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All issues / Volume 10 (2016) / Issue 3 (March)

A second life for polymers … needs more research
M. Gahleitner
Vol. 10., No.3., Pages 187-187, 2016
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2016.17
This is an editorial article. It has no abstract.
PLA-b-PEG/magnetite hyperthermic agent prepared by Ugi four component condensation
L. P. Icart, E. R. F. dos Santos, E. D. Pereira, S. R. Ferreira, V. Saez, J. A. Ramon, M. Nele, J. C. S. Pinto, R. D. Toledo, D. Z. Silva, F. G. Souza Jr
Vol. 10., No.3., Pages 188-203, 2016
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2016.18
Ugi four component condensation (UFCC), is an important tool for the synthesis of different types of bioconjugate species. In this study, a PLA-PEG/magnetite magnetic composite was prepared by a synthetic-route approach based on UFCC. In particular, poly(lactic acid) (PLA) was synthesized by autocatalytic polycondensation. Also, poly(ethyleneglycol) bis-amine (bis-amine PEG) was synthesized by two different methods: via carbonyldiimidazol (CDI)/ethylenediamine (ED) (75% yield) and via chlorate monochlorated acetyl (CCA)/ED (95% yield). All products were characterized by gel permeation chromatography (GPC), hydrogen-1 nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR 1H), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). In addition, magnetite was prepared and modified to generate aldehyde groups which are also necessary for UFCC. This product was characterized by DSC, TGA, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and magnetic force (MF) techniques. Also, the magnetic composite PLA-PEG/magnetite was synthesized by UFCC. The calculated yield was equal to 80%. Furthermore, magnetic microspheres were prepared by the procedure of emulsion solvent-evaporation and characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and magnetic induction hyperthermia (MIH). The main contribution of these results is to propose a new application for UFCC in the preparation of biomasked magnetic drug delivery systems able to improve the cancer treatment and even the welfare of the patients.
Sequential graft-interpenetrating polymer networks based on polyurethane and acrylic/ester copolymers
R. Ballestero, B. M. Sundaram, H. V. Tippur, M. L. Auad
Vol. 10., No.3., Pages 204-215, 2016
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2016.19
Highly transparent and tough graft-interpenetrating polymer networks (graft-IPNs) were synthesized using an elastomeric polyurethane phase (PU) and a highly stiff acrylate-base copolymer phase. The grafting points between the two networks were generated with the purpose of minimizing the phase separation process of the polymeric systems. In order to generate the grafting between the networks, an acrylic resin capable of undergoing both free radical and poly-addition polymerization was employed. The thermo-mechanical properties, fracture toughness properties as well as network and surface phase morphology of the graft-IPNs synthesized were evaluated in this work. Data obtained suggested that the minimization of the phase separation was achieved by the generation of crosslinking points between both networks. High transparency was obtained in all samples as an indication of the high level of interpenetration achieved. The relative high values obtained for the fracture toughness tests suggest that generating chemical crosslinks between networks is a good approach for increasing the fracture toughness of polymeric materials.
Preparation and characterization of cationic Pluronic for surface modification and functionalization of polymeric drug delivery nanoparticles
G. Gyulai, A. Magyar, J. Rohonczy, J. Orosz, M. Yamasaki, Sz. Bosze, E. Kiss
Vol. 10., No.3., Pages 216-226, 2016
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2016.20
Biodegradable poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) copolymer, PLGA nanoparticles (NPs) with a surface layer of poly (ethylene oxide)-poly(propylene oxide)-poly(ethylene oxide) triblock copolymers, Pluronics, are promising drug carrier systems. With the aim to increase the potential of targeted drug delivery the end group derivative of Pluronics was synthesized in a straightforward way to obtain Pluronic-amines. The formation of functional amine groups was confirmed by fluorescamine method and NMR analysis of their N-(tert-Butoxycarbonyl)-L-phenylalanine (Boc-Phe-OH) and N-(9-Fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl)-L-phenylalanine (Fmoc-Phe-OH) conjugates. Pluronic and Pluronic-amine stabilized PLGA NPs prepared by nanoprecipitation were characterized by dynamic light scattering and zeta potential measurements. All of the systems showed high colloidal stability checked by electrolyte induced aggregation, although the presence of Pluronicamine on the surface decreased the zeta potential in some extent. The introduction of reactive primary amine groups into the surface layer of PLGA NPs while preserving the aggregation stability, provides a possibility for coupling of various ligands allowing targeted delivery and also contributes to the improved membrane affinity of NPs.
