We demonstrate a polymer resonator microfluidic biosensor that overcomes the complex manufacturing procedures required to fabricate traditional devices. In this new format, we show that a gapless light coupling photonic configuration, fabricated in SU8 polymer, can achieve high sensitivity, label-free chemical sensing in solution and high sensitivity biological sensing, at visible wavelengths.
Exposure of synthetic dye, such as methylene blue (MB), in water bodies led to a serious threat to living things because they are toxic and non-degradable. Amongst the introduced dye removal methods, membrane separation process can be considered a powerful technique for treating dye contamination. However, this method commonly suffered from drawbacks, such as short membrane lifetime, low permeability and selectivity. To overcome these issues, graphene oxide (GO) and titanium dioxide (TiO2) were used as additives to fabricate polyethersulfone (PES)- and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF)-based hybrid membranes via non-solvent-induced phase separation method. Prior to membrane fabrication, GO was synthesised via electrochemical exfoliation method assisted by customised triple-tail surfactant. The potential of PES- and PVDF-based hybrid membranes for wastewater treatment has been discussed widely. However, direct comparison between these two polymeric membranes is not critically discussed for MB dye separation application yet. Therefore, this study is aimed at evaluating the performance of different types of polymers (e.g. PES and PVDF) in terms of membrane morphology, properties, dye rejection and antifouling ability. Results showed that the incorporation of GO and TiO2 alters the morphology of the fabricated membranes and affects dye rejection further, as well as their antifouling performance. In contrast with pristine membrane, PES-GO/TiO2 and PVDF-GO/TiO2 possessed high hydrophilicity, as indicated by their low contact angle (67.38° and 62.12°, respectively). Based on this study, PVDF-GO/TiO2 showed higher porosity value (94.88%), permeability (87.32 L/m2hMPa) and MB rejection rate (92.63%), as well as flux recovery ratio value of > 100% as compared with others. Overall, the incorporation of GO and TiO2 with PVDF polymer are proven to be effective hybrid materials of membrane fabrication for dye rejection application in the near future. The polymer material's intrinsic properties can affect the attributes of the fabricated membrane.
Carbohydrate polymers-based surface-modified nano-delivery systems have gained significant attention in recent years for enhancing targeted delivery to colon cancer. These systems leverage carbohydrate polymers' unique properties, such as biocompatibility, biodegradability, and controlled release. These properties make them suitable candidates for drug delivery applications. Nano-delivery systems loaded with bioactive compounds are well-studied for targeted colorectal cancer delivery. However, those drugs' target reach is still limited in various nano-delivery systems. To overcome this limitation, surface modification of nanoparticles with carbohydrate polymers like chitosan, pectin, alginate, and guar gum showed enhanced target-reaching capacity along with enhanced anticancer efficacy. Recently, a chitosan-decorated PLGA nanoparticle was constructed with tannic acid and vitamin E and showed long-term release of specific targets along with higher anticancer efficacy. Similarly, Chitosan-conjugated glucuronic acid-coated silica nanoparticles loaded with capecitabine were studied against colon cancer and found to be the pH-responsive controlled release of capecitabine with higher anticancer efficacy. Surface-modified carbohydrate polymers have promising potential for improving colon cancer target delivery. By leveraging the unique properties of these polymers, such as surface modification, pH responsiveness, mucoadhesion, controlled drug release, and combination therapy, researchers are working toward developing more effective and targeted treatment strategies for colon cancer.
