accumulation of plastic litter in natural environments is a
global issue. Concerns over potential negative impacts on the economy,
wildlife, and human health provide strong incentives for improving
the sustainable use of plastics. Despite the many voices raised on
the issue, we lack a consensus on how to define and categorize plastic
debris. This is evident for microplastics, where inconsistent size
classes are used and where the materials to be included are under
debate. While this is inherent in an emerging research field, an ambiguous
terminology results in confusion and miscommunication that may compromise
progress in research and mitigation measures. Therefore, we need to
be explicit on what exactly we consider plastic debris. Thus, we critically
discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a unified terminology,
propose a definition and categorization framework, and highlight areas
of uncertainty. Going beyond size classes, our framework includes
physicochemical properties (polymer composition, solid state, solubility)
as defining criteria and size, shape, color, and origin as classifiers
for categorization. Acknowledging the rapid evolution of our knowledge
on plastic pollution, our framework will promote consensus building
within the scientific and regulatory community based on a solid scientific
Silicone elastomers are promising materials for dielectric elastomer transducers (DETs) due to superior properties such as high efficiency, reliability and fast response times. DETs consist of thin elastomer films sandwiched between compliant electrodes, and they constitute an interesting class of transducer due to their inherent lightweight and potentially large strains. For the field to progress towards industrial implementation, a leap in material development is required, specifically targeting longer lifetime and higher energy densities to provide more efficient transduction at lower driving voltages. In this review the current state of silicone elastomers for DETs is summarised and critically discussed, including commercial elastomers, composites, polymer blends, grafted elastomers and complex network structures. For future developments in the field it is essential that all aspects of the elastomer are taken into account, namely dielectric losses, lifetime and the very often ignored polymer network integrity and stability.Complete Manuscript
Click chemistry is used to obtain new conductive polymer films based on poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) from a new azide functional monomer. Postpolymerization, 1,3-dipolar cycloadditions in DMF, using a catalyst system of CuSO 4 and sodium ascorbate, and different alkynes are performed to functionalize films of PEDOT-N 3 and copolymers prepared from EDOT-N 3 and 3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene (EDOT). This approach enables new functionalities on PEDOT that could otherwise not withstand the polymerization conditions. Reactions on the thin polymer films have been optimized using an alkynated fluorophore, with reaction times of ∼20 h. The applicability of the method is illustrated by coupling of two other alkynes: a short chain fluorocarbon and a MPEG 5000 to the conductive polymer; this alters the advancing water contact angle of the surface by +20°and -20°/-25°, respectively. The targeted chemical surface modifications have been verified by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis.
BackgroundCannabis sativa (hemp) is a source of various biologically active compounds, for instance, cannabinoids, terpenes and phenolic compounds, which exhibit antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. With the purpose of expanding the auxiliary application of C. sativa in the field of bio-nanotechnology, we explored the plant for green and efficient synthesis of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and silver nanoparticles (AgNPs).Methods and resultsThe nanoparticles were synthesized by utilizing an aqueous extract of C. sativa stem separated into two different fractions (cortex and core [xylem part]) without any additional reducing, stabilizing and capping agents. In the synthesis of AuNPs using the cortex enriched in bast fibers, fiber-AuNPs (F-AuNPs) were achieved. When using the core part of the stem, which is enriched with phenolic compounds such as alkaloids and cannabinoids, core-AuNPs (C-AuNPs) and core-AgNPs (C-AgNPs) were formed. Synthesized nanoparticles were character-ized by UV–visible analysis, transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, dynamic light scattering, Fourier transform infrared, and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight. In addition, the stable nature of nanoparticles has been shown by thermogravimetric analysis and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Finally, the AgNPs were explored for the inhibition of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli biofilms.ConclusionThe synthesized nanoparticles were crystalline with an average diameter between 12 and 18 nm for F-AuNPs and C-AuNPs and in the range of 20–40 nm for C-AgNPs. ICP-MS analysis revealed concentrations of synthesized nanoparticles as 0.7, 4.5 and 3.6 mg/mL for F-AuNPs, C-AuNPs and C-AgNPs, respectively. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy revealed the presence of flavonoids, cannabinoids, terpenes and phenols on the nanoparticle surface, which could be responsible for reducing the salts to nanoparticles and further stabilizing them. In addition, the stable nature of synthesized nanoparticles has been shown by thermogravimetric analysis and ICP-MS. Finally, the AgNPs were explored for the inhibition of P. aeruginosa and E. coli biofilms. The nanoparticles exhibited minimum inhibitory concentration values of 6.25 and 5 µg/mL and minimum bactericidal concentration values of 12.5 and 25 µg/mL against P. aeruginosa and E. coli, respectively.
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