Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 14

Search results for: ring-opening polymerisation

14 Evaluation of Polymerisation Shrinkage of Randomly Oriented Micro-Sized Fibre Reinforced Dental Composites Using Fibre-Bragg Grating Sensors and Their Correlation with Degree of Conversion

Authors: Sonam Behl, Raju, Ginu Rajan, Paul Farrar, B. Gangadhara Prusty

Abstract:

Reinforcing dental composites with micro-sized fibres can significantly improve the physio-mechanical properties of dental composites. The short fibres can be oriented randomly within dental composites, thus providing quasi-isotropic reinforcing efficiency unlike unidirectional/bidirectional fibre reinforced composites enhancing anisotropic properties. Thus, short fibres reinforced dental composites are getting popular among practitioners. However, despite their popularity, resin-based dental composites are prone to failure on account of shrinkage during photo polymerisation. The shrinkage in the structure may lead to marginal gap formation, causing secondary caries, thus ultimately inducing failure of the restoration. The traditional methods to evaluate polymerisation shrinkage using strain gauges, density-based measurements, dilatometer, or bonded-disk focuses on average value of volumetric shrinkage. Moreover, the results obtained from traditional methods are sensitive to the specimen geometry. The present research aims to evaluate the real-time shrinkage strain at selected locations in the material with the help of optical fibre Bragg grating (FBG) sensors. Due to the miniature size (diameter 250 µm) of FBG sensors, they can be easily embedded into small samples of dental composites. Furthermore, an FBG array into the system can map the real-time shrinkage strain at different regions of the composite. The evaluation of real-time monitoring of shrinkage values may help to optimise the physio-mechanical properties of composites. Previously, FBG sensors have been able to rightfully measure polymerisation strains of anisotropic (unidirectional or bidirectional) reinforced dental composites. However, very limited study exists to establish the validity of FBG based sensors to evaluate volumetric shrinkage for randomly oriented fibres reinforced composites. The present study aims to fill this research gap and is focussed on establishing the usage of FBG based sensors for evaluating the shrinkage of dental composites reinforced with randomly oriented fibres. Three groups of specimens were prepared by mixing the resin (80% UDMA/20% TEGDMA) with 55% of silane treated BaAlSiO₂ particulate fillers or by adding 5% of micro-sized fibres of diameter 5 µm, and length 250/350 µm along with 50% of silane treated BaAlSiO₂ particulate fillers into the resin. For measurement of polymerisation shrinkage strain, an array of three fibre Bragg grating sensors was embedded at a depth of 1 mm into a circular Teflon mould of diameter 15 mm and depth 2 mm. The results obtained are compared with the traditional method for evaluation of the volumetric shrinkage using density-based measurements. Degree of conversion was measured using FTIR spectroscopy (Spotlight 400 FT-IR from PerkinElmer). It is expected that the average polymerisation shrinkage strain values for dental composites reinforced with micro-sized fibres can directly correlate with the measured degree of conversion values, implying that more C=C double bond conversion to C-C single bond values also leads to higher shrinkage strain within the composite. Moreover, it could be established the photonics approach could help assess the shrinkage at any point of interest in the material, suggesting that fibre-Bragg grating sensors are a suitable means for measuring real-time polymerisation shrinkage strain for randomly fibre reinforced dental composites as well.

Keywords: dental composite, glass fibre, polymerisation shrinkage strain, fibre-Bragg grating sensors

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13 Liquid Tin(II) Alkoxide Initiators for Use in the Ring-Opening Polymerisation of Cyclic Ester Monomers

Authors: Sujitra Ruengdechawiwat, Robert Molloy, Jintana Siripitayananon, Runglawan Somsunan, Paul D. Topham, Brian J. Tighe

Abstract:

