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All issues / Volume 9 (2015) / Issue 9 (September)

Using thermogravimetric analysis to determine polymer thermal stability: Relevance of changes in onset temperature of mass loss
A. S. Luyt
Vol. 9., No.9., Pages 756-756, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.70
This is an editorial article. It has no abstract.
Plant oil-based shape memory polymer using acrylic monolith
T. Tsujimoto, E. Ohta, H. Uyama
Vol. 9., No.9., Pages 757-763, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.71
This article deals with the synthesis of a plant oil-based material using acrylic monolith. An acrylic monolith bearing oxirane groups was prepared via simple technique that involved the dissolution of poly(glycidyl methacrylate-comethyl methacrylate) (PGMA) in ethanolic – aqueous solution by heating and subsequent cooling. The PGMA monolith had topologically porous structure, which was attributed to the phase separation of the polymer solution. The PGMA monolith was impregnated by epoxidized soybean oil (ESO) containing thermally-latent catalyst, and the subsequent curing produced a crosslinked material with relatively good transparency. The Young’s modulus and the tensile strength of polyESO/PGMA increased compared with the ESO homopolymer. The strain at break of polyESO/PGMA was larger than that of the ESO homopolymer and crosslinked PGMA. Furthermore, polyESO/PGMA exhibited good shape memory-recovery behavior.
Development of novel antibacterial active, HaCaT biocompatible and biodegradable CA-g-P(3HB)-EC biocomposites with caffeic acid as a functional entity
H. M. N. Iqbal, G. Kyazze, I. C. Locke, T. Tron, T. Keshavarz
Vol. 9., No.9., Pages 764-772, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.72
We have developed novel composites by grafting caffeic acid (CA) onto the P(3HB)-EC based material and laccase from Trametes versicolor was used for grafting purposes. The resulting composites were designated as CA-g-P(3HB)-EC i.e., P(3HB)-EC (control), 5CA-g-P(3HB)-EC, 10CA-g-P(3HB)-EC, 15CA-g-P(3HB)-EC and 20CA-g-P(3HB)-EC. FT-IR (Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy) was used to examine the functional and elemental groups of the control and laccase-assisted graft composites. Evidently, 15CA-g-P(3HB)-EC composite exhibited resilient antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial strains. Moreover, a significant level of biocompatibility and biodegradability of the CA-g-P(3HB)-EC composites was also achieved with the human keratinocytes-like HaCaT cells and soil burial evaluation, respectively. In conclusion, the newly developed novel composites with multi characteristics could well represent the new wave of biomaterials for medical applications, and more specifically have promising future in the infection free would dressings, burn and/or skin regeneration field due to their sophisticated characteristics.
Novel poly(butylene succinate) nanocomposites containing strontium hydroxyapatite nanorods with enhanced osteoconductivity for tissue engineering applications
M. Nerantzaki, M. Filippousi, G. Van Tendeloo, Z. Terzopoulou, D. Bikiaris, O. M. Goudouri, R. Detsch, A. Gruenewald, A. R. Boccaccini
Vol. 9., No.9., Pages 773-789, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.73
Three series of poly(butylene succinate) (PBSu) nanocomposites containing 0.5, 1 and 2.5 wt% strontium hydroxyapatite [Sr5(PO4)3OH] nanorods (SrHAp nrds) were prepared by in situ polymerisation. The structural effects of Sr5(PO4)3OH nanorods, for the different concentrations, inside the polymeric matrix (PBSu), were studied through high angle annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscopy (HAADF-STEM). HAADF-STEM measurements revealed that the SrHAp nanorods at low concentrations are dispersed inside the polymeric PBSu matrix while in 1 wt% some aggregates are formed. These aggregations affect the mechanical properties giving an enhancement for the concentration of 0.5 wt% SrHAp nrds in tensile strength, while a reduction is recorded for higher loadings of the nanofiller. Studies on enzymatic hydrolysis revealed that all nanocomposites present higher hydrolysis rates than neat PBSu, indicating that nanorods accelerate the hydrolysis degradation process. In vitro bioactivity tests prove that SrHAp nrds promote the formation of hydroxyapatite on the PBSu surface. All nanocomposites were tested also in relevant cell culture using osteoblast-like cells (MG-63) to demonstrate their biocompatibility showing SrHAp nanorods support cell attachment.
