Biodegradable Polymers to Biomedical and Packaging 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: 15 June 2024 | Viewed by 21270

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Biomaterials and Cosmetic Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Torun, Poland
Interests: natural polymers; tissue engineering; biocompatible coatings; thin films; polymers crosslinking; biomaterials properties
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
1. Biomaterials Division, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Ship Technology, Gdańsk University of Technology, G. Narutowicza 11/12, 80-233 Gdańsk, Poland
2. Laboratory for Biomaterials and Bioengineering (CRC-Tier I), Department Min-Met-Materials Eng & Regenerative Medicine, CHU de Quebec, Laval University, 10 Rue de l’Espinay, Quebec City, QC G1L 3L5, Canada
Interests: biomaterials; antibacterial properties; cytocompatibility; nanometals; implants; bone cements; spacers; biopolymers; bioceramics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to invite you to contribute to a Special Issue concerning Biodegradable Polymers to Biomedical and Packaging Applications. Biodegradable polymers are now an important part of every sector (nanotechnology, chemistry, agriculture, etc.). However, their main application is related to biomedical science and packaging applications. In these two fields, scientists are particularly interested in biodegradable polymers because they are harmless to the environment.

In this Special Issue, modern trends in polymers synthesis, analysis, and physico-chemical studies are highlighted and discussed. This Issue is collecting novel studies related to biodegradable polymers dedicated to biomedical and packaging applications. It is important to consider different methods to improve the properties of polymer-based materials that would increase their applicability in industry. Thanks to the open access platform of this journal, we can count on a wider audience of readers of the fruits of our research effort. Research areas may include (but not limited to) the following:

  • Biodegradable two and three dimensional materials preparation and characterization for biomedical and packaging application;
  • 2D and 3D materials preparation from different raw compounds;
  • Physicochemical properties of two and three dimensional materials made of polymers;
  • Biological studies (in vitro and in vivo) of 2D and 3D scaffolds;
  • Microbiological activity studies of two and three dimensional materials as scaffolds and packages.

It is our pleasure to invite you to submit a manuscript for this Special Issue. Full research papers, communications, as well as reviews are all warmly welcome. We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Beata Kaczmarek
Dr. Marcin Wekwejt
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. 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

  • biodegradable polymers
  • biodegradable composites
  • physico-chemical characterization of biodegradable polymers
  • physical and chemical modification of biodegradable polymers
  • biomedical applications
  • packaging applications

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 7179 KiB  
Article
Development of Sustainable and Active Food Packaging Materials Composed by Chitosan, Polyvinyl Alcohol and Quercetin Functionalized Layered Clay
by Chengyu Wang, Long Mao, Bowen Zheng, Yujie Liu, Jin Yao and Heping Zhu
Polymers 2024, 16(6), 727; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16060727 - 7 Mar 2024
Viewed by 636
Abstract
In order to solve the problems of insufficient active functions (antibacterial and antioxidant activities) and the poor degradability of traditional plastic packaging materials, biodegradable chitosan (CS)/polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) nanocomposite active films reinforced with natural plant polyphenol-quercetin functionalized layered clay nanosheets (QUE-LDHs) were prepared [...] Read more.
In order to solve the problems of insufficient active functions (antibacterial and antioxidant activities) and the poor degradability of traditional plastic packaging materials, biodegradable chitosan (CS)/polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) nanocomposite active films reinforced with natural plant polyphenol-quercetin functionalized layered clay nanosheets (QUE-LDHs) were prepared by a solution casting method. In this study, QUE-LDHs realizes a combination of the active functions of QUE and the enhancement effect of LDHs nanosheets through the deposition and complexation of QUE and copper ions on the LDHs. Infrared and thermal analysis results revealed that there was a strong interface interaction between QUE-LDHs and CS/PVA matrix, resulting in the limited movement of PVA molecules and the increase in glass transition temperature and melting temperature. With the addition of QUE-LDHs, the active films showed excellent UV barrier, antibacterial, antioxidant properties and tensile strength, and still had certain transparency in the range of visible light. As QUE-LDHs content was 3 wt%, the active films exhibited a maximum tensile strength of 58.9 MPa, representing a significant increase of 40.9% compared with CS/PVA matrix. Notably, the UV barrier (280 nm), antibacterial (E. coli) and antioxidant activities (DPPH method) of the active films achieved 100.0%, 95.5% and 58.9%, respectively. Therefore, CS/PVA matrix reinforced with QUE-LDHs has good potential to act as an environmentally and friendly active packaging film or coating. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Polymers to Biomedical and Packaging Applications)
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18 pages, 4549 KiB  
Article
Development of Indicator Film Based on Cassava Starch–Chitosan Incorporated with Red Dragon Fruit Peel Anthocyanins–Gambier Catechins to Detect Banana Ripeness
by Valentia Rossely Santoso, Rianita Pramitasari and Daru Seto Bagus Anugrah
Polymers 2023, 15(17), 3609; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15173609 - 31 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1411
Abstract
Banana ripeness is generally determined based on physical attributes, such as skin color; however, it is considered subjective because it depends on individual factors and lighting conditions. In addition, improper handling can cause mechanical damage to the fruit. Intelligent packaging in the form [...] Read more.
