International Journal of Polymer Science The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Modification of Urushiol Derivatives by Liquid Crystal Epoxy Resin Sun, 30 Aug 2015 08:29:48 +0000 Urushiol derivatives have vast potentials for using as coating materials. However, the cured coatings are quite brittle, limiting their applications. In this study, urushiol-furfural (UFUR) was chosen as an example of urushiol derivatives and a liquid crystal (LC) epoxy resin, tetramethylbiphenyl diglycidyl ether (TMBPDE), was for the first time utilized to modify UFUR. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance showed the reactions between TMBPDE and UFUR after the UFUR/TMBPDE composite resin was cured. Differential scanning calorimetry analysis showed that the significantly increased after the addition of TMBPDE. Thermogravimetry analysis indicated that the cured UFUR/TMBPDE composite resin exhibited increasing thermodecomposition temperature as the TMBPDE concentration increased, indicating its great potential for high temperature applications. Moreover, the presence of TMBPDE enhanced the toughness of UFUR as observed by impact test and reflected in the morphologies observed from SEM images of fracture surfaces. It would also be novel and effective to modify urushiol derivatives by the LC polymer. Gongwen Tang, Zhishan Yan, Linrong Ma, and Xin Huang Copyright © 2015 Gongwen Tang et al. All rights reserved. Enzymatic Digestion and Mass Spectroscopies of N-Linked Glycans in Lacquer Stellacyanin from Rhus vernicifera Sun, 30 Aug 2015 06:17:22 +0000 Lacquer stellacyanin was isolated and purified from lacquer acetone powder by continuous Sephadex column chromatographies using Sephadex C-50, DEAE A-50, and C-50 gels. The purified lacquer stellacyanin had a blue color with one major and three minor bands around 26 k Dain SDS PAGE. Trypsin- and chymotrypsin-treated lacquer stellacyanins were examined by LC/MS/MS to determine three N-glycosylation sites (N28, N60, and N102) and were further analyzed by MALDI TOF MS, indicating that the N-linked glycans were attached to the three asparagine (Asn) sites, respectively. In addition, after trypsin digestion and PNGase A and PNGase F treatments to cleave N-linked glycans from the Asn sites, it was found that lacquer stellacyanin had a xylose containing a biantennary N-linked glycan with core fucosylation consisting of 13 sugar residues (a complex type N-linked glycan) by MALDI TOF MS analysis. This is the first report on the structure of an N-linked glycan in lacquer stellacyanin. Oyunjargal Tumurbaatar and Takashi Yoshida Copyright © 2015 Oyunjargal Tumurbaatar and Takashi Yoshida. All rights reserved. Preparation and Characterization of Urushiol Methylene Acetal Derivatives with Various Degrees of Unsaturation in Alkyl Side Chain Thu, 27 Aug 2015 14:04:47 +0000 Preparation of urushiol derivatives was carried out in response to the drug industry’s increasing demand for new synthetic anticancer agents. Urushiol methylene acetal derivatives were synthesized in high yields by reaction of urushiol with methylene chloride under the catalytic action of NaOH. Four kinds of urushiol methylene acetal monomers were separated by silica-gel column and preparative HPLC, and their structures were elucidated by extensive spectroscopic methods, including 1D-NMR and 2D-NMR (1H, 13C-NMR, 1H-1HCOSY, HSQC, and HMBC) as well as TOF-MS. They were identified as 3-[pentadecyl] benzene methylene ether (compound 1), 3-[8′-pentadecatrienyl] benzene methylene ether (compound 2), 3-[8′,11′-pentadecatrienyl] benzene methylene ether (compound 3), and 3-[8′,11′,14′-pentadecatrienyl] benzene methylene ether (compound 4). This research provides a theoretical reference for exploration of these interesting and potentially bioactive compounds. Chengzhang Wang, Yuanfeng He, Hao Zhou, Ran Tao, Hongxia Chen, Jianzhong Ye, and Yusi Zhang Copyright © 2015 Chengzhang Wang et al. All rights reserved. Simultaneous Organic and Inorganic Analysis of Colored Oriental Lacquerware by Pyrolysis-Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry Thu, 27 Aug 2015 13:52:44 +0000 Organic analysis and inorganic analysis are generally based on different physical principles, and for this reason it is difficult to analyze resins and pigments simultaneously. For these reasons, we have performed Py-GC/MS measurements of red-, yellow-, and green-colored lacquer films applied to lacquerware items to assess the feasibility of simultaneously detecting resin ingredients together with certain pigments. We have also compared our findings to the results of SEM-EDS, X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF), and X-ray diffractometry (XRD) measurements. XRD analysis yielded molecular-level information (information on binding states) regarding mercury (Hg) and iron (Fe); however, the information obtained for arsenic (As) and sulfur (S) was insufficient. In contrast, Py-GC/MS analyses simultaneously yielded molecular-level information on arsenic (As) and sulfur (S) together