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1.
Int J Cosmet Sci ; 2022 Apr 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35478184

RESUMO

OBJECTIVE: The cuticle of human hair has been examined, via a range of analytical methods, in order to reveal previously unknown information about its structure and to deepen understanding of its contribution to fibre properties. METHODS: Cross sections of hair fibre have been examined with X-ray microdiffraction oriented perpendicular to the surface of the cross-sections. AFM investigations were carried out for further investigating and deciphering the structure of the cuticle. Moisture sorption analytics of cuticle separated from fibre, and mechanical tests of decuticled fibres against virgin fibres, were used for understanding the role of the cuticle in the economy of hair fibre. RESULTS: Previously unknown swelling behaviour of the hair cuticle during moisture sorption has been revealed, as has an increased significance of the cuticle's role in moisture management at higher values of relative humidity. Through AFM investigation, the reaction of hair cuticles with chlorine water has further strengthened the idea that the Allwörden membrane does not exist, and is actually an artefact of the delamination of the A-layer and exocuticle from the underlying endocuticle. Using decuticled fibres for stress-strain tests, and by comparing the results with those of virgin fibres, the effect of the cuticle on the post-yield area of the hair fibre stress-strain diagram has also been demonstrated. Finally, X-ray microdiffraction and AFM investigations suggest that the cuticle possesses a small-scale ordered structure, based on possibly not fully crystalline and irregularly arranged α-helices oriented almost perpendicular to the growth axis of the fibre and enhancing the general description of cuticle as the protective layer of the fibre. CONCLUSION: The role of the cuticle for the hair fibre is more complex than previously thought. The cuticle is demonstrated not only to possess a hidden rod-matrix structure, that supports its protective nature, but also to play specific roles in the fibre's response to moisture, and in fibre mechanical behaviour.

2.
J Phys Chem B ; 126(11): 2285-2298, 2022 Mar 24.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35290739

RESUMO

Board-shaped polymers form sanidic mesophases: assemblies of parallel lamellae of stacked polymer backbones separated by disordered side chains. Sanidics vary significantly with respect to polymer order inside their lamellae, making them "stepping stones" toward the crystalline state. Therefore, they are potentially interesting for studying crystallization and technological applications. Building on earlier mesoscopic models of the most disordered sanidics Σd, we focus on the other extreme, near-crystalline order, and develop a generic model that captures a highly ordered Σr mesophase. Polymers are described by generic hindered-rotation chains. Anisotropic nonbonded potentials, with strengths comparable to the thermal energy, mimic board-like monomer shapes. Lamellae equilibrated with Monte Carlo simulations, for a broad range of model parameters, have intralamellar order typical for Σr mesophases: periodically stacked polymers that are mutually registered along their backbones. Our mesophase shows registration on both monomer and chain levels. We calculate scattering patterns and compare with data published for highly ordered sanidic mesophases of two different polymers: polyesters and polypeptoids. Most of the generic structural features that were identified in these experiments are present in our model. However, our mesophase has correlations between chains located in different lamellae and is therefore closer to the crystalline state than the experimental samples.

3.
Sci Adv ; 8(3): eabm2469, 2022 Jan 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35061528

RESUMO

Injectable hydrogels are desired in many biomedical applications due to their minimally invasive deployment to the body and their ability to introduce drugs. However, current injectables suffer from mechanical mismatch with tissue, fragility, water expulsion, and high viscosity. To address these issues, we design brush-like macromolecules that concurrently provide softness, firmness, strength, fluidity, and swellability. The synthesized linear-bottlebrush-linear (LBL) copolymers facilitate improved injectability as the compact conformation of bottlebrush blocks results in low solution viscosity, while the thermoresponsive linear blocks permit prompt gelation at 37°C. The resulting hydrogels mimic the deformation response of supersoft tissues such as adipose and brain while withstanding deformations of 700% and precluding water expulsion upon gelation. Given their low cytotoxicity and mild inflammation in vivo, the developed materials will have vital implications for reconstructive surgery, tissue engineering, and drug delivery applications.

4.
Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 24(2): 902-913, 2022 Jan 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34909809

RESUMO

The influence of the hard segment nature on the crystallization kinetics of multi-block thermoplastic polyurethanes containing poly(butylene adipate) (PBA) as a soft segment was investigated. Using a combination of FTIR spectroscopy, time-domain 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (TD-NMR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), fast-scanning calorimetry (FSC) and wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXS), it was shown that aliphatic, cycloaliphatic and aromatic diisocyanates affect the phase separation efficiency of soft and hard segments. The best phase separation efficiency was observed for a sample containing aliphatic diisocyanate due to the development of a hydrogen bond network. The thermal history, phase separation and the degree of ordering of the polyurethane determine the polymorphic behavior of melt-crystallized PBA. The formation of a partially-ordered mesophase of linear aliphatic polyurethane leads to an increase in the crystallization rate of PBA at room temperature and the formation of thermodynamically stable α-crystals. The presence of bulk cycloaliphatic and aromatic diol-urethane fragments prevents the phase separation of PBA, which crystallizes after slow cooling in a mixture of α- and ß-crystalline forms. The new nanocalorimetry technique allows the identification of a direct correlation between the phase separation and crystallization kinetics of the melt-crystallized PBA in a wide range of cooling rates - from 2 to 30 000 K s-1. Particularly, ultra-fast cooling suppresses the nucleation of the ß-phase of PBA resulting in slow crystallization of only α-modification at room temperature. The role of the polyurethane mesophase in the crystallization of the soft segment was discussed for the first time.

5.
Polymers (Basel) ; 13(23)2021 Nov 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34883671

RESUMO

An approach to obtaining various nanostructures utilizing a well-studied polystyrene-b-poly(isoprene) or PS-b-PI diblock copolymer system through chemical modification reactions is reported. The complete hydrogenation and partial sulfonation to the susceptible carbon double bonds of the PI segment led to the preparation of [polystyrene-b-poly(ethylene-alt-propylene)] as well as [polystyrene-b-poly(sulfonated isoprene-co-isoprene)], respectively. The hydrogenation of the polyisoprene block results in enhanced segmental immiscibility, whereas the relative sulfonation induces an amphiphilic character in the final modified material. The successful synthesis of the pristine diblock copolymer through anionic polymerization and the relative chemical modification reactions were verified using several molecular and structural characterization techniques. The thin film structure-properties relationship was investigated using atomic force microscopy under various conditions such as different solvents and annealing temperatures. Small-angle X-ray scattering was employed to identify the different observed nanostructures and their evolution upon thermal annealing.

6.
Polymers (Basel) ; 13(21)2021 Nov 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34771373

RESUMO

Novel hybrid materials of the PB-b-P(o-Bn-L-Tyr) and PI-b-P(o-Bn-L-Tyr) type (where PB: 1,4/1,2-poly(butadiene), PI: 3,4/1,2/1,4-poly(isoprene) and P(o-Bn-L-Tyr): poly(ortho-benzyl-L-tyrosine)) were synthesized through anionic and ring-opening polymerization under high-vacuum techniques. All final materials were molecularly characterized through infrared spectroscopy (IR) and proton and carbon nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR, 13C-NMR) in order to confirm the successful synthesis and the polydiene microstructure content. The stereochemical behavior of secondary structures (α-helices and ß-sheets) of the polypeptide segments combined with the different polydiene microstructures was also studied. The influence of the α-helices and ß-sheets, as well as the polydiene chain conformations on the thermal properties (glass transition temperatures, thermal stability, α- and ß-relaxation) of the present biobased hybrid copolymers, was investigated through differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and dielectric spectroscopy (DS). The obtained morphologies in thin films for all the synthesized materials via atomic force microscopy (AFM) indicated the formation of polypeptide fibrils in the polydiene matrix.

7.
Nanomaterials (Basel) ; 11(10)2021 Oct 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34685096

RESUMO

A combination of in situ nanocalorimetry with simultaneous nanofocus 2D Wide-Angle X-ray Scattering (WAXS) was used to study polymorphic behaviour and structure formation in a single micro-drop of isotactic polypropylene (iPP) with defined thermal history. We were able to generate, detect, and characterize a number of different iPP morphologies using our custom-built ultrafast chip-based nanocalorimetry instrument designed for use with the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) high intensity nanofocus X-ray beamline facility. The detected iPP morphologies included monoclinic alpha-phase crystals, mesophase, and mixed morphologies with different mesophase/crystalline compositional ratios. Monoclinic crystals formed from the mesophase became unstable at heating rates above 40 K s-1 and showed melting temperatures as low as ~30 K below those measured for iPP crystals formed by slow cooling. We also studied the real-time melt crystallization of nanogram-sized iPP samples. Our analysis revealed a mesophase nucleation time of around 1 s and the co-existence of mesophase and growing disordered crystals at high supercooling ≤328 K. The further increase of the iPP crystallization temperature to 338 K changed nucleation from homogeneous to heterogeneous. No mesophase was detected above 348 K. Low supercooling (≥378 K) led to the continuous growth of the alpha-phase crystals. In conclusion, we have, for the first time, measured the mesophase nucleation time of supercooled iPP melted under isothermal crystallization conditions using a dedicated experimental setup designed to allow simultaneous ultrafast chip-based nanocalorimetry and nanofocus X-ray diffraction analyses. We also provided experimental evidence that upon heating, the mesophase converts directly into thermodynamically stable monoclinic alpha-phase crystals via perfection and reorganization and not via partial melting. The complex phase behaviour of iPP and its dependence on both crystallization temperature and time is presented here using a time-temperature-transformation (TTT) diagram.

8.
Polymers (Basel) ; 13(14)2021 Jul 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34301065

RESUMO

A novel approach to obtaining nanocomposite materials using anionic sequential polymerization and post-synthetic esterification reactions with chemically modified graphene sheets (CMGs) is reported. The anionically synthesized diblock copolymer precursors of the PS-b-PI-OH type were grafted to the chemically modified -COOH groups of the CMGs, giving rise to the final composite materials, namely polystyrene-b-poly(isoprene)-g-CMGs, which exhibited enhanced physicochemical properties. The successful synthesis was determined through multiple molecular characterization techniques together with thermogravimetric analysis for the verification of increased thermal stability, and the structure/properties relationship was justified through transmission electron microscopy. Furthermore, the arrangement of CMGs utilizing lamellar and cylindrical morphologies was studied in order to determine the effect of the loaded CMGs in the adopted topologies.

9.
Materials (Basel) ; 14(11)2021 Jun 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34206146

RESUMO

The structural evolution of multiblock thermoplastic polyurethane ureas based on two polydiols, poly(1,4-butylene adipate (PBA) and poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL), as soft blocks and two diisocyanites, 2,4-toluylene diisocyanate (TDI) and 1,6-hexamethylene diisocyanate (HMDI), as hard blocks is monitored during in situ deformation by small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering. It was shown that the urethane environment determines the crystal structure of the soft block. Consequently, two populations of crystalline domains of polydiols are formed. Aromatic TDI forms rigid domains and imposes constrains on the crystallization of bounded polydiol. During stretching, the TDI-polydiol domains reveal limited elastic deformation without reorganization of the crystalline phase. The constrained lamellae of polydiol form an additional physical network that contributes to the elastic modulus and strength of the material. In contrast, polydiols connected to the linear semi-flexible HMDI have a higher crystallization rate and exhibit a more regular lamellar morphology. During deformation, the HMDI-PBA domains show a typical thermoplastic behavior with plastic flow and necking because of the high degree of crystallinity of PBA at room temperature. Materials with HMDI-PCL bonding exhibit elastic deformation due to the low degree of crystallinity of the PCL block in the isotropic state. At higher strain, hardening of the material is observed due to the stress-induced crystallization of PCL.

10.
Materials (Basel) ; 14(11)2021 May 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34071178

RESUMO

We report on formation of a bicontinuous double gyroid phase by a wedge-shaped amphiphilic mesogen, pyridinium 4'-[3″,4″,5″-tris-(octyloxy)benzoyloxy]azobenzene-4-sulfonate. It is found that this compound can self-organize in zeolite-like structures adaptive to environmental conditions (e.g., temperature, humidity, solvent vapors). Depending on the type of the phase, the structure contains 1D, 2D, or 3D networks of nanometer-sized ion channels. Of particular interest are bicontinuous phases, such as the double gyroid phase, as they hold promise for applications in separation and energy. Specially designed environmental cells compatible with grazing-incidence X-ray scattering and atomic force microscopy enable simultaneous measurements of structural parameters/morphology during vapor-annealing treatment at different temperatures. Such in-situ approach allows finding the environmental conditions at which the double gyroid phase can be formed and provide insights on the supramolecular structure of thin films at different spatial levels.

11.
J Struct Biol ; 213(1): 107679, 2021 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33309724

RESUMO

Utilising the AFM nanoindentation technique for the study of hair cross- and longitudinal sections, the mechanical anisotropy of human hair fibres affected by a rare congenital condition, Monilethrix, has been investigated for the first time. Supported by X-ray microdiffraction data, and applying a model based on an ideal composite material consisting of rods (KIFs) and matrix (KAPs) to Monilethrix affected fibres, it has been shown that the results could be grouped into clearly different classes, namely: almost isotropic behaviour for Monilethrix affected hairs and anisotropic behaviour for Control hair. Moreover, AFM nanoindentation of hair cross sections has demonstrated, also for the first time that hairs affected by Monilethrix have a continuous, and not periodic, weakness within the cortex. This has been attributed to disruptions in the KIF-KIF, KIF-intermacrofibrillar matrix or KIF-desmosome complexes within the hair shaft, as suggested by X-ray microdiffraction examination. Hairs from a patient exhibiting no obvious phenotype exhibited similar mechanical weakness despite the otherwise normal visual appearance of the fibre. This further supports a hypothesis that the beaded appearance of Monilethrix hair is a secondary factor, unrelated to the inherent structural weakness.


Assuntos
Cabelo/patologia , Monilétrix/patologia , Humanos , Fenótipo , Raios X
12.
Molecules ; 25(24)2020 Dec 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33352785

RESUMO

To the best of our knowledge, this is the very first time that a thorough study of the synthetic procedures, molecular and thermal characterization, followed by structure/properties relationship for symmetric and non-symmetric second generation (2-G) dendritic terpolymers is reported. Actually, the synthesis of the non-symmetric materials is reported for the first time in the literature. Anionic polymerization enables the synthesis of well-defined polymers that, despite the architecture complexity, absolute control over the average molecular weight, as well as block composition, is achieved. The dendritic type macromolecular architecture affects the microphase separation, because different morphologies are obtained, which do not exhibit long range order, and various defects or dislocations are evident attributed to the increased number of junction points of the final material despite the satisfactory thermal annealing at temperatures above the highest glass transition temperature of all blocks. For comparison reasons, the initial dendrons (miktoarm star terpolymer precursors) which are connected to each other in order to synthesize the final dendritic terpolymers are characterized in solution and in bulk and their self-assembly is also studied. A major conclusion is that specific structures are adopted which depend on the type of the core connection between the ligand and the active sites of the dendrons.


Assuntos
Dendrímeros/química , Polímeros/química , Polimerização , Temperatura
13.
Molecules ; 25(23)2020 Nov 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33255708

RESUMO

The synthesis of two (2) novel triblock terpolymers of the ABC type and one (1) of the BAC type, where A, B and C are chemically different segments, such as polystyrene (PS), poly(butadiene) (PB1,4) and poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS), is reported; moreover, their corresponding molecular and bulk characterizations were performed. Very low dimensions are evident from the characterization in bulk from transmission electron microscopy studies, verified by small-angle X-ray data, since sub-16 nm domains are evident in all three cases. The self-assembly results justify the assumptions that the high Flory-Huggins parameter, χ, even in low molecular weights, leads to significantly well-ordered structures, despite the complexity of the systems studied. Furthermore, it is the first time that a structure/properties relationship was studied for such systems in bulk, potentially leading to prominent applications in nanotechnology and nanopatterning, for as low as sub-10 nm thin-film manipulations.


Assuntos
Peso Molecular , Polimerização , Polímeros/química , Ânions/química , Microscopia Eletrônica de Transmissão , Análise Espectral , Temperatura
14.
Adv Mater ; 32(50): e2005314, 2020 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33176030

RESUMO

The ability of living species to transition between rigid and flexible shapes represents one of their survival mechanisms, which has been adopted by various human technologies. Such transition is especially desired in medical devices as rigidity facilitates the implantation process, while flexibility and softness favor biocompatibility with surrounding tissue. Traditional thermoplastics cannot match soft tissue mechanics, while gels leach into the body and alter their properties over time. Here, a single-component system with an unprecedented drop of Young's modulus by up to six orders of magnitude from the GPa to kPa level at a controlled temperature within 28-43 °C is demonstrated. This approach is based on brush-like polymer networks with crystallizable side chains, e.g., poly(valerolactone), affording independent control of melting temperature and Young's modulus by concurrently altering side chain length and crosslink density. Softening down to the tissue level at the physiological temperature allows the design of tissue-adaptive implants that can be inserted as rigid devices followed by matching the surrounding tissue mechanics at body temperature. This transition also enables thermally triggered release of embedded drugs for anti-inflammatory treatment.


Assuntos
Materiais Inteligentes , Temperatura de Transição , Módulo de Elasticidade , Teste de Materiais
15.
Nanomaterials (Basel) ; 10(8)2020 Jul 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32751589

RESUMO

The synthesis, molecular and morphological characterization of a 3-miktoarm star terpolymer of polystyrene (PS, M¯n = 61.0 kg/mol), polybutadiene (PB, M¯n = 38.2 kg/mol) and polyisoprene (PI, M¯n = 29.2 kg/mol), corresponding to volume fractions (φ) of 0.46, 0.31 and 0.23 respectively, was studied. The major difference of the present material from previous ABC miktoarm stars (which is a star architecture bearing three different segments, all connected to a single junction point) with the same block components is the high 3,4-microstructure (55%) of the PI chains. The interaction parameter and the degree of polymerization of the two polydienes is sufficiently positive to create a three-phase microdomain structure as evidenced by differential scanning calorimetry and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). These results in combination with small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and birefringence experiments suggest a cubic tricontinuous network structure, based on the I4132 space group never reported previously for such an architecture.

16.
ACS Cent Sci ; 6(3): 413-419, 2020 Mar 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32232141

RESUMO

Softness and firmness are seemingly incompatible traits that synergize to create the unique soft-yet-firm tactility of living tissues pursued in soft robotics, wearable electronics, and plastic surgery. This dichotomy is particularly pronounced in tissues such as fat that are known to be both ultrasoft and ultrafirm. However, synthetically replicating this mechanical response remains elusive since ubiquitously employed soft gels are unable to concurrently reproduce tissue firmness. We have addressed the tissue challenge through the self-assembly of linear-bottlebrush-linear (LBL) block copolymers into thermoplastic elastomers. This hybrid molecular architecture delivers a hierarchical network organization with a cascade of deformation mechanisms responsible for initially low moduli followed by intense strain-stiffening. By bridging the firmness gap between gels and tissues, we have replicated the mechanics of fat, fetal membrane, spinal cord, and brain tissues. These solvent-free, nonleachable, and tissue-mimetic elastomers also show enhanced biocompatibility as demonstrated by cell proliferation studies, all of which are vital for the safety and longevity of future biomedical devices.

17.
Nanoscale Res Lett ; 14(1): 185, 2019 May 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31147864

RESUMO

A combination of in situ electrical and grazing-incidence X-ray diffraction (GIXD) is a powerful tool for studies of correlations between the microstructure and charge transport in thin organic films. The information provided by such experimental approach can help optimizing the performance of the films as active layers of organic electronic devices. In this work, such combination of techniques was used to investigate the phase transitions in vacuum-deposited thin films of a common organic semiconductor dihexyl-quarterthiophene (DH4T). A transition from the initial highly crystalline phase to a mesophase was detected upon heating, while only a partial backward transition was observed upon cooling to room temperature. In situ electrical conductivity measurements revealed the impact of both transitions on charge transport. This is partly accounted for by the fact that the initial crystalline phase is characterized by inclination of molecules in the plane perpendicular to the π-π stacking direction, whereas the mesophase is built of molecules tilted in the direction of π-π stacking. Importantly, in addition to the two phases of DH4T characteristic of the bulk, a third interfacial substrate-stabilized monolayer-type phase was observed. The existence of such interfacial structure can have important implications for the charge mobility, being especially favorable for lateral two-dimensional charge transport in the organic field-effect transistors geometry.

18.
Photochem Photobiol Sci ; 18(7): 1709-1715, 2019 Jul 10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31063533

RESUMO

Aqueous microgels based on poly(N-vinylcaprolactam) with reversible temperature-induced volume transition are promising "smart" materials for various applications. In this work, the microgels are modified via acid-base interaction by wedge-shaped amphiphilic sulfonic acid molecules with alkyl chains of different lengths and an azobenzene group. In contrast to the pristine microgel the modified microgels retain colloidal stability in water and show different responses to the change of temperature and pH. The azobenzene group in the ligand molecules acts as a spectroscopic and kinetic probe sensing the microenvironment inside the microgel particles. Thus, the observed hyperchromicity upon heating suggests the enhancement of hydrophobicity with the increase of temperature. The hydrophobicity of the microgel interior increases with the increase of the modification degree as indicated by the increase of activation energy of the thermal Z/E isomerization of the azobenzene group.


Assuntos
Géis/química , Compostos Azo/química , Caprolactama/análogos & derivados , Caprolactama/química , Géis/síntese química , Concentração de Íons de Hidrogênio , Interações Hidrofóbicas e Hidrofílicas , Tamanho da Partícula , Polímeros/química , Espectrofotometria , Estereoisomerismo , Ácidos Sulfônicos/química , Temperatura , Água/química
19.
Science ; 359(6383): 1509-1513, 2018 03 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29599240

RESUMO

Active camouflage is widely recognized as a soft-tissue feature, and yet the ability to integrate adaptive coloration and tissuelike mechanical properties into synthetic materials remains elusive. We provide a solution to this problem by uniting these functions in moldable elastomers through the self-assembly of linear-bottlebrush-linear triblock copolymers. Microphase separation of the architecturally distinct blocks results in physically cross-linked networks that display vibrant color, extreme softness, and intense strain stiffening on par with that of skin tissue. Each of these functional properties is regulated by the structure of one macromolecule, without the need for chemical cross-linking or additives. These materials remain stable under conditions characteristic of internal bodily environments and under ambient conditions, neither swelling in bodily fluids nor drying when exposed to air.

20.
Adv Mater ; 28(28): 6003-10, 2016 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27172371

RESUMO

[3]-Radialene-based dopant CN6-CP studied herein, with its reduction potential of +0.8 versus Fc/Fc+ and the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital level of -5.87 eV, is the strongest molecular p-dopant reported in the open literature, so far. The efficient p-doping of the donor-acceptor dithienyl-diketopyrrolopyrrole-based copolymer having the highest unoccupied molecular orbital level of -5.49 eV is achieved. The doped films exhibit electrical conductivities up to 70 S cm(-1) .

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