Banana ripeness is generally determined based on physical attributes, such as skin color; however, it is considered subjective because it depends on individual factors and lighting conditions. In addition, improper handling can cause mechanical damage to the fruit. Intelligent packaging in the form of indicator film incorporated with anthocyanins from red dragon fruit peel has been applied for shrimp freshness detection; however, this film has low color stability during storage, necessitating the addition of gambier catechins as a co-pigment to increase anthocyanin stability. Nevertheless, the characteristics of films that contain gambier catechins and their applications to bananas have not been studied yet; therefore, this study aims to develop and characterize indicator films that were incorporated with red dragon fruit peel anthocyanins and gambier catechins to detect banana ripeness. In this study, the indicator films were made via solvent casting. The films were characterized for their structural, mechanical, and physicochemical properties, and then applied to banana packaging. The results show that the film incorporated with anthocyanins and catechins in a ratio of 1:40 (w/w) resulted in better color stability, mechanical properties, light and water vapor barrier ability, and antioxidant activity. The application of the indicator films to banana packaging resulted in a change in color on the third day of storage. It can be concluded that these films could potentially be used as an indicator to monitor banana ripeness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Polymers to Biomedical and Packaging Applications)
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17 pages, 4635 KiB  
Article
Preparation and Characterization of Novel Green Seaweed Films from Ulva rigida
by Uruchaya Sonchaeng, Phanwipa Wongphan, Wanida Pan-utai, Yupadee Paopun, Wiratchanee Kansandee, Prajongwate Satmalee, Montakan Tamtin, Prapat Kosawatpat and Nathdanai Harnkarnsujarit
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3342; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163342 - 8 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1950
Abstract
Ulva rigida green seaweed is an abundant biomass consisting of polysaccharides and protein mixtures and a potential bioresource for bioplastic food packaging. This research prepared and characterized novel biodegradable films from Ulva rigida extracts. The water-soluble fraction of Ulva rigida was extracted and [...] Read more.
Ulva rigida green seaweed is an abundant biomass consisting of polysaccharides and protein mixtures and a potential bioresource for bioplastic food packaging. This research prepared and characterized novel biodegradable films from Ulva rigida extracts. The water-soluble fraction of Ulva rigida was extracted and prepared into bioplastic films. 1H nuclear magnetic resonance indicated the presence of rhamnose, glucuronic and sulfate polysaccharides, while major amino acid components determined via high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) were aspartic acid, glutamic acid, alanine and glycine. Seaweed extracts were formulated with glycerol and triethyl citrate (20% and 30%) and prepared into films. Ulva rigida films showed non-homogeneous microstructures, as determined via scanning electron microscopy, due to immiscible crystalline component mixtures. X-ray diffraction also indicated modified crystalline morphology due to different plasticizers, while infrared spectra suggested interaction between plasticizers and Ulva rigida polymers via hydrogen bonding. The addition of glycerol decreased the glass transition temperature of the films from −36 °C for control films to −62 °C for films with 30% glycerol, indicating better plasticization. Water vapor and oxygen permeability were retained at up to 20% plasticizer content, and further addition of plasticizers increased the water permeability up to 6.5 g·mm/m2·day·KPa, while oxygen permeability decreased below 20 mL·mm/m2·day·atm when blending plasticizers at 30%. Adding glycerol efficiently improved tensile stress and strain by up to 4- and 3-fold, respectively. Glycerol-plasticized Ulva rigida extract films were produced as novel bio-based materials that supported sustainable food packaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Polymers to Biomedical and Packaging Applications)
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13 pages, 2731 KiB  
Article
Poly(1,3-Propylene Glycol Citrate) as a Plasticizer for Toughness Enhancement of Poly-L-Lactic Acid
by Dengbang Jiang, Junchao Chen, Minna Ma, Xiushuang Song, Huaying A, Jingmei Lu, Conglie Zi, Wan Zhao, Yaozhong Lan and Mingwei Yuan
Polymers 2023, 15(10), 2334; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15102334 - 17 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1424
Abstract
Despite the unique features of poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), its mechanical properties, such as the elongation at break, need improvement to broaden its application scope. Herein, poly(1,3-propylene glycol citrate) (PO3GCA) was synthesized via a one-step reaction and evaluated as a plasticizer for PLLA films. [...] Read more.