with detection of the primary ingredients of the lacquer. For this reason, it shows that several pieces of information is provided easily and quickly when the colored lacquer cultural heritage is measured using the Py-GC/MS method. Yoshimi Kamiya, Takayuki Honda, Atsushi Ohbuchi, and Tetsuo Miyakoshi Copyright © 2015 Yoshimi Kamiya et al. All rights reserved. Properties of Polymer-Composite Used as Fills of Asian Lacquerware: Issues on Restoration Processes of Lacquered Objects from Cultural Heritage Thu, 27 Aug 2015 13:47:05 +0000 One of the common problems encountered in lacquerware issued from cultural heritage is the appearance of lifting areas and some losses of material. Composite systems made of commercial polymer and different fills were tested as filling agents for the cracking, splitting, and losses compensation of Asian lacquer. For that purpose, the stability of traditional and modern commercially available materials usually used in the restoration practice of historical lacquerware was assessed. Their thermomechanical and chemical properties and surface state were evaluated by a set of techniques (TGA, DMA, mechanical test, contact angle value, and microtopography). There is a drastic change of the behavior of the interface between fill and Asian lacquer, dependent on the nature of the composite fillers. So the evaluation of materials and processes for the restoration of Asian lacquer were emphasized. The commercial Paraloid B72 used with glass microspheres as additives appeared to be the most stable of all of the investigated fillers. Anne-Solenn Le Hô, Isabelle Fabre-Francke, and Caroline Thiphavong Copyright © 2015 Anne-Solenn Le Hô et al. All rights reserved. Polymerization of Oriental Lacquer (Urushi) with Epoxidized Linseed Oil as a New Reactive Diluent Thu, 27 Aug 2015 13:43:54 +0000 A hybrid lacquer (HBL) paint prepared by combining a natural kurome lacquer (KL) paint and an amino silane reagent, for example, N-(2-aminoethyl)-3-aminopropyl triethoxysilane (AATES), produced a polymerized film faster than the KL paint alone. However, the viscosity of the HBL paint was too viscous for easy handling. Addition of 10 wt% of an epoxidized linseed oil, ELO-6, with 6.4 mol% epoxidation as a reactive diluent to the HBL paint decreased the viscosity by 1/2 from 25476 mPas to 12841 mPas and improved the ease of coatability. The polymerization mechanism was elucidated by NMR measurements of extracts from the resulting polymerization films, suggesting that amino groups in the HBL paint reacted with epoxy groups of ELO-6 in the lacquer matrix, and then the complex reacted with double bonds of the urushiol side-chain by autooxidation and cross-linking reactions to give a hard polymerized film with a high quality of color and gloss. These results indicate that the addition of ELO-6 improved the polymerizability of both KL and HBL paints without decreasing the quality of the resulting films. Takahisa Ishimura and Takashi Yoshida Copyright © 2015 Takahisa Ishimura and Takashi Yoshida. All rights reserved. Prepolymerization of Lacquer Sap under Pure Oxygen Atmosphere and Its Effects on the Properties of Lacquer Film Thu, 27 Aug 2015 13:17:23 +0000 A series of lacquer saps were prepared by prepolymerization under oxygen atmosphere. The prepolymerization process was investigated by GPC, UV-Vis, FT-IR, NMR, and microscope. The results showed that the polymerization of urushiol monomer was accelerated. The content of monomer in the lacquer sap swiftly decreased from 82.68% to 47.75% in 0.5 h. The mechanism of polymerization was complex and was involved in the coupling reaction of phenyl ring, the addition reaction of the unsaturated carbon-carbon double bond groups with urushiol hydroxyl groups, and other reactions that occurred on the side chains. In addition, the prepolymerization also improved significantly the drying property of lacquer film, especially at low relative humidity. At the same time, the sizes of the water drops in the lacquer saps significantly decreased with increasing the stirring time and the surface of lacquer film became smoother, which resulted in its excellent gloss (109–125). Due to the prepolymerization, the pencil hardness and the thermal stability of lacquer film were slightly improved as well. Jianhong Yang, Jianfeng Zhu, Wanghui Liu, Jianping Deng, and Yuanyuan Ding Copyright © 2015 Jianhong Yang et al. All rights reserved. Characterization of Vietnamese Lacquer Collected in Different Seasons Thu, 27 Aug 2015 13:12:43 +0000 Vietnamese lacquers collected every month from June to March of next year were characterized. Composition analysis showed that lacquer collected in rainy season contained much water, while those collected in dry season contained more lipid component. Although hardness of lacquer films is not very hard, lacquers tapped in all seasons can reach hard dry (HD) within 48 hours. Refining lacquer can accelerate drying time but the water concentration should be maintained around 10 wt% for laccase activity. Rong Lu, Kenichiro