Special Issue “Current trends in biopolymer-based materials”

Special Issue Editor


Victor Manuel Perez-Puyana ,

* Correspondence: vperez11@us.es

Departamento de Ingeniería Química, Facultad de Química, Universidad de Sevilla, 41012, Sevilla, Spain

Interests: Biopolymers; Processing of biopolymer-based materials; Rheological and microstructural characterization of materials; Valorization of food by-products; Nanomaterials; Electrospinning; Tissue Engineering.

Alberto Romero García ,

* Correspondence: alromero@us.es

Departamento de Ingeniería Química, Facultad de Química, Universidad de Sevilla, 41012, Sevilla, Spain

Interests: Processing of biopolymer-based materials. Development of emulsions, bioplastics and biomaterials. Valorization of food by-products. Rheological and physicochemical characterization of micro and nanostructured, multicomponent systems and their applications.

Special Issue Information

Aim and Scope: The importance of materials has been, is and will be very important for life. Recently, the technology of materials is being focused on polymers and composite materials, since with them it is possible to obtain a material with optimal properties for the required application. Specifically, the convergence of materials science with materials engineering leads to the combination of the production and characterization of materials for different specific applications. Nowadays, polymer-based materials have been proposed for different applications like foods (formation and stabilization of foods, supply dietary fibers or micro- and nanoencapsulation), packaging (structural and mechanical properties or edible films), cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry (low cost, sustainability and naturalness, even in regenerative medicine as biomaterials. Aiming to explore these concepts, this Special Issue will focus on the current trends for polymer-based materials and their possible applications, as well as the study of traditional and emerging processing techniques. In addition, different characterization techniques will be evaluated and described. Submissions can cover the following topics (but are not limited to them):

– Natural-based polymers;

– Polysaccharides and proteins in materials science;

– Synthetic polymers in materials science;

– Processing of biopolymers;

– Nanomaterials.

We kindly invite you to submit a manuscript(s) for this Special Issue. Full papers, communications, and reviews are all welcome.

Subtopics: Natural polymers: Polysaccharides and proteins; Modified natural polymers: Cellulose acetate; Synthetic polymers: PLA; Composite materials (combination of natural and synthetic polymers).

Keywords: Bio-based polymers; biodegradable polymers; physicochemical characterization; mechanical characterization; microstructural characterization; nanotechnology; biomaterials.

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 May 2020

Deadline extended: 30 September 2020

Manuscript Submission Information

All submissions to Materials International should be made at review@materials.international. The corresponding author has the responsibility of the manuscript during the submission and peer-reviewing process. Please do not forget to state in the email “Subject” the title of this special issue.

Submission Checklist

  1. read the Aim & Scope to gain an overview and assess if your manuscript is suitable for this journal;
  2. use the Microsoft Word Template to prepare your manuscript;
  3. make sure that issues about publication ethics, copyright, authorship, figure formats, data and references format have been appropriately considered;
  4. please try to cite only articles with DOI (digital object identifier); also add DOI for each reference;
  5. please add at least 10 references from the last 2 years (2018-2019) in order to highlight the novelty of your work;
  6. ensure that all authors have approved the content of the submitted manuscript.

Published papers

1) Chitin, Chitosan, and Submicron-Sized Chitosan Particles Prepared from Scylla serrata Shells


Nur Alimatul Hakimah Narudin 1, Abdul Hanif Mahadi 2, Eny Kusrini 3, Anwar Usman 2,*

1   Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Jalan Tungku Link, Gadong BE1410, Brunei Darussalam; 15b3139@ubd.edu.bn

2   Centre for Advanced Material and Energy Sciences, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Jalan Tungku Link, Gadong BE1410, Brunei Darussalam; hanif.mahadi@ubd.edu.bn

3     Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus Baru UI, 16424 Depok, Indonesia; ekusrini@che.ui.ac.id

* Correspondence: anwar.usman@ubd.edu.bn; Scopus ID: 7006491473

Planned papers

(1) Characterization of Taquara-Lixa (Merostachys Skvortzovil Sendulsky) fibers with and without alkali treatment for their possible use in polymer composites#

Camilo Borges Neto1,, Thais Sydenstricker Flores-Sahagun2, Kestur Gundappa Satyanarayana3*, Alan Sulato Andrade4 and Irineu Mazzaro5

1- Department of Transport, Federal University of Paraná (UFPR), Curitiba, P.O Box 19049,      Zip: 81.531-990, Paraná, Brazil; Tel/Fax:+55 (41) 3361-3388;E-mail: cyborg@ufpr.br; camiloborgesneto@gmail.com.

2- Department of Mechanical Engineering, Federal University of Paraná (UFPR),   Curitiba,   P.O Box 19011, Zip: 81.531-990, Paraná, Brazil; Tel: 55 (41) 3361-3430; E-mail: tsydenstricker@gmail.com.