Despite the unique features of poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), its mechanical properties, such as the elongation at break, need improvement to broaden its application scope. Herein, poly(1,3-propylene glycol citrate) (PO3GCA) was synthesized via a one-step reaction and evaluated as a plasticizer for PLLA films. Thin-film characterization of PLLA/PO3GCA films prepared via solution casting revealed that PO3GCA shows good compatibility with PLLA. The addition of PO3GCA slightly improves the thermal stability and enhances the toughness of PLLA films. In particular, the elongation at break of the PLLA/PO3GCA films with PO3GCA mass contents of 5%, 10%, 15%, and 20% increases to 172%, 209%, 230%, and 218%, respectively. Therefore, PO3GCA is promising as a plasticizer for PLLA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Polymers to Biomedical and Packaging Applications)
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23 pages, 2571 KiB  
Article
Criteria for Assessing Sustainability of Lignocellulosic Wastes: Applied to the Cellulose Nanofibril Packaging Production in the UK
by Samantha Islam and Jonathan M. Cullen
Polymers 2023, 15(6), 1336; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15061336 - 7 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2223
Abstract
Extensive use of petrochemical plastic packaging leads to the greenhouse gas emission and contamination to soil and oceans, posing major threats to the ecosystem. The packaging needs, hence, are shifting to bioplastics with natural degradability. Lignocellulose, the biomass from forest and agriculture, can [...] Read more.
Extensive use of petrochemical plastic packaging leads to the greenhouse gas emission and contamination to soil and oceans, posing major threats to the ecosystem. The packaging needs, hence, are shifting to bioplastics with natural degradability. Lignocellulose, the biomass from forest and agriculture, can produce cellulose nanofibrils (CNF), a biodegradable material with acceptable functional properties, that can make packaging among other products. Compared to primary sources, CNF extracted from lignocellulosic wastes reduces the feedstock cost without causing an extension to agriculture and associated emissions. Most of these low value feedstocks go to alternative applications, making their use in CNF packaging competitive. To transfer the waste materials from current practices to the packaging production, it is imperative to assess their sustainability, encompassing environmental and economic impacts along with the feedstock physical and chemical properties. A combined overview of these criteria is absent in the literature. This study consolidates thirteen attributes, delineating sustainability of lignocellulosic wastes for commercial CNF packaging production. These criteria data are gathered for the UK waste streams, and transformed into a quantitative matrix, evaluating the waste feedstock sustainability for CNF packaging production. The presented approach can be adopted to decision scenarios in bioplastics packaging conversion and waste management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Polymers to Biomedical and Packaging Applications)
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21 pages, 4052 KiB  
Article
Performance Evaluation of Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) Containing Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Using Wet and Dry Mixing Techniques
by Nisma Agha, Arshad Hussain, Agha Shah Ali and Yanjun Qiu
Polymers 2023, 15(5), 1211; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15051211 - 27 Feb 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3129
Abstract
This study evaluates the performance of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)-modified hot mix asphalt. Aggregate, bitumen of grade 60/70 and crushed plastic bottle waste were utilized in this study. Polymer Modified Bitumen (PMB) was prepared using a high shear laboratory type mixer rotating at a [...] Read more.