Anzai, Bach Trong Phuc, and Tetsuo Miyakoshi Copyright © 2015 Rong Lu et al. All rights reserved. Use of Rubber Process Analyzer for Characterizing the Molecular Weight Parameters of Natural Rubber Wed, 26 Aug 2015 13:33:18 +0000 The aim of this work is to introduce a simple and rapid method for characterizing the molecular weight parameters and other molecular structure parameters of natural rubber (NR) using a rubber process analyzer (RPA). In this work, NR of different molecular weights was prepared by milling. Molecular weight parameters were measured by gel permeation chromatography coupled with laser light scattering (GPC-LLS) for comparison with RPA results. It was verified that increasing of milling time leads to a decrease of the number-average molecular weight (), weight-average molecular weight (), and molecular weight distribution (MWD). The dynamic and rheological properties were evaluated on RPA by tests of strain sweep, frequency sweep, and stress relaxation. These results were used to characterize the average molecular weight, MWD, and viscosity of NR and were found to agree with those from GPC-LLS. This convenient and rapid technology for characterizing NR molecular weight parameters would be especially useful in the elastomer industry. Tianming Gao, Ruihong Xie, Linghong Zhang, Hongxing Gui, and Maofang Huang Copyright © 2015 Tianming Gao et al. All rights reserved. An Efficient Process for Pretreatment of Lignocelluloses in Functional Ionic Liquids Tue, 25 Aug 2015 09:09:24 +0000 Background and Aims. The complex structure of the lignocelluloses is the main obstacle in the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into valuable products. Ionic liquids provide the opportunities for their efficient pretreatment for biomass. Therefore, in this work, pretreatment of corn stalk was carried out in ultrasonic-assisted ionic liquid including 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride [BMIM]Cl, 1-H-3-methylimidazolium chloride [HMIM]Cl, and 1-(1-propylsulfonic)-3-imidazolium chloride [HSO3-pMIM]Cl at 70°C for 2 h. We compared the pretreatments by ionic liquid with and without the addition of deionized water. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were employed to analyze the chemical characteristics of regenerated cellulose-rich materials. Results. [HMIM]Cl and [HSO3-pMIM]Cl were effective in lignin extraction to obtain cellulose-rich materials. FTIR analysis and SEM analysis indicated the effective lignin removal and the reduced crystallinity of cellulose-rich materials. Enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose-rich materials was performed efficiently. High yields of reducing sugar and glucose were obtained when the corn stalk was pretreated by [HMIM]Cl and [HSO3-pMIM]Cl. Conclusions. Ionic liquids provided the ideal environment for lignin extraction and enzymatic hydrolysis of corn stalk and [HMIM]Cl and [HSO3-pMIM]Cl proved the most efficient ionic liquids. This simple and environmentally acceptable method has a great potential for the preparation of bioethanol for industrial production. Shi-Jia Dong, Bi-Xian Zhang, Yun-Fei Gao, and Xiao-Mei Hu Copyright © 2015 Shi-Jia Dong et al. All rights reserved. Synthesis and Properties of High Strength Thin Film Composites of Poly(ethylene Oxide) and PEO-PMMA Blend with Cetylpyridinium Chloride Modified Clay Wed, 19 Aug 2015 14:31:15 +0000 Ion-conducting thin film composites of polymer electrolytes were prepared by mixing high MW poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO), poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) as a polymer matrix, cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) modified MMT as filler, and different content of LiClO4 by using solution cast method. The crystallinity, ionic conductivity (), and mechanical properties of the composite electrolytes and blend composites were evaluated by using XRD, AC impedance, and UTM studies, respectively. The modification of clay by CPC showed enhancement in the d-spacing. The loading of clay has effect on crystallinity of PEO systems. Blend composites showed better mechanical properties. Young’s modulus and elongation at break values showed increase with salt and clay incorporation in pure PEO. The optimum composition composite of PEO with 3.5 wt% of salt and 3.3 wt% of CPMMT exhibited better performance. Mohammad Saleem Khan and Sabiha Sultana Copyright © 2015 Mohammad Saleem Khan and Sabiha Sultana. All rights reserved. Improvement of Interfacial Shear Strength of Mendong Fiber (Fimbristylis globulosa) Reinforced Epoxy Composite Using the AC Electric Fields Wed, 19 Aug 2015 08:12:05 +0000 The effects of the AC electric field treatment on the interfacial shear strength of mendong fiber-reinforced epoxy composites were investigated. For this purpose, the epoxy (DGEBA) with a cycloaliphatic amine curing agent was treated by the AC electric field during the curing process. The heat generated during the epoxy polymerization process was monitored. Structure of the