Postoperative bleeding following cardiac surgeries is still an issue that deranges the medical resources and cost. The oral and injection administrations of blood coagulation protein, Factor VII (FVII), is effective to stop the bleeding. However, its short half-life has limited the effectiveness of this treatment and frequent FVII intake may distress the patients. Instead, incorporating FVII into synthetic biodegradable polymers such as polycaprolactone (PCL) that is commonly used in drug delivery applications should provide a solution. Therefore, this study aimed to immobilize FVII on PCL membranes through a cross-linkage polydopamine (PDA) grafting as an intermediate layer. These membranes are intended to provide a solution for cardiac bleeding in coagulating blood and sealing the sutured region. The membranes were evaluated in terms of its physio-chemical properties, thermal behavior, FVII release profile and biocompatibility properties. The ATR-FTIR was used to analyze the chemical functionalities of the membranes. Further validation was done with XPS where the appearances of 0.45 ± 0.06% sulfur composition and C-S peak have confirmed the immobilization of FVII on the PCL membranes. The cross-linked FVIIs were viewed in spherical immobilization on the PCL membranes with a size range between 30 and 210 nm. The surface roughness and hydrophilicity of the membranes were enhanced with a slight shift of melting temperature. The PCL-PDA-FVII0.03 and PCL-PDA-FVII0.05 membranes, with wide area of FVII immobilization released approximately only 22% of FVII into the solution within 60 days period and, it is found that the PCL-PDA-FVIIx membranes projected the Higuchi release model with non-Fickian anomalous transport. While the cytotoxic and hemocompatibility analyses showed advance cell viability, identical coagulation time and low hemolysis ratio on the PCL-PDA-FVIIx membranes. The erythrocytes were viewed in polyhedrocyte coagulated structure under SEM visualization. These results validate the biocompatibility of the membranes and its ability to prolong blood coagulation, thus highlighting its potential application as cardiac bleeding sealant.
Enzymes of commercial importance, such as lipase, amylase, laccase, phytase, carbonic anhydrase, pectinase, maltase, glucose oxidase etc., show multifunctional features and have been extensively used in several fields including fine chemicals, environmental, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, energy, food industry, agriculture and nutraceutical etc. The deployment of biocatalyst in harsh industrial conditions has some limitations, such as poor stability. These drawbacks can be overcome by immobilizing the enzyme in order to boost the operational stability, catalytic activity along with facilitating the reuse of biocatalyst. Nowadays, functionalized polymers and composites have gained increasing attention as an innovative material for immobilizing the industrially important enzyme. The different types of polymeric materials and composites are pectin, agarose, cellulose, nanofibers, gelatin, and chitosan. The functionalization of these materials enhances the loading capacity of the enzyme by providing more functional groups to the polymeric material and hence enhancing the enzyme immobilization efficiency. However, appropriate coordination among the functionalized polymeric materials and enzymes of interest plays an important role in producing emerging biocatalysts with improved properties. The optimal coordination at a biological, physical, and chemical level is requisite to develop an industrial biocatalyst. Bio-catalysis has become vital aspect in pharmaceutical and chemical industries for synthesis of value-added chemicals. The present review describes the current advances in enzyme immobilization on functionalized polymers and composites. Furthermore, the applications of immobilized enzymes in various sectors including bioremediation, biosensor and biodiesel are also discussed.
Molecular imprinted polymers (MIP) are considered one of the most promising selective and novel separation methods for removal phenolic compound in wastewater treatment. MIP are crosslinked polymeric materials that exhibit high binding capacity and selectivity towards a target molecule (template), purposely present during the synthesis process. In this work MIP were prepared in a bulk polymerization method in acetonitrile using 2,4-dinitrophenol, acrylamide, ethylene glycol dimethacrylate, and benzoyl peroxide as template, functional monomer, cross-linker and initiator, respectively. An adsorption process for removal of nitrophenol using the fabricated MIP was evaluated under various pH and time conditions. The parameters studied for 2,4-dinitrophenol includes adsorption kinetics, adsorption isotherm, and selectivity. The maximum adsorption of nitrophenol by the fabricated MIP was 3.50 mg/g. The adsorption of 2,4-dinitrophenol by the fabricated MIP was found effective at pH 6.0. A kinetics study showed that nitrophenol adsorption follows a second order adsorption rate and the adsorption isotherm data is explained well by the Langmuir model.