Barium ferrite/epoxy resin nanocomposite system: Fabrication, dielectric, magnetic and hydration studies
A. Kanapitsas, C. Tsonos, G. C. Psarras, S. Kripotou
Vol. 10., No.3., Pages 227-236, 2016
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2016.21
Composite systems of epoxy resin and barium ferrite nanoparticles have been prepared, and studied varying the content of the inclusions. Morphology of prepared samples has been examined via scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction spectra, while electrical and magnetic properties were investigated by means of broadband dielectric spectroscopy, and magnetization tests respectively. Finally, water vapor sorption measurements were conducted in order to study the water sorption dynamics of the system. Electron microscopy images revealed the successful fabrication of nanocomposites. Dielectric permittivity increases with filler content, while three relaxation processes were detected in the relative spectra. These processes are attributed to interfacial polarization, glass to rubber transition of the matrix, and re-orientation of polar side groups of the polymer’s chain. Magnetization and magnetic saturation increase with magnetic nano-powder content. Nanocomposites absorb a small amount of water, not exceeding 1.7 wt%, regardless filler content, indicating their hydrophobic character.
Optimization of the crystallinity of polypropylene/submicronic-talc composites: The role of filler ratio and cooling rate
A. Makhlouf, H. Satha, D. Frihi, S. Gherib, R. Seguela
Vol. 10., No.3., Pages 237-247, 2016
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2016.22
Micronic and submicronic mineral fillers recently appeared as efficient reinforcing agents for polyolefins in addition to the benefit of bypassing the exfoliation/dispersion problem encountered in the case of incorporation of nanoscopic fillers such as clay. Submicronic-talc, designated as μ-talc, belongs to this kind of new fillers. This work was aimed at searching to optimize the crystallinity ratio of isotactic polypropylene in the presence of μ-talc in relation to the filler ratio of the composites and the cooling rate from the melt. In order to highlight the efficiency of the μ-talc on the crystallization of polypropylene comparison has been made with PP composites containing conventional talc particles. The study has been carried out on samples having μ-talc weight fractions covering the range 3–30%. In the context of optimizing the crystallinity ratio of the polypropylene matrix in the composites, calorimetric experiments have been planned using a full factorial design. The results were statistically processed by analysis of the variance via mathematical models for predicting the crystallinity ratio in relation to the cooling rate and the filler ratio. Contour graphs have been plotted to determine the effect of each parameter on crystallinity. The cooling rate proved to have a significantly stronger influence on crystallinity than the type and content of filler.
Synthesis and characterization of high performance superabsorbent hydrogels using bis[2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl] phosphate as crosslinker
A. A. L. Goncalves, A. C. Fonseca, I. G. P. Fabela, J. F. J. Coelho, A. C. Serra
Vol. 10., No.3., Pages 248-258, 2016
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2016.23
Various superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) were synthesized by free radical copolymerization at 70°C using acrylic acid (AA), potassium acrylate (KA), N-isopropyl acrylamide (NIPAM) and sulfopropyl methacrylate potassium salt (SPM) as monomers, bis[2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl] phosphate (BMEP) as crosslinker and potassium persulfate (KPS) as initiator. The optimization of the synthesis led to the preparation of a SAP with very high water absorption ability, with a maximum swelling of 2618 g water/g dry hydrogel. The most promising SAP was fully characterized and the absorption capacities were studied at different pH and ionic strengths. When this SAP was mixed with soil, the mixture was able to lose water more slowly. Also, this material revealed high loading capacity and showed good releasing profiles using urea as model fertilizer. Due to these advantageous properties, the synthesized SAP can be used in agricultural applications.
Electrically conducting polymer nanostructures confined in anodized aluminum oxide templates (AAO)
I. Blaszczyk-Lezak, V. Desmaret, C. Mijangos
Vol. 10., No.3., Pages 259-272, 2016
DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2016.24
Intrinsically or extrinsically conducting polymers are considered good candidates for replacement of metals in specific applications. In order to further expand their applications, it seems necessary to examine the influence of confinement effects on the electric properties of nanostructured conducting polymers in comparison to the bulk. The present study reports a novel way to fabricate and characterize high quality and controllable one-dimensional (1D) polymer nanostructures with promising electrical properties, with the aid of two examples polyaniline (PANI) and poly(vinylidene fluoride) with multiwall carbon nanotubes (PVDF-MWCNT) as representative of intrinsically and extrinsically conducting polymers, respectively. In this work, porous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) templates have been used both as a nanoreactor to synthesize 1D PANI nanostructures by polymerization of the ANI monomer and as a nanomold to prepare 1D PVDFMWCNT nanorods by melt infiltration of the precursor PVDF-MWCNT film. The obtained polymer nanostructures were morphologically and chemically characterized by SEM and Confocal Raman Spectroscopy, respectively, and the electrical properties determined by Broadband Dielectric Spectroscopy (BDS) in a non-destructive way. SEM study allowed to establish the final nanostructure of PANI and PVDF-MWCNT and confirmed, in both cases, the well-aligned and uniform rodlike polymer nanostructures. Confocal Raman Microscopy has been performed to study the formation of the conducting emeraldine salt of PANI through all the length of AAO nanocavities. Finally, the electrical conductivity of both types of polymer nanostructures was easily evaluated by means of Dielectric Spectroscopy.
Published by:

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