epoxy was studied by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and Scanning Electron Microscope, respectively. The interfacial shear strength (IFSS) was also measured using a single fiber pull-out test. XRD analyzes indicated that the treatment of AC electric fields was able to form a crystalline phase of epoxy. IFSS of the mendong fiber-reinforced epoxy composites was optimum increased by 38% in the AC electric fields treatment of 750 V/cm. Heru Suryanto, Eko Marsyahyo, Yudy Surya Irawan, Rudy Soenoko, and Aminudin Copyright © 2015 Heru Suryanto et al. All rights reserved. Modification Effect of Cellulase on the Physicochemical Characteristic of Polysaccharides Edible Films Sun, 16 Aug 2015 12:35:48 +0000 This study was conducted to assess hydrolytic influence of cellulase (C) on the physicochemical stability of chitosan (CH)/hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) films in time of storage (T). Initially, nine films were physically characterized by contact angle, water vapour permeability (WVP), water activity , tensile test, dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and chemically by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometry (FTIR). The contact angle results varied from 53.67° to 78.33°. The presence of the enzyme and passing time reduced the WVP from to  g/s·m·Pa. The enzyme treatment improved elasticity but decreased tensile strength of films. After adding cellulase was shifted to a higher temperature. Thermal stability of the films decreased with addition of cellulase and after prolonging storage time. FTIR analysis proved that chemical changes in polysaccharides structure were caused by cellulase incorporation in films composition, which may be observed in appearance of 1656 cm−1 band. The values did not change. Anna Zimoch-Korzycka, Jagoda Ambrozik-Haba, Dominika Kulig, and Andrzej Jarmoluk Copyright © 2015 Anna Zimoch-Korzycka et al. All rights reserved. Investigation of Optimum Polymerization Conditions for Synthesis of Cross-Linked Polyacrylamide-Amphoteric Surfmer Nanocomposites for Polymer Flooding in Sandstone Reservoirs Thu, 06 Aug 2015 17:05:32 +0000 Currently enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technology is getting more attention by many countries since energy crises are getting worse and frightening. Polymer flooding by hydrophobically associated polyacrylamides (HAPAM) and its modified silica nanocomposite are a widely implemented technique through enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technology. This polymers class can be synthesized by copolymerization of acrylamide (AM), reactive surfmer, functionalized silica nanoparticles, and a hydrophobic cross-linker moiety in the presence of water soluble initiator via heterogeneous emulsion polymerization technique, to form latexes that can be applied during polymer flooding. Chemical structure of the prepared copolymers was proven through different techniques such as Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and nuclear magnetic spectroscopy (1H&13C-NMR), and molecular weight was measured by gel permeation chromatography. Study of the effects of monomer, surfmer, cross-linker, silica, and initiator concentrations as well as reaction temperature was investigated to determine optimum polymerization conditions through single factor and orthogonal experiments. Evaluation of the prepared copolymers for enhancing recovered oil amount was evaluated by carrying out flooding experiments on one-dimensional sandstone model to determine recovery factor. A. N. El-hoshoudy, S. E. M. Desouky, M. Y. Elkady, A. M. Alsabagh, M. A. Betiha, and S. Mahmoud Copyright © 2015 A. N. El-hoshoudy et al. All rights reserved. Studies on Hydrogenation of Liquid Natural Rubber Using Diimide Wed, 22 Jul 2015 07:01:55 +0000 Liquid natural rubber (LNR) is a depolymerized natural rubber (NR) which consists of shorter polymeric chains and lower molecular weight (). Hydrogenated LNR (HLNR) was synthesized via the thermal decomposition of p-toluenesulfonyl hydrazide (TSH) or 2,4,6-trimethylbenzenesulfonyl hydrazide (MSH). The LNR and HLNR structures were characterized by Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopies. The percentage of hydrogenation was calculated from NMR spectrum. The optimum percentage of hydrogenation (>90%) was achieved by manipulating the reaction parameters such as sources of diimide, TSH concentration, solvent, and reaction time. The optimum condition was 3 : 1 weight ratio of TSH/LNR in o-xylene at 130°C in 4-hour reaction period. Nur Hanis Adila Azhar, Naharullah Jamaluddin, Hamizah Md Rasid, Muhammad Jefri Mohd Yusof, and Siti Fairus M. Yusoff Copyright © 2015 Nur Hanis Adila Azhar et al. All rights reserved. Thiomers: A Blessing to Evaluating Era of Pharmaceuticals Sun, 05 Jul 2015 10:51:55 +0000 Thiomers are the polymers modified for the mucoadhesive properties and other additive properties by incorporating thiol moieties in the backbone of the unmodified polymeric chain by substitution reactions or simple oxidation reactions. Drugs that are less soluble and permeable can be complexed with thiomers for their increased absorption through the mucosal membranes by increase in contact time and prolonged stay in body due to mucoadhesion. Immobilization of thiol group therefore increases the mucoadhesive properties of the modified polymer by 2–140-folds. The prepared thiomers are characterized and made stable by different techniques. Thiomers also give the controlled delivery of the active pharmaceutical ingredients in the body. Different polymers that are modified by thiolation are chitosan, polyacrylic acid, sodium alginate, sodium carboxy methyl cellulose, guar gum, and so forth. Thiomeric formulations are a challenge to deliver drugs with low therapeutic compatibility. Micro- and nanopreparations containing thiomers can be prepared by different techniques such as covalent crosslinking, in situ gelation, radical emulsion polymerization, and emulsification. Nowadays thiomers have wide range of applications as a promising pharmaceutical excipient in the evaluating era of pharmaceutical technology. Muhammad Hanif, Muhammad Zaman, and Sundas Qureshi Copyright © 2015 Muhammad Hanif et al. All rights reserved. Tensile Behavior of Polyetheretherketone over a Wide Range of Strain Rates Thu, 25 Jun 2015 05:57:20 +0000 Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) is used in several engineering applications where it has to bear impact loads. Nevertheless, the tensile behavior has only been studied in the quasi-static range of loading rates. To address the lack of data in the impact strain rate range, the tensile mechanical behavior of PEEK is investigated at room temperature over a large range of strain rates (from 0.001 to 1000/s). The macroscopic volume change is studied under uniaxial tension using digital image correlation (DIC) method, showing a significant dilatation that reaches 16% at a logarithmic axial strain of 40%. The true stress-strain behavior is therefore established based on the measured volume change. Elsewhere, the yield stress shows a significant sensitivity to strain rate. Besides, a new constitutive equation is proposed to take into account the increase in strain rate sensitivity at high strain rates. It assumes an apparent activation volume which decreases as the strain rate increases. The new constitutive equation gives similar results when compared to the Ree-Eyring equation. However, only three material constants are to be identified and are physically interpreted. Zakaria El-Qoubaa and Ramzi Othman Copyright © 2015 Zakaria El-Qoubaa and Ramzi Othman. All rights reserved. Keggin-Type Heteropolyacid for Ring-Opening Polymerization of Cyclohexene Oxide: Molecular Weight Control Mon, 22 Jun 2015 06:02:20 +0000 Polymerization of 1,2-cyclohexene oxide (CHO) in dichloromethane was catalyzed by 12-tungstophosphoric acid (H3PW12O40·13H2O) as a super solid acid. The effect of polymerization parameters such as reaction time, temperature, and catalyst amount was investigated. The effect of acetic anhydride as a ring-opening agent was also investigated. The resulting poly(1,2-cyclohexene oxide) (PCHO) was characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1HNMR), gel-permeation chromatography (GPC), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). It has been found that the PCHO prepared over H3PW12O40·13H2O has a stereoregularity higher than that prepared over clay and Aluminium alkoxide catalysts. The value obtained is due to the microstructure but not to molecular weight. The yield and the molecular weight of the polymer depend strongly on the reaction conditions. Molecular weights can be readily controlled by changing reaction temperature, reaction time, and catalyst amount. Contrary to most polymerization reactions, the molecular weight increases with the temperature increase. Addition of acetic anhydride to the reaction medium increased the yield threefold. Ahmed Aouissi, Zeid Abdullah Al-Othman, and Abdurrahman Salhabi Copyright © 2015 Ahmed Aouissi et al. All rights reserved. Sulfated Alkyl Glucopyranans with Potent Antiviral Activity Synthesized by Ring-Opening Copolymerization of Anhydroglucose and Alkyl Anhydroglucose Monomers Wed, 17 Jun 2015 11:06:28 +0000 Sulfated glucopyranans having long alkyl groups were prepared by the ring-opening copolymerization of benzylated 1,6-anhydroglucopyranose with 3-O-octadecyl 1,6-anhydro-β-D-glucopyranose monomers, and subsequent deprotection and sulfation. Water-soluble sulfated glucopyranans with 2.8 and 4.7 mol% of 3-O-octadecyl group and lower molecular weights of = 2.5 × 103–5.1 × 103 have potent anti-HIV activity at 0.05–1.25 μg/mL, even though sulfated polysaccharides with molecular weights below = 6 × 103 had low anti-HIV activity. The interaction with poly-L-lysine as a model compound of proteins was analyzed by SPR, DSL, and zeta potential, indicating that the sulfated 3-O-octadecyl glucopyranans had high association and low dissociation rate constants, and the particle size increased after addition of poly-L-lysine. The anti-HIV activity was induced by electrostatic interaction between sulfate groups and amino groups of poly-L-lysine and by the synergistic effect of the hydrophobic long alkyl chain and hydrophilic sulfated group. Shiming Bai, Davaanyam Budragchaa, Shuqin Han, Taisei Kanamoto, Hideki Nakashima, and Takashi Yoshida Copyright © 2015 Shiming Bai et al. All rights reserved. Chemical and Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Polyurethane/Polylactide Blends Sun, 14 Jun 2015 08:00:44 +0000 Polyether-esterurethanes containing synthetic poly[(R,S)-3-hydroxybutyrate] (R,S-PHB) and polyoxytetramethylenediol in soft segments and polyesterurethanes with poly(ε-caprolactone) and poly[(R,S)-3-hydroxybutyrate] were blended with poly([D,L]-lactide) (PLA). The products were tested in terms of their oil and water absorption. Oil sorption tests of polyether-esterurethane revealed their higher response in comparison to polyesterurethanes. Blending of polyether-esterurethanes with PLA caused the increase of oil sorption. The highest water sorption was observed for blends of polyether-esterurethane, obtained with 10% of R,S-PHB in soft segments. The samples mass of polyurethanes and their blends were almost not changed after incubation in phosphate buffer and trypsin and lipase solutions. Nevertheless the molecular weight of polymers was significantly reduced after degradation. It was especially visible in case of incubation of samples in phosphate buffer what suggested the chemical hydrolysis of polymer chains. The changes of surface of polyurethanes and their blends, after incubation in both enzymatic solutions, indicated on enzymatic degradation, which had been started despite the lack of mass lost. Polyurethanes and their blends, contained more R,S-PHB in soft segments, were degraded faster. Joanna Brzeska, Aleksandra Heimowska, Wanda Sikorska, Lidia Jasińska-Walc, Marek Kowalczuk, and Maria Rutkowska Copyright © 2015 Joanna Brzeska et al. All rights reserved. Interaction Studies between Newly Synthesized Photosensitive Polymer and Ionic Liquids Wed, 10 Jun 2015 13:37:46 +0000 In this information age, different kinds of photosensitive materials have been used in the manufacture of information storage devices. But these photosensitive materials have the bane of low diffraction efficiency. In order to solve this problem, we have synthesized a novel photosensitive polymer from epoxy-based azopolymers (with three types of azochromophores). Furthermore, we have studied the interaction between this newly synthesized azopolymer and ionic liquids (ILs). For this purpose, we have used the ammonium and imidazolium families of ILs, such as diethylammonium dihydrogen phosphate (DEAP), tributylammonium methyl sulfate (TBMS), triethylammonium 4-aminotoluene-3-sulfonic acid (TASA), and 1-methylimidazolium chloride ([Mim]Cl). To investigate the molecular interaction between azopolymer and ILs, we have used the following spectroscopic methods of analysis: UV-visible spectroscopy, photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy, Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and confocal Raman spectroscopy. In this study, we have developed new photosensitive materials by combining polymer with ILs. In Tae Kim, Gi-Chung Kwon, Eun Ha Choi, Seung-Hyun Lee, Young Sun Kim, Jong Hyun Kim, Ju Hyon Cha, Sung Ho Kim, and Pankaj Attri Copyright © 2015 In Tae Kim et al. All rights reserved. Flame-Retardant and Thermal Degradation Mechanism of Caged Phosphate Charring Agent with Melamine Pyrophosphate for Polypropylene Tue, 09 Jun 2015 16:28:01 +0000 An efficient caged phosphate charring agent named PEPA was synthesized and combined with melamine pyrophosphate (MPP) to flame-retard polypropylene (PP). The effects of MPP/PEPA on the flame retardancy and thermal degradation of PP were investigated by limiting oxygen index (LOI), vertical burning test (UL-94), cone calorimetric test (CCT), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). It was found that PEPA showed an outstanding synergistic effect with MPP in flame retardant PP. When the content of PEPA was 13.3 wt% and MPP was 6.7 wt%, the LOI value of the flame retardant PP was 33.0% and the UL-94 test was classed as a V-0 rating. Meanwhile, the peak heat release rate (PHRR), average heat release rate (AV-HRR), and average mass loss rate (AV-MLR) of the mixture were significantly reduced. The flame-retardant and thermal degradation mechanism of MPP/PEPA was investigated by TGA, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), TG-FTIR, and scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM-EDXS). It revealed that MPP/PEPA could generate the triazine oligomer and phosphorus-containing compound radicals which changed the thermal degradation behavior of PP. Meanwhile, a compact and thermostable intumescent char was formed and covered on the matrix surface to prevent PP from degrading and burning. Xuejun Lai, Jiedong Qiu, Hongqiang Li, Xingrong Zeng, Shuang Tang, Ye Chen, and Zhen Chen Copyright © 2015 Xuejun Lai et al. All rights reserved. Structure and Electrical Study of New Chemically Modified Poly(vinyl chloride) Mon, 08 Jun 2015 13:24:22 +0000 The aim of this work was to study the structural and electrical properties of a new polymer obtained by functionalization of a commercial poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC) (Mw = 48000) by grafting aminoalkyl and aminoaryl groups. Modified poly(vinyl chloride) was prepared in two steps. The structural properties of the polymer were systematically investigated by varieties of techniques as differential scanning calorimetric (DSC), thermogravimetry analysis (TG), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The electrical properties of the polymer were studied by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). F. Ammari, M. Dardouri, M. Kahlaoui, and F. Meganem Copyright © 2015 F. Ammari et al. All rights reserved. Electrospun Fibers of Enteric Polymer for Controlled Drug Delivery Mon, 08 Jun 2015 08:51:32 +0000 The production of electrospun fibers of enteric polymer for controlled delivery of drugs represents a simple and low cost procedure with promising advantages relative to the longer therapeutic window provided by cylindrical geometry in association with intrinsic properties of pH-dependent drug carriers. In this work, we have explored the incorporation of additives (block copolymers of poly(ethylene)-b-poly(ethylene oxide)) into matrix of Eudragit L-100 and the effective action of hybrid composites on delivery of nifedipine, providing improvement in the overall process of controlled release of loaded drug. Fábia F. P. da Costa, Evando S. Araújo, Marcio L. F. Nascimento, and Helinando P. de Oliveira Copyright © 2015 Fábia F. P. da Costa et al. All rights reserved. Polymers for Cardiovascular Stent Coatings Mon, 08 Jun 2015 07:10:06 +0000 Polymers have found widespread applications in cardiology, in particular in coronary vascular intervention as stent platforms (scaffolds) and coating matrices for drug-eluting stents. Apart from permanent polymers, current research is focussing on biodegradable polymers. Since they degrade once their function is fulfilled, their use might contribute to the reduction of adverse events like in-stent restenosis, late stent-thrombosis, and hypersensitivity reactions. After reviewing current literature concerning polymers used for cardiovascular applications, this review deals with parameters of tissue and blood cell functions which should be considered to evaluate biocompatibility of stent polymers in order to enhance physiological appropriate properties. The properties of the substrate on which vascular cells are placed can have a large impact on cell morphology, differentiation, motility, and fate. Finally, methods to assess these parameters under physiological conditions will be summarized. Anne Strohbach and Raila Busch Copyright © 2015 Anne Strohbach and Raila Busch. All rights reserved. The Characterization of Fish (Tilapia) Collagen Sponge as a Biomaterial Mon, 08 Jun 2015 07:06:00 +0000 For scaffold manufacturing, the utility of bioactive natural organic materials derived from marine products is useful and indispensable as an alternative to bovine collagen. The weakest feature of fish collagen for scaffold application is its low degeneration temperature (), indicating poor stability of fish collagen in mammals in vivo. We have focused on the tropical fish tilapia as a candidate for generating a clinical scaffold. The aim of this study was to confirm the of tilapia type I atelocollagen (TAC) for biomedical application. Furthermore, the physical and structural properties were investigated and evaluated as a scaffold on a sponge form. Different concentrations {0.5%, 1.0%, and 2.0% (v/v)} of TAC solution were analyzed. Differential scanning calorimetry showed that the of TAC was 35-36°C. The scanning electron microscopy results indicated that the pore size (90–160 μm) of TAC sponges is acceptable for cell proliferation. The tensile strength of porous sponges was in the range of 0.01–0.07 MPa. These findings indicate that the TAC sponge prepared from tilapia is one of candidates as a scaffold. The 1.0% (v/v) concentration of TAC solution is especially recommended to be advantageous for preparing and handling the solution and for sponge formation. Kohei Yamamoto, Yuu Yoshizawa, Kajiro Yanagiguchi, Takeshi Ikeda, Shizuka Yamada, and Yoshihiko Hayashi Copyright © 2015 Kohei Yamamoto et al. All rights reserved. Preparation and In Vitro Release of Drug-Loaded Microparticles for Oral Delivery Using Wholegrain Sorghum Kafirin Protein Mon, 08 Jun 2015 06:42:14 +0000 Kafirin microparticles have been proposed as an oral nutraceutical and drug delivery system. This study investigates microparticles formed with kafirin extracted from white and raw versus cooked red sorghum grains as an oral delivery system. Targeted delivery to the colon would be beneficial for medication such as prednisolone, which is used in the management of inflammatory bowel disease. Therefore, prednisolone was loaded into microparticles of kafirin from the different sources using phase separation. Differences were observed in the protein content, in vitro protein digestibility, and protein electrophoretic profile of the various sources of sorghum grains, kafirin extracts, and kafirin microparticles. For all of the formulations, the majority of the loaded prednisolone was not released in in vitro conditions simulating the upper gastrointestinal tract, indicating that most of the encapsulated drug could reach the target area of the lower gastrointestinal tract. This suggests that these kafirin microparticles may have potential as a colon-targeted nutraceutical and drug delivery system. Esther T. L. Lau, Stuart K. Johnson, Roger A. Stanley, Deirdre Mikkelsen, Zhongxiang Fang, Peter J. Halley, and Kathryn J. Steadman Copyright © 2015 Esther T. L. Lau et al. All rights reserved. Cationization of Alpha-Cellulose to Develop New Sustainable Products Thu, 04 Jun 2015 16:42:33 +0000 Papermaking has been using high quantities of retention agents, mainly cationic substances and organic compounds such as polyamines. The addition of these agents is related to economic and environmental issues, increasing contamination of the effluents. The aim of this work is to develop a cationic polymer for papermaking purposes based on the utilization of alpha-cellulose. The cationization of mercerized alpha-cellulose with 3-chloro-2-hydroxypropyltrimethylammonium chloride (CHPTAC) is governed by a pseudo-second-order reaction. The initial amorphous fraction of cellulose is reacted with CHPTAC until the equilibrium value of nitrogen substitution is reached. Nitrogen is incorporated as a quaternary ammonium group in the polymer. Also, the kinetic constant increased with decreasing crystallinity index, showing the importance of the previous alkalization stage. The use of modified natural polysaccharides is a sustainable alternative to synthetic, nonbiodegradable polyelectrolytes and thus is desirable with a view to developing new products and new processes. Ana Moral, Roberto Aguado, Menta Ballesteros, and Antonio Tijero Copyright © 2015 Ana Moral et al. All rights reserved. Correlation between Cohesive Energy Density, Fractional Free Volume, and Gas Transport Properties of Poly(ethylene-co-vinyl acetate) Materials Thu, 04 Jun 2015 11:25:26 +0000 The transport properties of the poly(ethylene-co-vinyl acetate) (EVA) materials to He, N2, O2, and CO2 are correlated with two polymer molecular structure parameters, that is, cohesive energy density (CED) and fractional free volume (FFV), determined by the group contribution method. In our preceding paper, the attempt was made to approximate EVA permeability using a linear function of 1/FFV as predicted by the free volume theory. However, the deviations from this relationship appeared to be significant. In this paper, it is shown that permeation of gas molecules is controlled not only by free volume but also by the polymer cohesive energy. Moreover, the behavior of CO2 was found to differ significantly from that of other gases. In this instance, the correlation is much better when diffusivity instead of permeability is taken into account in a modified transport model. Piotr Kubica and Aleksandra Wolinska-Grabczyk Copyright © 2015 Piotr Kubica and Aleksandra Wolinska-Grabczyk. All rights reserved. The Mechanical Properties of a Poly(methyl methacrylate) Denture Base Material Modified with Dimethyl Itaconate and Di-n-butyl Itaconate Thu, 04 Jun 2015 09:00:35 +0000 This study investigates a wide range of clinically relevant mechanical properties of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) denture base materials modified with di-methyl itaconate (DMI) and di-n-butyl itaconate (DBI) in order to compare them to a commercial PMMA denture base material. The commercial denture base formulation was modified with DMI and DBI by replacing up to 10 wt% of methyl methacrylate (MMA) monomer. The specimens were prepared by standard bath curing process. The influence of the itaconate content on hardness, impact strength, tensile, and thermal and dynamic mechanical properties was investigated. It is found that the addition of di-n-alkyl itaconates gives homogenous blends that show decreased glass transition temperature, as well as decrease in storage modulus, ultimate tensile strength, and impact fracture resistance with increase in the itaconate content. The mean values of surface hardness show no significant change with the addition of itaconates. The magnitude of the measured values indicates that the poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) denture base material modified with itaconates could be developed into a less toxic, more environmentally and patient friendly product than commercial pure PMMA denture base material. Pavle Spasojevic, Milorad Zrilic, Vesna Panic, Dragoslav Stamenkovic, Sanja Seslija, and Sava Velickovic Copyright © 2015 Pavle Spasojevic et al. All rights reserved.