Located near the equator, Malaysia is a country with one of the highest lightning densities in the world. Lightning contributes to 70% of the power outages in Malaysia and affects power equipment, automated network systems, causes data losses and monetary losses in the nation. Therefore, consideration of insulator evaluation under lightning impulses can be crucial to evaluate and attempt to overcome this issue. This paper presents a new approach to increase the electrical performance of polymer insulators using a Room Temperature Vulcanisation (RTV) coating. The evaluation involves three different settings of polymer insulator, namely uncoated, RTV type 1, and RTV type 2 upper surface coatings. All the insulators were tested under three different conditions as dry, clean wet and salty under different impulse polarities using the even-rising test method. The voltage breakdown for each test was recorded. From the experiment, it was found that the effectiveness of the RTV coating application became apparent when tested under salty or polluted conditions. It increased the voltage withstand capabilities of the polymer insulator up to 50% from the basic uncoated insulator. Under dry and clean conditions, the RTV coating provided just a slight increase of the breakdown voltage. The increase in voltage breakdown capability decreased the probability of surface discharge and dry band arcing that could cause degradation of the polymeric material housing. The RTV type 1 coating was found to be more effective when performing under a lightning impulse. The findings might help the utility companies improve the performance of their insulators in order to increase power system reliability.
The humidity sensing characteristics of different sensing materials are important properties in order to monitor different products or events in a wide range of industrial sectors, research and development laboratories as well as daily life. The primary aim of this study is to compare the sensing characteristics, including impedance or resistance, capacitance, hysteresis, recovery and response times, and stability with respect to relative humidity, frequency, and temperature, of different materials. Various materials, including ceramics, semiconductors, and polymers, used for sensing relative humidity have been reviewed. Correlations of the different electrical characteristics of different doped sensor materials as the most unique feature of a material have been noted. The electrical properties of different sensor materials are found to change significantly with the morphological changes, doping concentration of different materials and film thickness of the substrate. Various applications and scopes are pointed out in the review article. We extensively reviewed almost all main kinds of relative humidity sensors and how their electrical characteristics vary with different doping concentrations, film thickness and basic sensing materials. Based on statistical tests, the zinc oxide-based sensing material is best for humidity sensor design since it shows extremely low hysteresis loss, minimum response and recovery times and excellent stability.
Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate-co-4-hydroxybutyrate) [P(3HB-co-3HV-co-4HB)] terpolymer was produced using Cupriavidus sp. USMAA2-4 via one-step cultivation process through combination of various carbon sources such as 1,4-butanediol or γ-butyrolactone with either 1-pentanol, valeric acid, or 1-propanol. Oleic acid was added to increase the biomass production. The composition of 3HV and 4HB monomers were greatly affected by the concentration of 1,4-butanediol and 1-pentanol. Terpolymers with 3HV and 4HB molar fractions ranging from 2 to 41 mol.% and 5 to 31 mol.%, respectively, were produced by varying the concentration of carbon precursors. The thermal and mechanical properties of the terpolymers containing different proportions of the constituent monomers were characterized using gel permeation chromatography (GPC), DSC, and tensile machine. GPC analysis showed that the molecular weights (M (w)) of the terpolymer produced were within the range of 346 to 1,710 kDa. The monomer compositions of 3HV and 4HB were also found to have great influences on the thermal and mechanical properties of the terpolymer P(3HB-co-3HV-co-4HB) produced.
This study aims at investigating the mechanical properties of the contemporary metallic bone plates determining the effect of their length, width and thickness on the properties and compares with the composite bone plates. Three-points bending test was performed over the stainless steel plates of different length, width and thickness. The test results showed that different plates had different mechanical properties. However, the properties are still much higher than that of particular bones intended to be treated. Therefore, the reported findings strongly encourage developing composite bone plates with biocompatible polymers/fibers that would have modulated properties according to the requirements.
Catalytic cracking of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) over fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts (1:6 ratio) was carried out using a laboratory fluidized bed reactor operating at 450 degrees C. Two fresh and two steam deactivated commercial FCC catalysts with different levels of rare earth oxide (REO) were compared as well as two used FCC catalysts (E-Cats) with different levels of metal poisoning. Also, inert microspheres (MS3) were used as a fluidizing agent to compare with thermal cracking process at BP pilot plant at Grangemouth, Scotland, which used sand as its fluidizing agent. The results of HDPE degradation in terms of yield of volatile hydrocarbon product are fresh FCC catalysts>steamed FCC catalysts approximately used FCC catalysts. The thermal cracking process using MS3 showed that at 450 degrees C, the product distribution gave 46 wt% wax, 14% hydrocarbon gases, 8% gasoline, 0.1% coke and 32% nonvolatile product. In general, the product yields from HDPE cracking showed that the level of metal contamination (nickel and vanadium) did not affect the product stream generated from polymer cracking. This study gives promising results as an alternative technique for the cracking and recycling of polymer waste.
Polypyrrole (PPy) and polypyrrole-carboxylic functionalized multi wall carbon nanotube composites (PPy/f-MWCNT) were synthesized by in situ chemical oxidative polymerization of pyrrole on the carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The structure of the resulting complex nanotubes was characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The effects of f-MWCNT concentration on the electrical properties of the resulting composites were studied at temperatures between 100 K and 300 K. The Hall mobility and Hall coefficient of PPy and PPy/f-MWCNT composite samples with different concentrations of f-MWCNT were measured using the van der Pauw technique. The mobility decreased slightly with increasing temperature, while the conductivity was dominated by the gradually increasing carrier density.
In recent years, molecularly-imprinted polymers (MIPs) have attracted the attention of several researchers due to their capability for molecular recognition, easiness of preparation, stability and cost-effective production. By taking advantage of these facts, Hg(II) imprinted and non-imprinted copolymers were prepared by polymerizing mercury nitrate stock solution (or without it) with methacrylic acid (MAA), 2-hydroxyl ethyl methacrylate (HEMA), methanol and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) as the monomer, co-monomer solvent (porogen) and cross-linker, respectively. Thus, the formed Hg(II) imprinted polymer was characterized by using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), Brunauer, Emmett and Teller (BET) and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA). The separation and preconcentration characteristics of Hg(II) imprinted polymer were investigated by solid phase extraction (SPE) procedures, and an optimal pH of 7 was investigated as ideal. The specific surface area of the Hg(II) imprinted polymer was found to be 19.45 m2/g with a size range from 100 to 140 µm in diameter. The maximum adsorption capacity was observed to be 1.11 mg/g of Hg(II) imprinted beads with 87.54% removal of Hg(II) ions within the first 5 min. The results of the study therefore confirm that the Hg(II) imprinted polymer can be used multiple times without significantly losing its adsorption capacity.
The direct determination of toxic metal ions, in environmental samples, is difficult because of the latter's presence in trace concentration in association with complex matrices, thereby leading to insufficient sensitivity and selectivity of the methods used. The simultaneous removal of the matrix and preconcentration of the metal ions, through solid phase extraction, serves as the promising solution. The mechanism involved in solid phase extraction (SPE) depends on the nature of the sorbent and analyte. Thus, SPE is carried out by means of adsorption, ion exchange, chelation, ion pair formation, and so forth. As polymeric supports, the commercially available Amberlite resins have been found very promising for designing chelating matrices due to its good physical and chemical properties such as porosity, high surface area, durability and purity. This review presents an overview of the various works done on the modification of Amberlite XAD resins with the objective of making it an efficient sorbent. The methods of modifications which are generally based on simple impregnation, sorption as chelates and chemical bonding have been discussed. The reported results, including the preconcentration limit, the detection limit, sorption capacity, preconcentration factors etc., have been reproduced.
Solid polymer blend electrolyte membranes (SPBEM) composed of chitosan and dextran with the incorporation of various amounts of lithium perchlorate (LiClO4) were synthesized. The complexation of the polymer blend electrolytes with the salt was examined using FTIR spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The morphology of the SPBEs was also investigated using field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). The ion transport behavior of the membrane films was measured using impedance spectroscopy. The membrane with highest LiClO4 content was found to exhibit the highest conductivity of 5.16 × 10-3 S/cm. Ionic (ti) and electronic (te) transference numbers for the highest conducting electrolyte were found to be 0.98 and 0.02, respectively. Electrochemical stability was estimated from linear sweep voltammetry and found to be up to ~2.3V for the Li+ ion conducting electrolyte. The only existence of electrical double charging at the surface of electrodes was evidenced from the absence of peaks in cyclic voltammetry (CV) plot. The discharge slope was observed to be almost linear, confirming the capacitive behavior of the EDLC. The performance of synthesized EDLC was studied using CV and charge-discharge techniques. The highest specific capacitance was achieved to be 8.7 F·g-1 at 20th cycle. The efficiency (η) was observed to be at 92.8% and remained constant at 92.0% up to 100 cycles. The EDLC was considered to have a reasonable electrode-electrolyte contact, in which η exceeds 90.0%. It was determined that equivalent series resistance (Resr) is quite low and varies from 150 to 180 Ω over the 100 cycles. Energy density (Ed) was found to be 1.21 Wh·kg-1 at the 1st cycle and then remained stable at 0.86 Wh·kg-1 up to 100 cycles. The interesting observation is that the value of Pd increases back to 685 W·kg-1 up to 80 cycles.
A novel nano-bio composite polypyrrole (PPy)/kappa-carrageenan(KC) was fabricated and characterized for application as a cathode catalyst in a microbial fuel cell (MFC). High resolution SEM and TEM verified the bud-like shape and uniform distribution of the PPy in the KC matrix. X-ray diffraction (XRD) has approved the amorphous structure of the PPy/KC as well. The PPy/KC nano-bio composites were then studied as an electrode material, due to their oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) ability as the cathode catalyst in the MFC and the results were compared with platinum (Pt) as the most common cathode catalyst. The produced power density of the PPy/KC was 72.1 mW/m(2) while it was 46.8 mW/m(2) and 28.8 mW/m(2) for KC and PPy individually. The efficiency of the PPy/KC electrode system is slightly lower than a Pt electrode (79.9 mW/m(2)) but due to the high cost of Pt electrodes, the PPy/KC electrode system has potential to be an alternative electrode system for MFCs.
Introduction: In this review, we aim to highlight the impact of various processes and formulation variables influencing the characteristics of certain surfactant-based nanoconstructs for drug delivery. Areas covered: The review includes the discussion on processing parameters for the preparation of nanoconstructs, especially those made up of surfactants. Articles published in last 15 years (437) were reviewed, 381 articles were selected for data review and most appropriate articles (215) were included in article. Effect of variables such as surfactant concentration and type, membrane additives, temperature, and pH-dependent transitions on morphology has been highlighted along with effect of shape on nanoparticle uptake by cells. Various characterization techniques explored for these nanostructures with respect to size, morphology, lamellarity, distribution, etc., and a separate section on polymeric vesicles and the influence of block copolymers, type of block copolymer, control of block length, interaction of multiple block copolymers on the structure of polymersomes and chimeric nanostructures have been discussed. Finally, applications, modification, degradation, and toxicological aspects of these drug delivery systems have been highlighted. Expert opinion: Parameters influencing the morphology of micelles and vesicles can directly or indirectly affect the efficacy of small molecule cellular internalization as well as uptake in the case of biologicals.[Figure: see text].
Pectins are a diverse family of biopolymers with an anionic polysaccharide backbone of α-1,4-linked d-galacturonic acids in common. They have been widely used as emulsifiers, gelling agents, glazing agents, stabilizers, and/or thickeners in food, pharmaceutical, personal care and polymer products. Commercial pectin is classified as high methoxy pectin (HMP) with a degree of methylation (DM) >50% and low methoxy pectin (LMP) with a DM <50%. Amidated low methoxy pectins (ALMP) can be obtained through aminolysis of HMP. Gelation of HMP occurs by cross-linking through hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic forces between the methyl groups, assisted by a high co-solute concentration and low pH. In contrast, gelation of LMP occurs by the formation of ionic linkages via calcium bridges between two carboxyl groups from two different chains in close proximity, known as the 'egg-box' model. Pectin gels exhibit Newtonian behaviour at low shear rates and shear-thinning behaviour when the shear rate is increased. An overview of pectin from its origin to its physicochemical properties is presented in this review.
Here, we report that long-term stable and efficient organic solar cells (OSCs) can be obtained through the following strategies: i) combination of rapid-drying blade-coating deposition with an appropriate thermal annealing treatment to obtain an optimized morphology of the active layer; ii) insertion of interfacial layers to optimize the interfacial properties. The resulting devices based on poly[4,8-bis(5-(2-ethylhexyl)thiophen-2-yl)benzo[1,2-b;4,5-b']dithiophene-2,6-diyl-alt-(4-(2-ethylhexyl)-3-fluorothieno[3,4-b]thiophene-2-carboxylate-2,6-diyl)] (PBDTTT-EFT):[6,6]-phenyl C71 butyric acid methyl ester (PC71 BM) blend as the active layer exhibits a power conversion efficiency (PCE) up to 9.57 %, which represents the highest efficiency ever reported for blade-coated OSCs. Importantly, the conventional structure devices based on poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT):phenyl-C61 -butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) blend can retain approximately 65 % of their initial PCE for almost 2 years under operating conditions, which is the best result ever reported for long-term stable OSCs under operational conditions. More encouragingly, long-term stable large-area OSCs (active area=216 cm2 ) based on P3HT:PCBM blend are also demonstrated. Our findings represent an important step toward the development of large-area OSCs with high performance and long-term stability.
Biocompatible polymers have received significant interest from researchers for their potential in diagnostic applications. This type of polymer can perform with an appropriate host response or carrier for a specific purpose. The current study aims to fabricate and characterise poly(ethylene) oxide (PEO) nanofibres with different concentrations for cytotoxicity evaluation in human breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7) and to get an optimal PEO nanofibre concentration (permissible limit) as a suitable polymer matrix or carrier with potential use in diagnostic applications. The fabrication of PEO nanofibres was done using electrospinning and was characterised by structure and morphology, surface roughness, chemical bonding and release profiles. The functional effects of PEO nanofibres were evaluated with MTS assay and colony formation assay in MCF-7 cells. The results showed that viscosity plays a vital role in synthesising a polymer solution in electrospinning for producing beadless nanofibrous mats ranging from 4.7 Pa·s to 77.7 Pa·s. As the PEO concentration increases, the nanofibre diameter and thickness will increase, but the surface roughness will be decreased. The average fibre diameter for 5 wt% PEO, 6 wt% PEO and 7 wt% PEO nanofibres were 129 ± 70 nm, 185 ± 55 nm and 192 ± 53 nm, respectively. In addition, the fibre thickness for 4 wt% PEO, 5 wt% PEO, 6 wt% PEO and 7 wt% PEO nanofibres were 269 ± 3 μm, 664 ± 4 μm, 758 ± 7 μm and 1329 ± 44 μm, respectively. Contrarily, the surface roughness for 4 wt% PEO, 5 wt% PEO, 6 wt% PEO and 7 wt% PEO nanofibres were 55.6 ± 9 nm, 42.8 ± 6 nm, 42.7 ± 7 nm and 36.6 ± 1 nm, respectively. PEO nanofibres showed the same burst release pattern and rate due to the same molecular weight of PEO with a stable release rate profile after 15 min. It also demonstrates that the percentage of PEO nanofibre release increased with the increasing PEO concentration due to the fibre diameter and thickness. The findings showed that all PEO nanofibres formulations were non-toxic to MCF-7 cells. It is suggested that 5 wt% PEO nanofibre exhibited non-cytotoxic characteristics by maintaining the cell viability from dose 0-1000 μg/ml and did not induce the number of colonies. Therefore, 5 wt% PEO nanofibre is the optimal nanofibre concentration and was suggested as a suitable base polymer matrix or carrier with potential use for diagnostic purposes. The findings in this study have demonstrated the influence of cell growth and viability, including the effects of PEO nanofibre formulations on cancer progress characteristics to achieve a permissible PEO nanofibre concentration limit that can be a benchmark in medical applications, particularly diagnostic applications.