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Polymers (Basel) ; 14(17)2022 Aug 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36080587


Polymer smart materials are a broad class of polymeric materials that can change their shapes, mechanical responses, light transmissions, controlled releases, and other functional properties under external stimuli. A good understanding of the aspects controlling various types of shape memory phenomena in shape memory polymers (SMPs), such as polymer structure, stimulus effect and many others, is not only important for the preparation of new SMPs with improved performance, but is also useful for the optimization of the current ones to expand their application field. In the present era, simple understanding of the activation mechanisms, the polymer structure, the effect of the modification of the polymer structure on the activation process using fillers or solvents to develop new reliable SMPs with improved properties, long lifetime, fast response, and the ability to apply them under hard conditions in any environment, is considered to be an important topic. Moreover, good understanding of the activation mechanism of the two-way shape memory effect in SMPs for semi-crystalline polymers and liquid crystalline elastomers is the main key required for future investigations. In this article, the principles of the three basic types of external stimuli (heat, chemicals, light) and their key parameters that affect the efficiency of the SMPs are reviewed in addition to several prospective applications.

Nanomaterials (Basel) ; 12(13)2022 Jul 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35808110


Unlike traditional actuators, such as piezoelectric ceramic or metallic actuators, polymer actuators are currently attracting more interest in biomedicine due to their unique properties, such as light weight, easy processing, biodegradability, fast response, large active strains, and good mechanical properties. They can be actuated under external stimuli, such as chemical (pH changes), electric, humidity, light, temperature, and magnetic field. Electroactive polymers (EAPs), called 'artificial muscles', can be activated by an electric stimulus, and fixed into a temporary shape. Restoring their permanent shape after the release of an electrical field, electroactive polymer is considered the most attractive actuator type because of its high suitability for prosthetics and soft robotics applications. However, robust control, modeling non-linear behavior, and scalable fabrication are considered the most critical challenges for applying the soft robotic systems in real conditions. Researchers from around the world investigate the scientific and engineering foundations of polymer actuators, especially the principles of their work, for the purpose of a better control of their capability and durability. The activation method of actuators and the realization of required mechanical properties are the main restrictions on using actuators in real applications. The latest highlights, operating principles, perspectives, and challenges of electroactive materials (EAPs) such as dielectric EAPs, ferroelectric polymers, electrostrictive graft elastomers, liquid crystal elastomers, ionic gels, and ionic polymer-metal composites are reviewed in this article.

Molecules ; 27(7)2022 Mar 24.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35408484


Cell culturing methods in its classical 2D approach have limitations associated with altered cell morphology, gene expression patterns, migration, cell cycle and proliferation. Moreover, high throughput drug screening is mainly performed on 2D cell cultures which are physiologically far from proper cell functions resulting in inadequate hit-compounds which subsequently fail. A shift to 3D culturing protocols could solve issues with altered cell biochemistry and signaling which would lead to a proper recapitulation of physiological conditions in test systems. Here, we examined porous ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) as an inexpensive and robust material with varying pore sizes for cell culturing. We tested and developed culturing protocols for immortalized human neuroblastoma and primary mice hippocampal cells which resulted in high rate of cell penetration within one week of cultivation. UHMWPE was additionally functionalized with gelatin, poly-L-lysine, BSA and chitosan, resulting in increased cell penetrations of the material. We have also successfully traced GFP-tagged cells which were grown on a UHMWPE sample after one week from implantation into mice brain. Our findings highlight the importance of UHMWPE use as a 3D matrix and show new possibilities arising from the use of cheap and chemically homogeneous material for studying various types of cell-surface interactions further improving cell adhesion, viability and biocompatibility.

Técnicas de Cultura de Células , Polietilenos , Animais , Técnicas de Cultura de Células/métodos , Células Cultivadas , Camundongos , Peso Molecular , Polietileno/química , Polietilenos/química , Porosidade
Materials (Basel) ; 13(13)2020 Jul 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32640623


A hybrid implant with a structure mimicking that of natural bone was developed. Titanium alloy Ti-6Al-4V prepared with three-dimensional (3D)-printing technology was used to simulate the cortical-bone layer. The mismatch in the mechanical properties of bone and titanium alloy was solved by creating special perforations in the titanium's surface. Porous ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) with high osteogenous properties was used to simulate the cancellous-bone tissue. A method for creating a porous UHMWPE structure inside the titanium reinforcement is proposed. The porous UHMWPE was studied with scanning electron microscope (SEM) to confirm that the pores that formed were open, interconnected, and between 50 and 850 µm in size. Mechanical-compression tests done on the obtained UHMWPE/titanium-hybrid-implant samples showed that their mechanical properties simulated those of natural bone.

Polymers (Basel) ; 11(1)2018 Dec 24.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30960007


Highly oriented UHMWPE films were reinforced with functionalized graphene nanoplates (GNP). GNP was functionalized by deposition of polyaniline (PANI) on the GNP surface. The structure of GNP/PANI was studied by Raman spectroscopy, and the structure of xerogels and films based on UHMWPE was studied by DSC and SEM. PANI promotes the reduction of the GNP aggregation in the UHMWPE matrix and increases the degree of crystallinity due to heterogeneous crystallization. The new lamellar crystal structure has a high drawability. The highest value of the tensile strength 1330 MPa (an increase of 45%) was obtained with a filler content of 2 wt % GNP/PANI, and the highest value of Young's modulus 41 GPa (an increase of 32%) was obtained with a filler content of 1 wt % GNP/PANI. The effect of GNP with PANI fillers on the dynamic mechanical properties of the UHMWPE films was discussed.

Polymers (Basel) ; 9(11)2017 Nov 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30965932


Bulk oriented films based on ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) with a drawing ratio of 35 were prepared by using a low solvent concentration. Bulk oriented films were filled with fluorinated multi-walled carbon nanotubes (FMWCNTs). The structure of bulk oriented films on UHMWPE, which were manufactured at different stages of orientation, was investigated by scanning electron microscope (SEM) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The addition of FMWCNTs at a concentration of 0.05 wt % in bulk oriented UHMWPE films led to an increase in the tensile strength by 10% (up to 1020 ± 23 MPa) compared to unfilled oriented films. However, the addition of FMWCNTs at a concentration of more than 0.5 wt % led to a decrease in tensile strength due to excessive accumulation of nanotubes and hindering of self-diffusion of UHMWPE macromolecules. The multiple increase in tensile strength, doubling the hardness, the formation of fibrillar structure, and the presence of carbon nanotubes led to a significant increase in tribological properties in bulk oriented films. Bulk oriented UHMWPE/1% FMWCNT films can be operated at a maximum contact pressure that is 18 times higher and exhibit a specific wear rate more than an order of magnitude and less than the traditional UHMWPE of isotropic structure. Bulk oriented UHMWPE/1% FMWCNT films have an extremely low dry coefficient of friction (COF) of 0.075 at a contact pressure of 31 MPa. The developed bulk oriented films can be used for manufacturing frictional surfaces for sliding bearings, or for acetabular cups for knee and hip endoprostheses.