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ISSN / EISSN : 2073-4360 / 2073-4360
Published by: MDPI (10.3390)
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Latest articles in this journal

Published: 27 November 2021
by MDPI
Abstract:
The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of fiber from buckwheat hull waste (BH) on the pasting, rheological, and textural properties of 4% and 5% (w/w) pastes and gels based on the potato starches with different amylose/amylopectin contents. The starch and starch/fiber mixtures were characterized by pasting and flow measurements as well as by viscoelastic and textural analysis. The pasting properties showed a greater BH effect (0.2%) on the gelatinization of PS than WPS. The starch gels and starch fiber mixtures showed biopolymer gel behavior. In the WPS/BH pastes, a smaller increase in hardness was noted compared to PS/BH.
Published: 27 November 2021
by MDPI
Abstract:
An aggressive impact of the formed ice on the surface of man-made objects can ultimately lead to serious consequences in their work. When icing occurs, the quality and characteristics of equipment, instruments, and building structures deteriorate, which affects the durability of their use. Delays in the adoption of measures against icing endanger the safety of air travel and road traffic. Various methods have been developed to combat de-icing, such as mechanical de-icing, the use of salts, the application of a hydrophobic coating to the surfaces, ultrasonic treatment and electric heating. In this review, we summarize the recent advances in the field of anti-icing and analyze the role of various additives and their operating mechanisms.
Published: 27 November 2021
by MDPI
Abstract:
Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) nanocomposites were fabricated by incorporating BaTiO3 nanoparticles (particle size of ~100 nm, nBT), which were deposited by Au nanoparticles (nAu) with an average particle size of 17.8 ± 4.0 nm using a modified Turkevich method. Systematic characterizations on the synthesized nAu-nBT hybrid nanoparticles and nAu-nBT/PVDF nanocomposites with different contents of a filler were performed. The formation of nAu-nBT hybrid nanoparticles was confirmed with the calculated nAu:nBT ratio of 0.5:99.5 wt.%. The homogeneous dispersion of nAu and nBT in the PVDF polymer was obtained due to the interaction between the negative surface charge of the nAu-nBT filler (compared to that of the nBT) and polar β-PVDF phase, which was confirmed by the zeta potential measurement and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, respectively. A significantly increased dielectric permittivity (ε′ ~ 120 at 103 Hz) with a slight temperature-dependent of <±15% ranging from −20 to 140 °C was obtained. Notably, a low loss tangent (tanδ < 0.08) was obtained even at a high temperature of 140 °C. Therefore, incorporating a PVDF polymer with nAu-nBT hybrid nanoparticles is an attractive method to improve the dielectric properties of a PVDF polymer for dielectrics applications.
Published: 27 November 2021
by MDPI
Abstract:
Thermally reversible self-healing polymer (SHP) electrolyte membranes are obtained by Diels-Alder cycloaddition and electrolyte embedding. The SHP electrolytes membranes are found to display high ionic conductivity, suitable flexibility, remarkable mechanical properties and self-healing ability. The decomposition potential of the SHP electrolyte membrane is about 4.8 V (vs. Li/Li+) and it possesses excellent electrochemical stability, better than that of the commercial PE film which is only stable up to 4.5 V (vs. Li/Li+). TGA results show that the SHP electrolyte membrane is thermally stable up to 280 °C in a nitrogen atmosphere. When the SHP electrolyte membrane is used as a separator in a lithium-ion battery with an LCO-based cathode, the SHP membrane achieved excellent rate capability and stable cycling for over 100 cycles, and the specific discharge capacity could be almost fully recovered after self-healing. Furthermore, the electrolyte membrane exhibits excellent electrochemical performance, suggesting its potential for application in lithium-ion batteries as separator material.