This study evaluates the performance of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)-modified hot mix asphalt. Aggregate, bitumen of grade 60/70 and crushed plastic bottle waste were utilized in this study. Polymer Modified Bitumen (PMB) was prepared using a high shear laboratory type mixer rotating at a speed of 1100 rpm with varying PET content of 2%, 4%, 6%, 8% and 10%, respectively. Overall, the results of preliminary tests suggested that bitumen hardened with the addition of PET. Following optimum bitumen content determination, various modified and controlled HMA samples were prepared as per wet and dry mixing techniques. This research presents an innovative technique to compare the performance of HMA prepared via dry and wet mixing techniques. Performance evaluation tests, which include the Moisture Susceptibility Test (ALDOT-361-88), Indirect Tensile Fatigue Test (ITFT-EN12697-24) and Marshall Stability and Flow Tests (AASHTO T245-90), were conducted on controlled and modified HMA samples. The dry mixing technique yielded better results in terms of resistance against fatigue cracking, stability and flow; however, the wet mixing technique yielded better results in terms of resistance against moisture damage. The addition of PET at more than 4% resulted in a decreased trend for fatigue, stability and flow due to the stiffer nature of PET. However, for the moisture susceptibility test optimum PET content was noted to be 6%. Polyethylene Terephthalate-modified HMA is found to be the economical solution for high volume road construction and maintenance, besides having other significant advantages such as increased sustainability and waste reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Polymers to Biomedical and Packaging Applications)
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21 pages, 8014 KiB  
Article
Poly(lactic acid) and Nanocrystalline Cellulose Methacrylated Particles for Preparation of Cryogelated and 3D-Printed Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering
by Mariia Leonovich, Viktor Korzhikov-Vlakh, Antonina Lavrentieva, Iliyana Pepelanova, Evgenia Korzhikova-Vlakh and Tatiana Tennikova
Polymers 2023, 15(3), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15030651 - 27 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1810
Abstract
Different parts of bones possess different properties, such as the capacity for remodeling cell content, porosity, and protein composition. For various traumatic or surgical tissue defects, the application of tissue-engineered constructs seems to be a promising strategy. Despite significant research efforts, such constructs [...] Read more.
Different parts of bones possess different properties, such as the capacity for remodeling cell content, porosity, and protein composition. For various traumatic or surgical tissue defects, the application of tissue-engineered constructs seems to be a promising strategy. Despite significant research efforts, such constructs are still rarely available in the clinic. One of the reasons is the lack of resorbable materials, whose properties can be adjusted according to the intended tissue or tissue contacts. Here, we present our first results on the development of a toolbox, by which the scaffolds with easily tunable mechanical and biological properties could be prepared. Biodegradable poly(lactic acid) and nanocrystalline cellulose methacrylated particles were obtained, characterized, and used for preparation of three-dimensional scaffolds via cryogelation and 3D printing approaches. The composition of particles-based ink for 3D printing was optimized in order to allow formation of stable materials. Both the modified-particle cytotoxicity and the matrix-supported cell adhesion were evaluated and visualized in order to confirm the perspectives of materials application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Polymers to Biomedical and Packaging Applications)
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20 pages, 4499 KiB  
Article
3D-Printed PLA Medical Devices: Physicochemical Changes and Biological Response after Sterilisation Treatments
by Sara Pérez-Davila, Laura González-Rodríguez, Raquel Lama, Miriam López-Álvarez, Ana Leite Oliveira, Julia Serra, Beatriz Novoa, Antonio Figueras and Pío González
Polymers 2022, 14(19), 4117; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14194117 - 1 Oct 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 5186
Abstract
Polylactic acid (PLA) has become one of the most commonly used polymers in medical devices given its biocompatible, biodegradable and bioabsorbable properties. In addition, due to PLA’s thermoplastic behaviour, these medical devices are now obtained using 3D printing technologies. Once obtained, the 3D-printed [...] Read more.
Polylactic acid (PLA) has become one of the most commonly used polymers in medical devices given its biocompatible, biodegradable and bioabsorbable properties. In addition, due to PLA’s thermoplastic behaviour, these medical devices are now obtained using 3D printing technologies. Once obtained, the 3D-printed PLA devices undergo different sterilisation procedures, which are essential to prevent infections. This work was an in-depth study of the physicochemical changes caused by novel and conventional sterilisation techniques on 3D-printed PLA and their impact on the biological response in terms of toxicity. The 3D-printed PLA physicochemical (XPS, FTIR, DSC, XRD) and mechanical properties as well as the hydrophilic degree were evaluated after sterilisation using saturated steam (SS), low temperature steam with formaldehyde (LTSF), gamma irradiation (GR), hydrogen peroxide gas plasma (HPGP) and CO2 under critical conditions (SCCO). The biological response was tested in vitro (fibroblasts NCTC-929) and in vivo (embryos and larvae wild-type zebrafish Danio rerio). The results indicated that after GR sterilisation, PLA preserved the O:C ratio and the semi-crystalline structure. Significant changes in the polymer surface were found after HPGP, LTSF and SS sterilisations, with a decrease in the O:C ratio. Moreover, the FTIR, DSC and XRD analysis revealed PLA crystallisation after SS sterilisation, with a 52.9% increase in the crystallinity index. This structural change was also reflected in the mechanical properties and wettability. An increase in crystallinity was also observed after SCCO and LTSF sterilisations, although to a lesser extent. Despite these changes, the biological evaluation revealed that none of the techniques were shown to promote the release of toxic compounds or PLA modifications with toxicity effects. GR sterilisation was concluded as the least reactive technique with good perspectives in the biological response, not only at the level of toxicity but at all levels, since the 3D-printed PLA remained almost unaltered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Polymers to Biomedical and Packaging Applications)
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12 pages, 2670 KiB  
Article
Scaffolds Loaded with Dialdehyde Chitosan and Collagen—Their Physico-Chemical Properties and Biological Assessment
by Sylwia Grabska-Zielińska, Judith M. Pin, Beata Kaczmarek-Szczepańska, Ewa Olewnik-Kruszkowska, Alina Sionkowska, Fernando J. Monteiro, Kerstin Steinbrink and Konrad Kleszczyński
Polymers 2022, 14(9), 1818; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14091818 - 29 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2102
Abstract
In this work, dialdehyde chitosan (DAC) and collagen (Coll) scaffolds have been prepared and their physico-chemical properties have been evaluated. Their structural properties were studied by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy with Attenuated Internal Reflection (FTIR–ATR) accompanied by evaluation of thermal stability, porosity, density, [...] Read more.
In this work, dialdehyde chitosan (DAC) and collagen (Coll) scaffolds have been prepared and their physico-chemical properties have been evaluated. Their structural properties were studied by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy with Attenuated Internal Reflection (FTIR–ATR) accompanied by evaluation of thermal stability, porosity, density, moisture content and microstructure by Scanning Electron Microscopy—SEM. Additionally, cutaneous assessment using human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEK), dermal fibroblasts (NHDF) and melanoma cells (A375 and G-361) was performed. Based on thermal studies, two regions in DTG curves could be distinguished in each type of scaffold, what can be assigned to the elimination of water and the polymeric structure degradation of the materials components. The type of scaffold had no major effect on the porosity of the materials, but the water content of the materials decreased with increasing dialdehyde chitosan content in subjected matrices. Briefly, a drop in proliferation was noticed for scaffolds containing 20DAC/80Coll compared to matrices with collagen alone. Furthermore, increased content of DAC (50DAC/50Coll) either significantly induced the proliferation rate or maintains its ratio compared to the control matrix. This delivery is a promising technique for additional explorations targeting therapies in regenerative dermatology. The using of dialdehyde chitosan as one of the main scaffolds components is the novelty in terms of bioengineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradable Polymers to Biomedical and Packaging Applications)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Influence of Glycerol on the Surface Morphology and Crystallinity of Polyvinyl Alcohol Films
Authors: Ganna Kovtun1,2*; David Casas1; Teresa Cuberes1
Affiliation: 1 - Group of Nanotechnology and Materials, Mining and Industrial Engineering School of Almaden, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Almadén, Spain 2 - Institute of Magnetism NAS of Ukraine and MES of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
Abstract: The physicochemical properties of films based on polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and PVA/glycerol blends were investigated by the thermogravimetry/differential thermal analysis (TG/DTA), X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), atomic force microscopy (AFM), ultrasonic force microscopy (UFM) and lateral force microscopy (LFM). For pure PVA films, clusters with a clearly defined elastic and frictional contrast arranged themselves into intersecting rows, ropes or dendrite-like structures. Such structures may arise from the growth of crystalline domains. According to XRD and FT-IR spectroscopy, the crystallinity of the PVA films initially increases with a low amount of glycerol and, as the glycerol concentration is increased, it decreases to values below those of the pure PVA films. For PVA/glycerol films with lower glycerol concentration, the surface is heterogeneous, characterized by rounded regions with lower UFM contrast and reduced friction, the number of which gradually decreases and finally disappears as the glycerol concentration increases. PVA/glycerol films exhibit higher RMS roughness for shorter measured lengths compared to pure PVA films; however, for long measured lengths, their RMS roughness is lower. This can be attributed to the lower Hurst number of the PVA/glycerol films.

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