Carboxymethylcellulose acetate butyrate/poly(4-vinyl-N-pentyl pyridinium bromide) blends as antimicrobial coatings
L. S. Blachechen, J. Amim Jr., N. Lincopan, D. F. S. Petri
Vol. 9., No.9., Pages 790-798, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.74
Blends of carboxymethyl cellulose acetate butyrate (CMCAB), a cellulose derivative, and poly(4-vinyl-N-pentyl pyridinium bromide) (QPVP-C5), an antimicrobial polymer, were prepared by casting method and characterized by means of Fourier transform infrared vibrational spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and contact angle measurements. Miscibility between CMCAB and QPVP-C5 was evidenced by DSC measurements of blends, which showed a single thermal event of Tg, and SEM images, which revealed homogenous morphology, regardless the blend composition. Moreover, thermal stability of QPVP-C5 was substantially enhanced, when it was mixed with CMCAB. Upon increasing the QPVP-C5 content in the blend the wettability and antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive bacteria Micrococcus luteus increased, indicating the surface enrichment by pyridinium groups. In fact, blends with 70 wt% QPVP-C5 reduced 5 log and 4 log the colony-forming units of Micrococcus luteus and Escherichia coli, respectively.
Mussel-mimetic self-healing polyaspartamide derivative gel via boron-catechol interactions
B. Wang, Y. S. Jeon, H. S. Park, Y. J. Kim, J-H. Kim
Vol. 9., No.9., Pages 799-808, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.75
The catechol group from catechol of 3,4-dihydroxyphenethylamine (DOP, dopamine) has the ability to interact with metal ions to form non-covalent bonds in polymer chains. In this study, a novel kind of mussel-inspired copolymer, dopamine-conjugated poly(hydroxyethyl aspartamide), polyAspAm(DOP/EA), was synthesized and its interaction with boric acid (H3BO3) to form a cross-linked gel via boron-catechol coordinative binding was investigated. The copolymer was designed to contain a pH responsive adhesive catechol group, which reversibly underwent gelation through the metalcatechol binding, as proved by UV-Vis spectroscopy. When the pH is increased from acidic conditions to a specified pH (pH > 9), the B(OH)3 is considered to have a functionality of two to bind catechols, leading to bis-complexes. In addition, the reversibility of the boron-catechol bonds provides self-healing characteristics to the polyAspAm gels. The rheological results showed that boron-catechol coordination could lead to quick and full recovery after the fracture of a gel specimen. This novel pH-responsive and self-healing gel system has potential in various applications including smart hydrogels, medical adhesives, and sealants.
Epoxy/anhydride thermosets modified with end-capped star polymers with poly(ethyleneimine) cores of different molecular weight and poly(ε–caprolactone) arms
C. Acebo, M. Alorda, F. Ferrando, X. Fernandez-Francos, A. Serra, J. M. Morancho, J. M. Salla, X. Ramis
Vol. 9., No.9., Pages 809-823, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.76
Multiarm star polymers, with a hyperbranched poly(ethyleneimine) (PEI) core and poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) arms end-capped with acetyl groups were synthesized by ring-opening polymerization of ε-caprolactone from PEI cores of different molecular weight. These star polymers were used as toughening agents for epoxy/anhydride thermosets. The curing process was studied by calorimetry, thermomechanical analysis and infrared spectroscopy. The final properties of the resulting materials were determined by thermal and mechanical tests. The addition of the star polymers led to an improvement up to 130% on impact strength and a reduction in the thermal stresses up to 55%. The structure and molecular weight of the modifier used affected the morphology of the resulting materials. Electron microscopy showed phase-separated morphologies with nano-sized fine particles well adhered to the epoxy/anhydride matrix when the higher molecular weight modifier was used.
Effects of benzoxazine resin on property enhancement of shape memory epoxy: A dual function of benzoxazine resin as a curing agent and a stable network segment
T. Tanpitaksit, C. Jubsilp, S. Rimdusit
Vol. 9., No.9., Pages 824-837, 2015
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2015.77
An ability of bisphenol-A/aniline based benzoxazine resin (BA-a) to simultaneously acts as a curing agent and a stable or rigid network segment for shape memory epoxy, i.e. a two component system, is demonstrated. This significantly simplifies a formulation of present shape memory epoxy systems, i.e. a three or four component system. A suitable content of BA-a in the aliphatic epoxy (NGDE)/polybenzoxazine (PBA-a) samples for good shape memory performance is in a range of 30 to 50 mol%. The storage modulus of the obtained NGDE/PBA-a shape memory polymers (SMPs) was increased from 3.57 GPa for 30 mol% BA-a content to 4.50 GPa for 50 mol% BA-a content. Glass transition temperature of the sample was also substantially increased with increasing BA-a fraction, i.e. from 51°C to 140°C. Flexural modulus and strength at room temperature of the samples at 50 mol% BA-a were found to be as high as 3.97 GPa and 132 MPa compared to the maximum values of 2.54 GPa and 100 MPa of SMP based on cyanate ester-epoxy. All samples exhibited a high value of shape fixity close to 100%. A presence of the BA-a in the samples also imparted a greater recovery stress ranging from 0.25 to 1.59 MPa. Consequently, the obtained NGDE/PBA-a copolymers are highly attractive for shape memory materials to be used in a broader range of applications particularly at elevated temperature and a higher recovery stress value.
Published by:

Budapest University of Technology and Economics,
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Polymer Engineering