The main aim of this research has been to design and synthesize some completely soluble liquid tin(II) alkoxide initiators for use in the ring-opening polymerisation (ROP) of cyclic ester monomers. This is in contrast to conventional tin(II) alkoxides in solid form which tend to be molecular aggregates and difficult to dissolve. The liquid initiators prepared were bis(tin(II) monooctoate) diethylene glycol ([Sn(Oct)]2DEG) and bis(tin(II) monooctoate) ethylene glycol ([Sn(Oct)]2EG). Their efficiencies as initiators in the bulk ROP of ε-caprolactone (CL) at 130oC were studied kinetically by dilatometry. Kinetic data over the 20-70% conversion range was used to construct both first-order and zero-order rate plots. It was found that the rate data fitted more closely to first-order kinetics with respect to the monomer concentration and gave higher first-order rate constants than the corresponding tin(II) octoate/diol initiating systems normally used to generate the tin(II) alkoxide in situ. Since the ultimate objective of this work is to produce copolymers suitable for biomedical use as absorbable monofilament surgical sutures, poly(L-lactide-co-ε-caprolactone) 75:25 mol %, P(LL-co-CL), copolymers were synthesized using both solid and liquid tin(II) alkoxide initiators at 130°C for 48 hrs. The statistical copolymers were obtained in near-quantitative yields with compositions (from 1H-NMR) close to the initial comonomer feed ratios. The monomer sequencing (from 13C-NMR) was partly random and partly blocky (gradient-type) due to the much differing monomer reactivity ratios (rLL >> rCL). From GPC, the copolymers obtained using the soluble liquid tin(II) alkoxides were found to have higher molecular weights (Mn = 40,000-100,000) than those from the only partially soluble solid initiators (Mn = 30,000-52,000).

Keywords: biodegradable polyesters, poly(L-lactide-co-ε-caprolactone), ring-opening polymerisation, tin(II) alkoxide

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12 A Kinetic Study of Radical Polymerisation of Acrylic Monomers in the Presence of the Liquid Crystal and the Electro-Optical Properties of These Mixtures

Authors: A. Bouriche, D. Merah, T. Bouchaour, L. Alachaher-Bedjaoui, U. Maschke

Abstract:

Intensive research continues in the field of liquid crystals (LCs) for their potential use in modern display applications. Nematic LCs has been most commonly used due to the large birefringence and their sensitivity to even weak perturbation forces induced by electric, magnetic and optical fields. Polymer dispersed liquid crystals (PDLCs), composed of micron-sized nematic LC droplets dispersed in a polymer matrix is an important class of materials for applications in different domains of technology involving large area display devices, optical switches, phase modulators, variable attenuators, polarisers, flexible displays and smart windows. In this study the composites are prepared from mixtures of mono functional acrylic monomers, (Butylacrylate (ABu), 2-Ethylhexylacrylate (2-EHA), 2-Hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) and hydroxybutylmethacrylate (HBMA)) and two liquid crystals: (4-cyano-4'-n-pentyl-biphenyl) (5CB) and E7 which is an eutectic mixtures of four cyanoparaphenylenes. These mixtures are prepared adding the Darocur 1173 as photoinitiator, the 1.6-hexanediol diacrylate (HDDA) as cross-linker agent, and finally they are exposed to UV irradiation. The kinetic polymerization of monomer/LC mixture were investigated with the Fourier Transform Infra Red spectroscopy (FTIR). The electro-optical properties of the PDLC films were determined by measuring the voltage dependence on the transmitted light.

Keywords: acrylic monomers, films PDLC, liquid crystal, polymerisation

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11 Synthesis of Polystyrene Grafted Filler Nanoparticles: Effect of Grafting on Mechanical Reinforcement

Authors: M. Khlifa, A. Youssef, A. F. Zaed, A. Kraft, V. Arrighi

Abstract:

A series of PS-nanoparticles were prepared by grafting PS from both aggregated silica and colloidally silica using atom-transfer radical polymerisation (ATRP). The mechanical behaviour of the nanocomposites have been examined by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)and dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA).

Keywords: ATRP, nanocomposites, polystyrene, reinforcement

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10 Generating a Multiplex Sensing Platform for the Accurate Diagnosis of Sepsis

Authors: N. Demertzis, J. L. Bowen

Abstract:

Sepsis is a complex and rapidly evolving condition, resulting from uncontrolled prolonged activation of host immune system due to pathogenic insult. The aim of this study is the development of a multiplex electrochemical sensing platform, capable of detecting both pathogen associated and host immune markers to enable the rapid and definitive diagnosis of sepsis. A combination of aptamers and molecular imprinting approaches have been employed to generate sensing systems for lipopolysaccharide (LPS), c-reactive protein (CRP) and procalcitonin (PCT). Gold working electrodes were mechanically polished and electrochemically cleaned with 0.1 M sulphuric acid using cyclic voltammetry (CV). Following activation, a self-assembled monolayer (SAM) was generated, by incubating the electrodes with a thiolated anti-LPS aptamer / dithiodibutiric acid (DTBA) mixture (1:20). 3-aminophenylboronic acid (3-APBA) in combination with the anti-LPS aptamer was used for the development of the hybrid molecularly imprinted sensor (apta-MIP). Aptasensors, targeting PCT and CRP were also fabricated, following the same approach as in the case of LPS, with mercaptohexanol (MCH) replacing DTBA. In the case of the CRP aptasensor, the SAM was formed following incubation of a 1:1 aptamer: MCH mixture. However, in the case of PCT, the SAM was formed with the aptamer itself, with subsequent backfilling with 1 μM MCH. The binding performance of all systems has been evaluated using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The apta-MIP’s polymer thickness is controlled by varying the number of electropolymerisation cycles. In the ideal number of polymerisation cycles, the polymer must cover the electrode surface and create a binding pocket around LPS and its aptamer binding site. Less polymerisation cycles will create a hybrid system which resembles an aptasensor, while more cycles will be able to cover the complex and demonstrate a bulk polymer-like behaviour. Both aptasensor and apta-MIP were challenged with LPS and compared to conventional imprinted (absence of aptamer from the binding site, polymer formed in presence of LPS) and non-imprinted polymers (NIPS, absence of LPS whilst hybrid polymer is formed). A stable LPS aptasensor, capable of detecting down to 5 pg/ml of LPS was generated. The apparent Kd of the system was estimated at 17 pM, with a Bmax of approximately 50 pM. The aptasensor demonstrated high specificity to LPS. The apta-MIP demonstrated superior recognition properties with a limit of detection of 1 fg/ml and a Bmax of 100 pg/ml. The CRP and PCT aptasensors were both able to detect down to 5 pg/ml. Whilst full binding performance is currently being evaluated, there is none of the sensors demonstrate cross-reactivity towards LPS, CRP or PCT. In conclusion, stable aptasensors capable of detecting LPS, PCT and CRP at low concentrations have been generated. The realisation of a multiplex panel such as described herein, will effectively contribute to the rapid, personalised diagnosis of sepsis.

Keywords: aptamer, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, molecularly imprinted polymers, sepsis

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9 A Kinetic Study of Radical Polymerization of Acrylic Monomers in the Presence of the Liquid Crystal and the Electro-Optical Properties of These Mixtures

Authors: A. Bouriche, D. Merah, L.Alachaher-Bedjaoui, U. Maschke

Abstract:

Intensive research continues in the field of liquid crystals (LCs) for their potential use in modern display applications. Nematic LCs has been most commonly used due to the large birefringence and their sensitivity to even weak perturbation forces induced by electric, magnetic and optical fields. Polymer dispersed liquid crystals (PDLCs), composed of micron-sized nematic LC droplets dispersed in a polymer matrix is an important class of materials for applications in different domains of technology involving large area display devices, optical switches, phase modulators, variable attenuators, polarisers, flexible displays and smart windows. In this study the composites are prepared from mixtures of monofunctional acrylic monomers, (Butylacrylate (ABu), 2-Ethylhexylacrylate (2-EHA), 2-Hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) and hydroxybutylmethacrylate (HBMA)) and two liquid crystals: (4-cyano-4'-n-pentyl-biphenyl) (5CB) and E7 which is an eutectic mixtures of four cyanoparaphenylenes. These mixtures are prepared adding the Darocur 1173 as photoinitiateor, the 1.6-hexanediol diacrylate (HDDA) as cross-linker agent, and finally they are exposed to UV irradiation. The kinetic polymerization of monomer/LC mixture were investigated with the Fourier Transform Infra Red spectroscopy (FTIR). The electro-optical properties of the PDLC films were determined by measuring the voltage dependence on the transmitted light.

Keywords: acrylic monomers, films PDLC, liquid crystal, polymerisation

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8 Role of Biomaterial Surface Nanotopography on Protein Unfolding and Immune Response

Authors: Rahul Madathiparambil Visalakshan, Alex Cavallaro, John Hayball, Krasimir Vasilev

Abstract:

The role of biomaterial surface nanotopograhy on fibrinogen adsorption and unfolding, and the subsequent immune response were studied. Inconsistent topography and varying chemical functionalities along with a lack of reproducibility pose a challenge in determining the specific effects of nanotopography or chemistry on proteins and cells. It is important to have a well-defined nanotopography with a homogeneous chemistry to study the real effect of nanotopography on biological systems. Therefore, we developed a technique that can produce well-defined and highly reproducible topography to identify the role of specific roughness, size, height and density with the presence of homogeneous chemical functionality. Using plasma polymerisation of oxazoline monomers and immobilized gold nanoparticles we created surfaces with an equal number density of nanoparticles of different sizes. This surface was used to study the role of surface nanotopography and the interplay of surface chemistry on proteins and immune cells. The effect of nanotopography on fibrinogen adsorption was investigated using Quartz Cristal Microbalance with Dissipation and micro BCA. The mass of fibrinogen adsorbed on the surface increased with increasing size of nano-topography. Protein structural changes up on adsorption to the nano rough surface was studied using circular dichroism spectroscopy. Fibrinogen unfolding varied depending on the specific nanotopography of the surfaces. It was revealed that the in vitro immune response to the nanotopography surfaces changed due to this protein unfolding.

Keywords: biomaterial inflammation, protein and cell responses, protein unfolding, surface nanotopography

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7 Sustainable Radiation Curable Palm Oil-Based Products for Advanced Materials Applications

Authors: R. Tajau, R. Rohani, M. S. Alias, N. H. Mudri, K. A. Abdul Halim, M. H. Harun, N. Mat Isa, R. Che Ismail, S. Muhammad Faisal, M. Talib, M. R. Mohamed Zin

Abstract:

Bio-based polymeric materials are increasingly used for a variety of applications, including surface coating, drug delivery systems, and tissue engineering. These polymeric materials are ideal for the aforementioned applications because they are derived from natural resources, non-toxic, low-cost, biocompatible, and biodegradable, and have promising thermal and mechanical properties. The nature of hydrocarbon chains, carbon double bonds, and ester bonds allows various sources of oil (edible), such as soy, sunflower, olive, and oil palm, to fine-tune their particular structures in the development of innovative materials. Palm oil can be the most eminent raw material used for manufacturing new and advanced natural polymeric materials involving radiation techniques, such as coating resins, nanoparticles, scaffold, nanotubes, nanocomposites, and lithography for different branches of the industry in countries where oil palm is abundant. The radiation technique is among the most versatile, cost-effective, simple, and effective methods. Crosslinking, reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT), polymerisation, grafting, and degradation are among the radiation mechanisms. Exposure to gamma, EB, UV, or laser irradiation, which are commonly used in the development of polymeric materials, is used in these mechanisms. Therefore, this review focuses on current radiation processing technologies for the development of various radiation-curable bio-based polymeric materials with a promising future in biomedical and industrial applications. The key focus of this review is on radiation curable palm oil-based products, which have been published frequently in recent studies.

Keywords: palm oil, radiation processing, surface coatings, VOC

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6 The Use of Additives to Prevent Fouling in Polyethylene and Polypropylene Gas and Slurry Phase Processes

Authors: L. Shafiq, A. Rigby

Abstract:

All polyethylene processes are highly exothermic, and the safe removal of the heat of reaction is a fundamental issue in the process design. In slurry and gas processes, the velocity of the polymer particles in the reactor and external coolers can be very high, and under certain conditions, this can lead to static charging of these particles. Such static charged polymer particles may start building up on the reactor wall, limiting heat transfer, and ultimately leading to severe reactor fouling and forced reactor shut down. Statsafe™ is an FDA approved anti-fouling additive currently used around the world for polyolefin production as an anti-fouling additive. The unique polymer chemistry aids static discharge, which prevents the build-up of charged polyolefin particles, which could lead to fouling. Statsafe™ is being used and trailed in gas, slurry, and a combination of these technologies around the world. We will share data to demonstrate how the use of Statsafe™ allows more stable operation at higher solids level by eliminating static, which would otherwise prevent closer packing of particles in the hydrocarbon slurry. Because static charge generation depends also on the concentration of polymer particles in the slurry, the maximum slurry concentration can be higher when using Statsafe™, leading to higher production rates. The elimination of fouling also leads to less downtime. Special focus will be made on the impact anti-static additives have on catalyst performance within the polymerization process and how this has been measured. Lab-scale studies have investigated the effect on the activity of Ziegler Natta catalysts when anti-static additives are used at various concentrations in gas and slurry, polyethylene and polypropylene processes. An in-depth gas phase study investigated the effect of additives on the final polyethylene properties such as particle size, morphology, fines, bulk density, melt flow index, gradient density, and melting point.

Keywords: anti-static additives, catalyst performance, FDA approved anti-fouling additive, polymerisation

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5 3D-Printing Compressible Macroporous Polymer Using Poly-Pickering-High Internal Phase Emulsions as Micromixer

Authors: Hande Barkan-Ozturk, Angelika Menner, Alexander Bismarck

Abstract:

Microfluidic mixing technology grew rapidly in the past few years due to its many advantages over the macro-scale mixing, especially the ability to use small amounts of internal volume and also very high surface-to-volume ratio. The Reynold number identify whether the mixing is operated by the laminar or turbulence flow. Therefore, mixing with very fast kinetic can be achieved by diminishing the channel dimensions to decrease Reynold number and the laminar flow can be accomplished. Moreover, by using obstacles in the micromixer, the mixing length and the contact area between the species have been increased. Therefore, the channel geometry and its surface property have great importance to reach satisfactory mixing results. Since poly(-merised) High Internal Phase Emulsions (polyHIPEs) have more than 74% porosity and their pores are connected each other with pore throats, which cause high permeability, they are ideal candidate to build a micromixer. The HIPE precursor is commonly produced by using an overhead stirrer to obtain relatively large amount of emulsion in batch process. However, we will demonstrate that a desired amount of emulsion can be prepared continuously with micromixer build from polyHIPE, and such HIPE can subsequently be employed as ink in 3D printing process. In order to produce the micromixer a poly-Pickering(St-co-DVB)HIPE with 80% porosity was prepared with modified silica particles as stabilizer and surfactant Hypermer 2296 to obtain open porous structure and after coating of the surface, the three 1/16' ' PTFE tubes to transfer continuous (CP) and internal phases (IP) and the other is to collect the emulsion were placed. Afterwards, the two phases were injected in the ratio 1:3 CP:IP with syringe dispensers, respectively, and highly viscoelastic H(M)IPE, which can be used as an ink in 3D printing process, was gathered continuously. After the polymerisation of the resultant emulsion, polyH(M)IPE has interconnected porous structure identical to the monolithic polyH(M)IPE indicating that the emulsion can be prepared constantly with poly-Pickering-HIPE as micromixer and it can be used to prepare desired pattern with a 3D printer. Moreover, the morphological properties of the emulsion can be adjustable by changing flow ratio, flow speed and structure of the micromixer.

Keywords: 3D-Printing, emulsification, macroporous polymer, micromixer, polyHIPE

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4 Mathematical Modeling for Continuous Reactive Extrusion of Poly Lactic Acid Formation by Ring Opening Polymerization Considering Metal/Organic Catalyst and Alternative Energies

Authors: Satya P. Dubey, Hrushikesh A Abhyankar, Veronica Marchante, James L. Brighton, Björn Bergmann

Abstract:

Aims: To develop a mathematical model that simulates the ROP of PLA taking into account the effect of alternative energy to be implemented in a continuous reactive extrusion production process of PLA. Introduction: The production of large amount of waste is one of the major challenges at the present time, and polymers represent 70% of global waste. PLA has emerged as a promising polymer as it is compostable, biodegradable thermoplastic polymer made from renewable sources. However, the main limitation for the application of PLA is the traces of toxic metal catalyst in the final product. Thus, a safe and efficient production process needs to be developed to avoid the potential hazards and toxicity. It has been found that alternative energy sources (LASER, ultrasounds, microwaves) could be a prominent option to facilitate the ROP of PLA via continuous reactive extrusion. This process may result in complete extraction of the metal catalysts and facilitate less active organic catalysts. Methodology: Initial investigation were performed using the data available in literature for the reaction mechanism of ROP of PLA based on conventional metal catalyst stannous octoate. A mathematical model has been developed by considering significant parameters such as different initial concentration ratio of catalyst, co-catalyst and impurity. Effects of temperature variation and alternative energies have been implemented in the model. Results: The validation of the mathematical model has been made by using data from literature as well as actual experiments. Validation of the model including alternative energies is in progress based on experimental data for partners of the InnoREX project consortium. Conclusion: The model developed reproduces accurately the polymerisation reaction when applying alternative energy. Alternative energies have a great positive effect to increase the conversion and molecular weight of the PLA. This model could be very useful tool to complement Ludovic® software to predict the large scale production process when using reactive extrusion.

Keywords: polymer, poly-lactic acid (PLA), ring opening polymerization (ROP), metal-catalyst, bio-degradable, renewable source, alternative energy (AE)

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3 Self-Healing Coatings and Electrospun Fibers

Authors: M. Grandcolas, N. Rival, H. Bu, S. Jahren, R. Schmid, H. Johnsen

Abstract:

The concept of an autonomic self-healing material, where initiation of repair is integrated to the material, is now being considered for engineering applications and is a hot topic in the literature. Among several concepts/techniques, two are most interesting: i) Capsules: Integration of microcapsules in or at the surface of coatings or fibre-like structures has recently gained much attention. Upon damage-induced cracking, the microcapsules are broken by the propagating crack fronts resulting in a release of an active chemical (healing agent) by capillary action, subsequently repairing and avoiding further crack growth. ii) Self-healing polymers: Interestingly, the introduction of dynamic covalent bonds into polymer networks has also recently been used as a powerful approach towards the design of various intrinsically self-healing polymer systems. The idea behind this is to reconnect the chemical crosslinks which are broken when a material fractures, restoring the integrity of the material and thereby prolonging its lifetime. We propose here to integrate both self-healing concepts (capsules, self-healing polymers) in electrospun fibres and coatings. Different capsule preparation approaches have been investigated in SINTEF. The most advanced method to produce capsules is based on emulsification to create a water-in-oil emulsion before polymerisation. The healing agent is a polyurethane-based dispersion that was encapsulated in shell materials consisting of urea-benzaldehyde resins. Results showed the successful preparation of microcapsules and release of the agent when capsules break. Since capsules are produced in water-in-oil systems we mainly investigated organic solvent based coatings while a major challenge resides in the incorporation of capsules into water-based coatings. We also focused on developing more robust microcapsules to prevent premature rupture of the capsules. The capsules have been characterized in terms of size, and encapsulation and release might be visualized by incorporating fluorescent dyes and examine the capsules by microscopy techniques. Alternatively, electrospinning is an innovative technique that has attracted enormous attention due to unique properties of the produced nano-to-micro fibers, ease of fabrication and functionalization, and versatility in controlling parameters. Especially roll-to-roll electrospinning is a unique method which has been used in industry to produce nanofibers continuously. Electrospun nanofibers can usually reach a diameter down to 100 nm, depending on the polymer used, which is of interest for the concept with self-healing polymer systems. In this work, we proved the feasibility of fabrication of POSS-based (POSS: polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes, tradename FunzioNano™) nanofibers via electrospinning. Two different formulations based on aqueous or organic solvents have shown nanofibres with a diameter between 200 – 450nm with low defects. The addition of FunzioNano™ in the polymer blend also showed enhanced properties in term of wettability, promising for e.g. membrane technology. The self-healing polymer systems developed are here POSS-based materials synthesized to develop dynamic soft brushes.

Keywords: capsules, coatings, electrospinning, fibers

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2 Gas Systems of the Amadeus Basin, Australia

Authors: Chris J. Boreham, Dianne S. Edwards, Amber Jarrett, Justin Davies, Robert Poreda, Alex Sessions, John Eiler

Abstract:

The origins of natural gases in the Amadeus Basin have been assessed using molecular and stable isotope (C, H, N, He) systematics. A dominant end-member thermogenic, oil-associated gas is considered for the Ordovician Pacoota−Stairway sandstones of the Mereenie gas and oil field. In addition, an abiogenic end-member is identified in the latest Proterozoic lower Arumbera Sandstone of the Dingo gasfield, being most likely associated with radiolysis of methane with polymerisation to wet gases. The latter source assignment is based on a similar geochemical fingerprint derived from the laboratory gamma irradiation experiments on methane. A mixed gas source is considered for the Palm Valley gasfield in the Ordovician Pacoota Sandstone. Gas wetness (%∑C₂−C₅/∑C₁−C₅) decreases in the order Mereenie (19.1%) > Palm Valley (9.4%) > Dingo (4.1%). Non-produced gases at Magee-1 (23.5%; Late Proterozoic Heavitree Quartzite) and Mount Kitty-1 (18.9%; Paleo-Mesoproterozoic fractured granitoid basement) are very wet. Methane thermometry based on clumped isotopes of methane (¹³CDH₃) is consistent with the abiogenic origin for the Dingo gas field with methane formation temperature of 254ᵒC. However, the low methane formation temperature of 57°C for the Mereenie gas suggests either a mixed thermogenic-biogenic methane source or there is no thermodynamic equilibrium between the methane isotopomers. The shallow reservoir depth and present-day formation temperature below 80ᵒC would support microbial methanogenesis, but there is no accompanying alteration of the C- and H-isotopes of the wet gases and CO₂ that is typically associated with biodegradation. The Amadeus Basin gases show low to extremely high inorganic gas contents. Carbon dioxide is low in abundance (< 1% CO₂) and becomes increasing depleted in ¹³C from the Palm Valley (av. δ¹³C 0‰) to the Mereenie (av. δ¹³C -6.6‰) and Dingo (av. δ¹³C -14.3‰) gas fields. Although the wide range in carbon isotopes for CO₂ is consistent with multiple origins from inorganic to organic inputs, the most likely process is fluid-rock alteration with enrichment in ¹²C in the residual gaseous CO₂ accompanying progressive carbonate precipitation within the reservoir. Nitrogen ranges from low−moderate (1.7−9.9% N₂) abundance (Palm Valley av. 1.8%; Mereenie av. 9.1%; Dingo av. 9.4%) to extremely high abundance in Magee-1 (43.6%) and Mount Kitty-1 (61.0%). The nitrogen isotopes for the production gases have δ¹⁵N = -3.0‰ for Mereenie, -3.0‰ for Palm Valley and -7.1‰ for Dingo, suggest all being mixed inorganic and thermogenic nitrogen sources. Helium (He) abundance varies over a wide range from a low of 0.17% to one of the world’s highest at 9% (Mereenie av. 0.23%; Palm Valley av. 0.48%, Dingo av. 0.18%, Magee-1 6.2%; Mount Kitty-1 9.0%). Complementary helium isotopes (R/Ra = ³He/⁴Hesample / ³He/⁴Heair) range from 0.013 to 0.031 R/Ra, indicating a dominant crustal origin for helium with a sustained input of radiogenic 4He from the decomposition of U- and Th-bearing minerals, effectively diluting any original mantle helium input. The high helium content in the non-produced gases compared to the shallower producing wells most likely reflects their stratigraphic position relative to the Tonian Bitter Springs Group with the former below and the latter above an effective carbonate-salt seal.

Keywords: amadeus gas, thermogenic, abiogenic, C, H, N, He isotopes

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1 Poly (3,4-Ethylenedioxythiophene) Prepared by Vapor Phase Polymerization for Stimuli-Responsive Ion-Exchange Drug Delivery

Authors: M. Naveed Yasin, Robert Brooke, Andrew Chan, Geoffrey I. N. Waterhouse, Drew Evans, Darren Svirskis, Ilva D. Rupenthal

Abstract:

Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) is a robust conducting polymer (CP) exhibiting high conductivity and environmental stability. It can be synthesized by either chemical, electrochemical or vapour phase polymerization (VPP). Dexamethasone sodium phosphate (dexP) is an anionic drug molecule which has previously been loaded onto PEDOT as a dopant via electrochemical polymerisation; however this technique requires conductive surfaces from which polymerization is initiated. On the other hand, VPP produces highly organized biocompatible CP structures while polymerization can be achieved onto a range of surfaces with a relatively straight forward scale-up process. Following VPP of PEDOT, dexP can be loaded and subsequently released via ion-exchange. This study aimed at preparing and characterising both non-porous and porous VPP PEDOT structures including examining drug loading and release via ion-exchange. Porous PEDOT structures were prepared by first depositing a sacrificial polystyrene (PS) colloidal template on a substrate, heat curing this deposition and then spin coating it with the oxidant solution (iron tosylate) at 1500 rpm for 20 sec. VPP of both porous and non-porous PEDOT was achieved by exposing to monomer vapours in a vacuum oven at 40 mbar and 40 °C for 3 hrs. Non-porous structures were prepared similarly on the same substrate but without any sacrificial template. Surface morphology, compositions and behaviour were then characterized by atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and cyclic voltammetry (CV) respectively. Drug loading was achieved by 50 CV cycles in a 0.1 M dexP aqueous solution. For drug release, each sample was exposed to 20 mL of phosphate buffer saline (PBS) placed in a water bath operating at 37 °C and 100 rpm. Film was stimulated (continuous pulse of ± 1 V at 0.5 Hz for 17 mins) while immersed into PBS. Samples were collected at 1, 2, 6, 23, 24, 26 and 27 hrs and were analysed for dexP by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC Agilent 1200 series). AFM and SEM revealed the honey comb nature of prepared porous structures. XPS data showed the elemental composition of the dexP loaded film surface, which related well with that of PEDOT and also showed that one dexP molecule was present per almost three EDOT monomer units. The reproducible electroactive nature was shown by several cycles of reduction and oxidation via CV. Drug release revealed success in drug loading via ion-exchange, with stimulated porous and non-porous structures exhibiting a proof of concept burst release upon application of an electrical stimulus. A similar drug release pattern was observed for porous and non-porous structures without any significant statistical difference, possibly due to the thin nature of these structures. To our knowledge, this is the first report to explore the potential of VPP prepared PEDOT for stimuli-responsive drug delivery via ion-exchange. The produced porous structures were ordered and highly porous as indicated by AFM and SEM. These porous structures exhibited good electroactivity as shown by CV. Future work will investigate porous structures as nano-reservoirs to increase drug loading while sealing these structures to minimize spontaneous drug leakage.

Keywords: PEDOT for ion-exchange drug delivery, stimuli-responsive drug delivery, template based porous PEDOT structures, vapour phase polymerization of PEDOT

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