Published: 27 November 2021
by MDPI
Abstract:
In this work, studies are carried out to understand the crosslinking reaction of epoxidized natural rubber (50 mol% epoxy, ENR-50) by metal ion namely ferric ion (Fe3+, FeCl3, ferric chloride). It is found that a small amount of FeCl3 can cure ENR to a considerable extent. A direct interaction of the ferric ion with the epoxy group as well as internal polymerization enable the ENR to be cured in an efficient manner. It was also found that with the increased concentration of FeCl3, the crosslinking density of the matrix increased and therefore, the ENR offers higher mechanical properties (i.e., modulus and tensile strength). In addition, the glass transition temperature (tg) of ENR vulcanizate is increased with increasing concentration of FeCl3. Moreover, the thermal degradation temperature (Td) of the ENR-FeCl3 compound was shifted toward higher temperature as increasing concentration FeCl3.
Published: 27 November 2021
by MDPI
Abstract:
As is widely known, additive manufacturing (AM) allows very complex parts to be manufactured with porous structures at a relatively low cost and in relatively low manufacturing times. However, it is necessary to determine in a precise way the input values that allow better results to be obtained in terms of microgeometry, form errors, and dimensional error. In an earlier work, the influence of the process parameters on surface roughness obtained in fused filament fabrication (FFF) processes was analyzed. This present study focuses on form errors as well as on dimensional error of hemispherical cups, with a similar shape to that of the acetabular cup of hip prostheses. The specimens were 3D printed in polylactic acid (PLA). Process variables are nozzle diameter, temperature, layer height, print speed, and extrusion multiplier. Their influence on roundness, concentricity, and dimensional error is considered. To do this, adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference systems (ANFIS) models were used. It was observed that dimensional error, roundness, and concentricity depend mainly on the nozzle diameter and on layer height. Moreover, high nozzle diameter of 0.6 mm and high layer height of 0.3 mm are not recommended. A desirability function was employed along with the ANFIS models in order to determine the optimal manufacturing conditions. The main aim of the multi-objective optimization study was to minimize average surface roughness (Ra) and roundness, while dimensional error was kept within the interval . When the simultaneous optimization of both the internal and the external surface of the parts is performed, it is recommended that a nozzle diameter of 0.4 mm be used, to have a temperature of 197 °C, a layer height of 0.1 mm, a print speed of 42 mm/s, and extrusion multiplier of 94.8%. This study will help to determine the influence of the process parameters on the quality of the manufactured parts.
Published: 27 November 2021
by MDPI
Abstract:
Cancer is a disease that has resulted in millions of deaths worldwide. The current conventional therapies utilized for the treatment of cancer have detrimental side effects. This led scientific researchers to explore new therapeutic avenues with an improved benefit to risk profile. Researchers have found nanoparticles, particles between the 1 and 100 nm range, to be encouraging tools in the area of cancer. Magnetic nanoparticles are one of many available nanoparticles at present. Magnetic nanoparticles have increasingly been receiving a considerable amount of attention in recent years owing to their unique magnetic properties, among many others. Magnetic nanoparticles can be controlled by an external magnetic field, signifying their ability to be site specific. The most popular approaches for the synthesis of magnetic nanoparticles are co-precipitation, thermal decomposition, hydrothermal, and polyol synthesis. The functionalization of magnetic nanoparticles is essential as it significantly increases their biocompatibility. The most utilized functionalization agents are comprised of polymers. The synthesis and functionalization of magnetic nanoparticles will be further explored in this review. The biomedical applications of magnetic nanoparticles investigated in this review are drug delivery, magnetic hyperthermia, and diagnosis. The diagnosis aspect focuses on the utilization of magnetic nanoparticles as contrast agents in magnetic resonance imaging. Clinical trials and toxicology studies relating to the application of magnetic nanoparticles for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer will also be discussed in this review.
Published: 27 November 2021
by MDPI
Abstract:
Melamine (MA) and polyurethane (PU) foams, including both commercial sponges for daily use as well as newly synthesized foams are known for their high sorption ability of both polar and unipolar liquids. From this reason, commercial sponges are widely used for cleaning as they absorb a large amount of water, oil as well as their mixtures. These sponges do not preferentially absorb any of those components due to their balanced wettability. On the other hand, chemical and physical modifications of outer surfaces or in the bulk of the foams can significantly change their original wettability. These treatments ensure a suitable wettability of foams needed for an efficient water/oil or oil/water separation. MA and PU foams, dependently on the treatment, can be designed for both types of separations. The particular focus of this review is dealt with the separation of oil contaminants dispersed in water of various composition, however, an opposite case, namely a separation of water content from continuous oily phase is also discussed in some extent. In the former case, water is dominant, continuous phase and oil is dispersed within it at various concentrations, dependently on the source of polluted water. For example, waste waters associated with a crude oil, gas, shale gas extraction and oil refineries consist of oily impurities in the range from tens to thousands ppm [mg/L]. The efficient materials for preferential oil sorption should display significantly high hydrophobicity and oleophilicity and vice versa. This review is dealt with the various modifications of MA and PU foams for separating both oil in water and water in oil mixtures by identifying the chemical composition, porosity, morphology, and crosslinking parameters of the materials. Different functionalization strategies and modifications including the surface grafting with various functional species or by adding various nanomaterials in manipulating the surface properties and wettability are thoroughly reviewed. Despite the laboratory tests proved a multiply reuse of the foams, industrial applications are limited due to fouling problems, longer cleaning protocols and mechanical damages during performance cycles. Various strategies were proposed to resolve those bottlenecks, and they are also reviewed in this study.
Published: 27 November 2021
by MDPI
Abstract:
Recently, the antibacterial properties of Carvacrol (Carv) have been significantly reported. However, due to the unstable properties of Carv under various environment conditions, research approaches tailored towards its widespread and efficient use in various antimicrobial applications are scarce. Here, we discuss progress towards overcoming this challenge by utilising the encapsulation of Carv in gellan gum hydrogels to form thin films (GG-Carv) containing different concentrations of Carv (0.01–0.32 M). FTIR spectrum of GG-Carv revealed that both functional groups from GG and Carv existed. The carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen elemental analysis further supported the encapsulation of Carv with the changes in the element percentage of GG-Carv. Both swelling and degradation percentage increased with time and the decreasing patterns were observed as the concentration of Carv increased. In an antibacterial study, GG-Carv exhibited significant antibacterial activity against E. coli with the clear inhibition zone of 200 mm and the detection of bacterial growth showed enhancement with continuous decline throughout the study as compared to free-standing Carv.
Published: 27 November 2021
by MDPI
Abstract:
By continuously enhancing the blood flow, far-infrared (FIR) textile is anticipated to be a potential non-pharmacological therapy in patients with peripheral vascular disorders, for instance, patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) undergoing hemodialysis (HD) and experiencing vasculogenic erectile dysfunction (VED). Hence, we manufactured a novel polymer composite, namely, germanium-titanium-π (Ge-Ti-π) textile and aimed to evaluate its characteristics and quality. We also investigated the immediate and long-term effects of the textile on patients with ESRD undergoing HD and experiencing VED. The Ge-Ti-π textile was found to have 0.93 FIR emissivity, 3.05 g/d strength, and 18.98% elongation. The results also showed a 51.6% bacteria reduction and negative fungal growth. On application in patients receiving HD, the Ge-Ti-π textile significantly reduced the limb numbness/pain (p < 0.001) and pain score on the visual analog scale (p < 0.001). Moreover, the Doppler ultrasound assessment data indicated a significant enhancement of blood flow in the right hand after 1 week of Ge-Ti-π textile treatment (p < 0.041). In VED patients, the Ge-Ti-π underpants treatment significantly improved the quality of sexual function and increased the average penile blood flow velocity after 3 months of the treatment. Our study suggests that the Ge-Ti-π textile could be beneficial for patients with blood circulation disorders.
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