ± 4.3 MPa; strain at break (εu), 325 ± 73%; and Young’s modulus (E), 53–250 MPa) compared closely with low-density polyethylene (LDPE) grades used for food packaging. Strong solubility of the PVA/TPS film in water was a pertinent feature, facilitating suitability as a carbon source for bioprocessing and microbial degradation. Biodegradability of the film with greater than 50% weight loss occurred within 30 days of incubation at 37 °C in a model compost. Up to 22% of the PVA/TPS film substrate conversion to biomass was achieved using three bacterial strains, Ralstonia eutropha H16 (Cupriavidus necator ATCC 17699), Streptomyces sp. JS520, and Bacillus subtilis ATCC6633. For the first time, production of the valuable biopigment (undecylprodigiosin) by Streptomyces sp. JS520 of 5.3 mg/mL and the production of PHB biopolymer at 7.8% of cell dry weight by Ralstonia eutropha H16 from this substrate were reported. This low-energy, low-carbon post-use PVA/TPS film upcycling model approach to plastic circularity demonstrates marked progress in the quest for sustainable and circular plastic solutions. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

16 pages, 4552 KiB  
Article
Metal Organic Frameworks Derived Sustainable Polyvinyl Alcohol/Starch Nanocomposite Films as Robust Materials for Packaging Applications
by Naveed Ahmed Khan, Muhammad Bilal Khan Niazi, Farooq Sher, Zaib Jahan, Tayyaba Noor, Ofaira Azhar, Tazien Rashid and Naseem Iqbal
Polymers 2021, 13(14), 2307; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13142307 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 61 | Viewed by 4405
Abstract
Bio-nanocomposites-based packaging materials have gained significance due to their prospective application in rising areas of packaged food. This research aims to fabricate biodegradable packaging films based upon polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and starch integrated with metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) or organic additives. MOFs offer unique [...] Read more.
Bio-nanocomposites-based packaging materials have gained significance due to their prospective application in rising areas of packaged food. This research aims to fabricate biodegradable packaging films based upon polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and starch integrated with metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) or organic additives. MOFs offer unique features in terms of surface area, mechanical strength, and chemical stability, which make them favourable for supporting materials used in fabricating polymer-based packaging materials. zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs) are one of the potential candidates for this application due to their highly conductive network with a large surface area and high porosity. Present research illustrates a model system based on ZIF-67 (C8H10N4Co) bearing 2–10 wt.% loading in a matrix of PVA/starch blend with or without pyrolysis to probe the function of intermolecular interaction in molecular packing, tensile properties, and glass transition process. ZIF-67 nanoparticles were doped in a PVA/starch mixture, and films were fabricated using the solution casting method. It was discovered through scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) that addition of ZIF-67 and pyrolyzed ZIF-67 changed and enhanced the thermal stability of the membrane. Moreover, 2–10 wt.% loading of ZIF-67 effected the thermal stability, owing to an interlayer aggregation of ZIF-67. The membranes containing pyrolyzed ZIF-67 showed mechanical strength in the order of 25 MPa in a moderate loading of pyrolyzed ZIF-67 (i.e., at 4 wt.%). The crystallinity enhanced by an increment in ZIF-67 loading. On the other hand, pyrolyzed ZIF-67 carbon became amorphous because of the inert environment and elevated temperature. The surface area also increased after the pyrolysis, which helped to increase the strength of the composite films. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

12 pages, 2893 KiB  
Article
Proof-of-Concept of Detection of Counterfeit Medicine through Polymeric Materials Analysis of Plastics Packaging
by Mohammad Rizalmazli Salim, Riyanto Teguh Widodo and Mohamed Ibrahim Noordin
Polymers 2021, 13(13), 2185; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13132185 - 30 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3122
Abstract
The detection of counterfeit pharmaceuticals is always a major challenge, but the early detection of counterfeit medicine in a country will reduce the fatal risk among consumers. Technically, fast laboratory testing is vital to develop an effective surveillance and monitoring system of counterfeit [...] Read more.
The detection of counterfeit pharmaceuticals is always a major challenge, but the early detection of counterfeit medicine in a country will reduce the fatal risk among consumers. Technically, fast laboratory testing is vital to develop an effective surveillance and monitoring system of counterfeit medicines. This study proposed the combination of Attenuated Total Reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared (ATR-FTIR) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) for the quick detection of counterfeit medicines, through the polymer analysis of blister packaging materials. A sample set containing three sets of original and counterfeit medicine was analyzed using ATR-FTIR and DSC, while the spectra from ATR-FTIR were employed as a fingerprint for the polymer characterization. Intending to analyze the polymeric material of each sample, DSC was set at a heating rate of 10 °C min−l and within a temperature range of 0–400 °C, with nitrogen as a purge gas at a flow rate of 20 mL min−1. The ATR-FTIR spectra revealed the chemical characteristics of the plastic packaging of fake and original medicines. Further analysis of the counterfeit medicine’s packaging with DSC exhibited a distinct difference from the original due to the composition of polymers in the packaging material used. Overall, this study confirmed that the rapid analysis of polymeric materials through ATR-FTIR and comparing DSC thermograms of the plastic in their packaging effectively distinguished counterfeit drug products. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

35 pages, 2491 KiB  
Review
Green Design of Novel Starch-Based Packaging Materials Sustaining Human and Environmental Health
by Monica Mironescu, Andrada Lazea-Stoyanova, Marcela Elisabeta Barbinta-Patrascu, Lidia-Ioana Virchea, Diana Rexhepi, Endre Mathe and Cecilia Georgescu
Polymers 2021, 13(8), 1190; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13081190 - 07 Apr 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 6348
Abstract
A critical overview of current approaches to the development of starch-containing packaging, integrating the principles of green chemistry (GC), green technology (GT) and green nanotechnology (GN) with those of green packaging (GP) to produce materials important for both us and the planet is [...] Read more.
A critical overview of current approaches to the development of starch-containing packaging, integrating the principles of green chemistry (GC), green technology (GT) and green nanotechnology (GN) with those of green packaging (GP) to produce materials important for both us and the planet is given. First, as a relationship between GP and GC, the benefits of natural bioactive compounds are analyzed and the state-of-the-art is updated in terms of the starch packaging incorporating green chemicals that normally help us to maintain health, are environmentally friendly and are obtained via GC. Newer approaches are identified, such as the incorporation of vitamins or minerals into films and coatings. Second, the relationship between GP and GT is assessed by analyzing the influence on starch films of green physical treatments such as UV, electron beam or gamma irradiation, and plasma; emerging research areas are proposed, such as the use of cold atmospheric plasma for the production of films. Thirdly, the approaches on how GN can be used successfully to improve the mechanical properties and bioactivity of packaging are summarized; current trends are identified, such as a green synthesis of bionanocomposites containing phytosynthesized metal nanoparticles. Last but not least, bioinspiration ideas for the design of the future green packaging containing starch are presented. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop