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  • Preparation and Properties of Elastomer Composites Containing “Graphene”-Based Fillers: A Review
    Polym. Rev. (IF 6.459) Pub Date : 2018-01-18
    Alice Pazat, Claire Barrès, Florence Bruno, Claude Janin, Emmanuel Beyou

    Elastomers are materials showing exceptional elasticity and are used for numerous applications. However, their low stiffness as well as their insulating behavior can be limiting so the incorporation of graphene-based materials can help and improve drastically their properties. With high Young's modulus, high electrical and thermal conductivities, graphene and graphene-like fillers seem ideal fillers to effectively tune elastomers properties. With low graphene-like loadings, most elasticity properties of elastomers could be preserved while increasing or adding new properties to the composites to enable new applications. Herein, we focus on the effects of “graphene” incorporation into elastomers and we will highlight the key parameters to effectively monitor the changes.

  • Composites of Wood and Biodegradable Thermoplastics: A Review
    Polym. Rev. (IF 6.459) Pub Date : 2017-11-02
    Clement Matthew Chan, Luigi-Jules Vandi, Steven Pratt, Peter Halley, Desmond Richardson, Alan Werker, Bronwyn Laycock

    This paper is an overview of current understanding in the areas of composites made from biodegradable thermoplastics and wood fillers. The review finds that the composite properties depend on the type of wood filler, the choice of polymer matrix, the wood filler content, the compatibilization technique used and the processing parameters. The extent of interfacial adhesion and the filler morphology are identified as the underlying factors that control the composite properties. Future research needs are identified, including establishment of fundamental relationships between quantified interfacial adhesion and end-use properties and advanced modelling of biodegradation processes.

  • Approaches to Improve Therapeutic Efficacy of Biodegradable PLA/PLGA Microspheres: A Review
    Polym. Rev. (IF 6.459) Pub Date : 2018-03-08
    Soo-Ling Bee, Z. A. Abdul Hamid, M. Mariatti, B. H. Yahaya, Keemi Lim, Soo-Tueen Bee, Lee Tin Sin

    This review aims to provide a comprehensive overview about various innovative strategies that have been employed by recent researchers to overcome with the shortcomings associated with traditional microspheres. Essentially, optimization strategies from structural aspects have been widely investigated to improve the properties (e.g., enhanced hydrophilicity, reduced initial burst release, etc.) of the pristine microspheres. These include bulk alteration, surface modification as well as the formation of sophisticated microsphere design such as core-shell structures. Other than that, various microencapsulation techniques and novel technologies such as spray drying, supercritical fluid technique, membrane, and microfluidics emulsification also have been explored in this review. Additionally, the impact of formulation-related aspects on the drug encapsulation efficiency, particles size and particles size distribution during double emulsification method will also be discussed and reviewed extensively based on the recent literatures reported.

  • Synthetic Hydrogels with Covalently Incorporated Saccharides Studied for Biomedical Applications – 15 Year Overview
    Polym. Rev. (IF 6.459) Pub Date : 2018-04-02
    Małgorzata Burek, Ilona Wandzik

    Glycosylated materials have attracted special attention in biomedical field because of the unique properties of the individual carbohydrates in recognition mechanisms in many biological events. Sugar residues decorating a polymer surface can be regarded as multivalent ligands for interaction with various glycoproteins. This phenomenon provides the basis for several biomedical applications; of these, ligand-based targeted therapy is the most frequently cited. Materials functionalized with individual carbohydrates can be used for the selective binding of lectin proteins. Carbohydrate–lectin interactions underpin the development of diverse biosensor devices and bioassays aimed at pathogen detection. Because of the high content of hydroxyl groups and the consequent high hydrophilicity, saccharide-based monomers are perfect candidates for incorporation into hydrogels. Such functionalization allows synthetic materials to acquire unique properties and enhance their performance. This review covers developments over the past 15 years in the field of the synthesis of chemically crosslinked nano-, micro- and bulk hydrogels with covalently incorporated mono-, di- or trisaccharides. A brief view on the potential biomedical applications of these unique hydrogels is provided with particular emphasis on carriers for delivery of bioactive molecules, bioactivated materials for cell culture and tissue engineering as well as capture systems for pathogenic microorganisms.

  • Recent Updates on the Barrier Properties of Ethylene Vinyl Alcohol Copolymer (EVOH): A Review
    Polym. Rev. (IF 6.459) Pub Date : 2018-01-18
    Caroline Maes, Wout Luyten, Geert Herremans, Roos Peeters, Robert Carleer, Mieke Buntinx

    The gas barrier properties of ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH) against oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapor have been widely investigated in relation to different material characteristics, environmental conditions and new processing technologies. Recently, EVOH is gaining more attention as a barrier material against other gases and organic substances such as aromas, flavors, fuels, chemicals (e.g., BTEX), and as a functional barrier, e.g., to avoid mineral oil migration. This review contains an update on permeability data of EVOH emphasizing its potential as a barrier material for new and versatile applications in food and pharmaceutical packaging, agriculture, construction, automotive, etc.

  • Biomaterials of Poly(vinyl alcohol) and Natural Polymers
    Polym. Rev. (IF 6.459) Pub Date : 2018-01-18
    Mirela Teodorescu, Maria Bercea, Simona Morariu

    Polysaccharides and proteins are abundantly found in nature and are highly recommended for developing eco-friendly materials due to their special properties (biodegradability, biocompatibility, non-toxicity, low cost, etc.). However, they sometimes fail to meet specific requirements due to poor mechanical and physical properties. Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) is one of the promising synthetic polymers with superior properties that can be blended with natural polymers for obtaining novel biomaterials with improved performances. This review addresses recent advance in PVA/polysaccharides and PVA/proteins biocomposites design and fabrication, mainly for the past two decades.

  • Microencapsulation by in situ Polymerization of Amino Resins
    Polym. Rev. (IF 6.459) Pub Date : 2017-10-26
    Olivier Nguon, François Lagugné-Labarthet, Frank A. Brandys, Jian Li, Elizabeth R. Gillies

    By surrounding small droplets with a coating, one can obtain micrometer-size capsules (microcapsules), and combine multiple properties into a single system. This technology has allowed the design of advanced and functional materials. Amino resins are composed principally of urea and/or melamine and formaldehyde, and exhibit advantages as wall-forming materials, such as high mechanical strength and chemical resistance. In this review, a general description of the encapsulation process by in situ polymerization of amino resins is given. Characterization methods, and the influence of the physical and design parameters are discussed. A mechanistic description and some of the promising avenues of research are also presented.

  • Influence of Voluminous Substituents in Polyimides on Their Physical Properties
    Polym. Rev. (IF 6.459) Pub Date : 2017-11-03
    I. A. Ronova, A. Yu. Alentiev, M. Bruma

    Seven series of polyimides have been analyzed and compared with regard to the correlation between their conformational rigidity parameters, such as the Kuhn segment, the characteristic ratio, the Van der Waals volume and free volume, and some physical properties, such as glass transition temperature, dielectric permittivity, and permeability to different gases. This review concentrates on the author's own work, placed in the context of the broader field. The conformational rigidity parameters were calculated by using the Monte Carlo method, while the values of physical properties were taken from published articles.

  • Hypercrosslinked Polymers: A Review
    Polym. Rev. (IF 6.459) Pub Date : 2017-07-21
    Jing Huang, S. Richard Turner

    Hypercrosslinked polymers (HCPs) represent a class of nanoporous materials with a wide range of practical and potential applications such as gas sorption and separation, heterogeneous catalysis, drug delivery, and chromatographic separation. First introduced by Davankov and Tsyurupa in the early 1970s, HCPs have developed rapidly over the past few decades. Mostly based on Friedel-Crafts chemistry, HCP materials can be prepared from the post-crosslinking of polystyrene-type precursors in their swollen state, or from the condensation of small building blocks. HCP materials manifest numerous important advantages, including moderate synthetic conditions, an enormous stockroom of inexpensive monomers, robust structures, and good thermal and chemical stabilities. This review article aims to provide an overview of recent publications on HCPs, and the emphasis is positioned on the synthetic approaches, theoretical studies, characterizations, structure-property relationships, and applications of these HCP materials.

  • Chemical Insight Into Benzimidazole Containing Donor-Acceptor-Donor Type Π-Conjugated Polymers: Benzimidazole As An Acceptor
    Polym. Rev. (IF 6.459) Pub Date : 2017-06-16
    Emine Gul Cansu-Ergun

    Benzimidazoles are commonly used as an electron acceptor unit in the synthesis of donor acceptor donor type conjugated polymers. This review offers an overview of the utility of benzimidazole derivatives in the synthesis of various donor acceptor donor type of conjugated polymers, covering the research trends in experimental studies. The selected molecules in this overview have been limited with the donor-acceptor-donor type of conjugated polymers including benzimidazole as an acceptor unit and the corresponding studies up to 2016 have been shown. The polymers examined in this paper are discussed in two sections. The first section includes the studies about the effect of benzimidazole unit on the optical feature of resulting donor-acceptor type polymers. The second section illustrates the benzimidazole-based donor-acceptor-donor type conjugated polymers which are utilized in photovoltaic applications.

  • Polymeric Surfactants and Emerging Alternatives used in the Demulsification of Produced Water: A Review
    Polym. Rev. (IF 6.459) Pub Date : 2017-07-18
    Farrukh Shehzad, Ibnelwaleed A. Hussein, Muhammad Shahzad Kamal, Waqar Ahmad, Abdullah S. Sultan, Mustafa S. Nasser

    Stable emulsions are frequently encountered in oil production and cause a series of environmental and operational issues. Chemical demulsification is widely used for the separation of oil from water or removal of water from oil. The chemicals used in the demulsification process have a strong affinity to the oil-water interface. This review presents the various types of chemical demulsifiers used for the demulsification of water-in-oil and oil-in-water emulsions. The review covers the relevant properties of polymeric surfactants such as polyether, dendrimers, and natural biodegradable polymeric surfactants. In addition, emerging alternatives like nanoparticles-based demulsifiers and ionic liquids are also reviewed. The factors affecting the demulsification efficiency of these demulsifiers and structure-property relationships are discussed. Copolymers with high hydrophilic content and molecular weight are more efficient demulsifiers. Similarly, the position isomerism (same carbon skeleton and functional groups but a different location of functional groups) strongly affects the HLB and demulsification performance. Generally, dendrimers show better performance compared to linear polymeric surfactants due to their relatively higher interfacial activity, better penetrability, and a larger number of reactive terminal groups. Techniques used to evaluate the performance of demulsifiers are also covered. The review also highlights the current developments and future prospects of chemical demulsifiers.

  • A Review of Cellulose and Cellulose Blends for Preparation of Bio-derived and Conventional Membranes, Nanostructured Thin Films, and Composites
    Polym. Rev. (IF 6.459) Pub Date : 2017-02-08
    Eugene F. Douglass, Huseyin Avci, Ramiz Boy, Orlando J. Rojas, Richard Kotek

    Cellulose has been used as a raw material for the manufacture of membranes and fibers for many years. This review gives the background of the most recent methods of treating or dissolving cellulose, and its derivatives to form polymer films or membranes for a variety of applications. Indeed, some potential applications of bacterial cellulose, nanofibrillar cellulose (NFC) for films showing enhanced barrier characteristics are reviewed as well as the utilization of cellulose nanonocrystals (CNC) for production of highly oriented super strong films or thin films is discussed. Because of the success of the Lyocell process as well as the amine/metal thiocyanate solvent blends of cellulose and other polysaccharides like starch, chitosan, and other natural polymers. Consequently, the use of cellulose (or its derivatives) and another polysaccharide dissolved as a blend is also elaborated. It is our hope that the reader will want to follow up and investigate these new systems and use them to develop end use materials for all sorts of applications, from medical to water filtration, or electrogels for use in batteries.

  • Fabrication and Properties of Polycaprolactone Composites Containing Calcium Phosphate-Based Ceramics and Bioactive Glasses in Bone Tissue Engineering: A Review
    Polym. Rev. (IF 6.459) Pub Date : 2017-06-28
    Faezeh Hajiali, Saeid Tajbakhsh, Akbar Shojaei

    Polycaprolactone (PCL) is a bioresorbable and biocompatible polymer that has been widely used in long-term implants and controlled drug release applications. However, when it comes to tissue engineering, PCL suffers from some shortcomings such as slow degradation rate, poor mechanical properties, and low cell adhesion. The incorporation of calcium phosphate-based ceramics and bioactive glasses into PCL has yielded a class of hybrid biomaterials with remarkably improved mechanical properties, controllable degradation rates, and enhanced bioactivity that are suitable for bone tissue engineering. This review presents a comprehensive study on recent advances in the fabrication and properties of PCL-based composite scaffolds containing calcium phosphate-based ceramics and bioglasses in terms of porosity, degradation rate, mechanical properties, in vitro and in vivo biocompatibility and bioactivity for bone regeneration applications. The fabrication routes range from traditional methods such as solvent casting and particulate leaching to novel approaches including solid free-form techniques.

  • Progress in Toughening Poly(Lactic Acid) with Renewable Polymers
    Polym. Rev. (IF 6.459) Pub Date : 2017-03-15
    Ming Wang, Ying Wu, Yi-Dong Li, Jian-Bing Zeng

    Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) is regarded as one of the most promising biobased and biodegradable polymers due its various advantages including high mechanical strength, easy processability, high melting temperature, renewability, biodegradability, and biocompatibility. However, the inherent brittleness significantly restricts its wide application. Therefore, toughening PLA has attracted more and more attention and various materials have been used to blend with PLA for toughening. Considering the fact that the use of petroleum-based species to toughen PLA would partially sacrifice the sustainability, various renewable polymers have recently been employed to toughen PLA. A series of important achievements have been obtained but not reviewed. This article aims to review progress in toughening PLA with renewable polymers. The toughening theories and compatibilization strategies are also briefly introduced.

  • Hyaluronic Acid-Based Biomaterials: A Versatile and Smart Approach to Tissue Regeneration and Treating Traumatic, Surgical, and Chronic Wounds
    Polym. Rev. (IF 6.459) Pub Date : 2017-05-10
    Zahid Hussain, Hnin Ei Thu, Haliza Katas, Syed Nasir Abbas Bukhari

    Wound healing is a multipart and dynamic process of replacing devitalized and damaged cellular structures and tissue layers. Numerous conventional wound dressings are employed for the management of wounds but there is a lack of absolute and versatile choice. An ideal wound healing modality should provide a moist environment, offer protection from secondary infections, eliminate wound exudate, and stimulate tissue regeneration. Hyaluronic acid (HA) has been known to promote angiogenesis, granulation tissue formation, remodeling of extracellular matrix (ECM), and wound healing. Accumulation and turnover of ECM is a hallmark of tissue injury, repair, and remodeling in wound healing. HA is a major component of ECM and plays an important role in regulating tissue injury, accelerating tissue repair, and controlling disease outcomes. A wide range of in vitro, in vivo, and clinical studies have demonstrated the wound healing efficacy of HA-based biomaterials not only in the treatment of wound in the tympanic membrane, skin, and articular cartilage but also in tracheal and corneal wound healing. Recent progress and improved therapeutic efficacy achieved through partial modification and formation of HA-based biomaterials, including HA-scaffolds, sponge-like hydrogels, anti-adhesive sheets, cultured dermal substitutes, thin membranes, and dermal matrix grafts have been discussed. The current review summarizes the evidence for the therapeutic effectiveness of HA-based biomaterials in the treatment of traumatic, surgical, and chronic wounds and tissue regeneration.

  • Marine Biopolymer-Based Nanomaterials as a Novel Platform for Theranostic Applications
    Polym. Rev. (IF 6.459) Pub Date : 2017-05-02
    Panchanathan Manivasagan, Subramaniyan Bharathiraja, Madhappan Santha Moorthy, Yun-Ok Oh, Hansu Seo, Junghwan Oh

    Marine biopolymer-based nanomaterials are one of the most active research areas in recent decades for theranostic applications. Marine biopolymers are interesting biomaterials for clinical applications because of their good biocompatibility, biodegradability, inexpensiveness, abundance, stability, ease of surface modification, and nontoxic nature. New nanoparticles in development are coated with marine polymers to combine therapeutic and diagnostic (theranostic) applications because of the strongly enhanced absorption and scattering in near-infrared (NIR) regions. In this review, the use of marine biopolymer-based nanomaterials for theranostic applications is evaluated, addressing potential applications in drug delivery, photothermal therapy (PTT), photodynamic therapy (PDT), hyperthermia therapy, photoacoustic imaging (PAI), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT). In addition, the most recent progress in the biocompatibility of marine biopolymer-based nanomaterials in vitro and in vivo are discussed, along with a promising future scope for the treatment of major life-threatening diseases such as cancer.

  • Biomass Liquefaction and Alkoxylation: A Review of Structural Characterization Methods for Bio-based Polyols
    Polym. Rev. (IF 6.459) Pub Date : 2017-03-13
    Jason D'Souza, Rafael Camargo, Ning Yan

    The conversion of biomass via liquefaction and alkoxylation has been shown to be a versatile and promising route for producing bio-based polyols for polyurethane synthesis. Despite the complexity of bio-based polyols, this review showcases how detailed structural characterization of bio-based polyols is feasible to elucidate their structural attributes. Key polyol characteristics including polyol composition (classes of compounds, aromatic content, homopolymer content), alcohol type, and molecular structure (molecular weight and molecular weight distributions, polymer linkages) together with methods for identification of degradation products and side reactions, and analysis of residues are discussed. Finally, the challenges and outlook associated with structural identification of bio-based polyols are presented.

  • Measurement Methods for Solubility and Diffusivity of Gases and Supercritical Fluids in Polymers and Its Applications
    Polym. Rev. (IF 6.459) Pub Date : 2017-06-16
    Jason K. Lee, Selina X. Yao, Guangming Li, Martin B. G. Jun, Patrick C. Lee

    Over the last century, polymer processes involving a gas or supercritical fluid (SCF) have attracted significant attention. The attributes of a gas/SCF in polymers benefited many polymer processing applications. In polymer applications, the solubility and diffusivity of the gas/SCF in polymers are important parameters. This review discusses experimental and theoretical methods for determining gas/SCF solubility and diffusivity in polymers. The Henry's law, Flory-Huggins, Sanchez-Lacombe, Simha-Somcynsky, and statistical association fluid theories are discussed for gas/SCF solubility in polymers. The experimental methods are categorized into five: gravimetric, piezoelectric, manometric, chromatographic, and spectroscopic methods, and are compared in terms of the operating temperatures, pressures, and types of a gas/SCF. The solubility from different methods in literatures has been compared in summary plots. In addition, the main advantages and disadvantages of each of the measurement methods are tabulated. In the diffusivity section, the steady and unsteady diffusion including the Crank's, dual-mode sorption, gas-polymer matrix, free volume, mass transfer, and empirical models are reviewed. For unsteady diffusion, the pressure decay and the gravimetric method are discussed. For steady state diffusion, the permeation method is discussed as the experimental methods. The different methods used for obtaining information on diffusivity are tabulated for comparisons.

Some contents have been Reproduced with permission of the American Chemical Society.
Some contents have been Reproduced by permission of The Royal Society of Chemistry.
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