3-Honorary Professor, Poornaprajna Institute of Scientific Research (PPISR), Sy. No. 167,  Poornaprajnapura, Bidalur Post, Devanahalli, Bengaluru- 562110 (Karnataka, India). * Corresponding Author: Tel: + 91 (80) 2760 7242 / 2764 7701; Fax: +91(80)-27647444;    E-mail: gundsat42@hotmail.com; kgs_satya@yahoo.co.in.

4- Department of Engineering and Forest Technology, Federal University of Paraná (UFPR), Curitiba,   P.O Box 19049, Zip: 81.531-990, Paraná, Brazil; Tel:+55(41)3360-4291; E-mail: alansulato@gmail.com.

5- Department of Physics, Federal University of Paraná (UFPR), Curitiba,   P.O Box 19049, Zip: 81.531-990, Paraná, Brazil; Tel: +55 (41) 3361-3663; E-mail: mazzaro@física.ufpr.br.


Efforts to find new resources to replace the synthetic fibers such as glass and carbon fibers in the development of polymeric and cementiceous matrices based composites have been made to take care of growing environmental concerns. Bamboo is one such lignocellulosic material, which is abundantlygrown in most developing countries and is sustainable and strong. Of the various varieties of bamboo grown in Brazil, Taquara-lixa stands out due to its large availability and low cost besides its physical and mechanical characteristics. However, not many studies have been reported on its use in the development of composites probably due to very little reports on various properties of this fiber. Accordingly, this paper presents extraction of fibers from the stem of taquara-lixa bamboo, their characterization in respect of chemical composition, pH, crystallinity index and thermal stability. Further, effect of alkali treatment of fibers on the chemical composition, thermal stability and crystallinity index has also been presented. While the alkali treatment has reduced the moisture and lignin contents as well as solubility in cold and hot water, holocellulose content increased slightly. There was no change in the values pH, crystallinity index and thermal stability of the fibers with the alkali treatment.

#- Part of this was presented in the 13th Annual Congress of Brazilian Polymers – Natal, RN – 18 – 22 October, 2015 and included in the Proceedings.

(2) Influence of chemical treatments on the properties of açaí and curauá fibers

Larissa R. Gehlen1, # Thais H. S. Flores-Sahagun2,#, Suelen G. de Souzac, Elisane Koller3, Claudio E. Nunes Junior3, Ana Paula T. Pezzin3 and Kestur Gundappa Satyanarayana4,*

1- Post-graduation Program in Engineering and Materials Science/PIPE, Federal University of Parana, P.O. Box. 19011, Curitiba, CEP: 81531-980 (Brazil). E-mail: lrossigehlen@gmail.com; tsydenstricker@gmail.com.

2Department of Mechanical Engineering, Federal University of Parana, P.O. Box. 19011, Curitiba, CEP: 81531-980 (Brazil), Tel: +55(41) 3361 3308;      E-mail: tsydenstricker@gmail.com.

3- Department of Chemical Engineering, University of the Region of Joinville, Paulo Malschitzk Road, 10 – North Industrial Area, Joinville – SC, 89219-710, Brazil, Tel: +55 (47)3461-9066/34619180; E-mail: anapezzin@yahoo.com.br; suh_rogue@hotmail.com;   koller_zany@hotmail.com; claudio.evaristo.nunes.jr@gmail.com.

4- Honorary Professor, Poornaprajna Institute of Scientific Research (PPISR), Sy. no. 167,   Poornaprajnapura, Bidalur Post, Devanahalli, Bangalore 562 110 (Karnataka-India). E-mail: gundsat42@hotmail.com; kgs_satya@yahoo.co.in. * Corresponding Author.


Continuing the studies on the Brazilian lignocellulosic fibers by the authors to increase their applications, this paper presents chemical and thermal properties of açai and curauá fibers, which are some of the unique fibers of the country. While there is very limited published report on the effect of chemical treatments of açaí fibers, no report is available of sodium borohydride (sodium tetrahydroborate) treatment of both these fibers. This paper presents effect of alkaline treatments with and without sodium borohydride on these two fibers for possible use in polymer based composites. Chemical composition studies of both the fibers revealed these chemical treatments increased cellulose and decreased hemicelluloses contents of both the fibers; while spectroscopic studies using Fourier transform infrared showed that wide hydroxyl bands are not affected by the chemical treatments, while other bands showed slight variations in their trough parts compared to those of fibers without any treatment. Both the fibers exhibited improved thermal stability after the alkaline treatment. These results clearly underlined that the chemical treatments were effective in for improvement of their thermal properties, while the effectiveness of these treatments on fibers surfaces can be seen when they are used in a polymer matrix and removal of components.

(3) PVA composites: natural fibers as additive and reinforcement

Aline Caldonazo1, Heloise Sasso Teixeira2, Elaine Cristina Lengowski3, Eraldo Antonio Bonfatti Júnior4 and Kestur Gundappa Satyanarayana5.

  1. Postgraduate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PPGCF), Federal University of Paraná (UFPR), Av. Pref. Lothário Meissner, 632, Jardim Botânico, Curitiba, PR 80210-170, Brazil; E-mail: alinecaldonazo@yahoo.com.br.
  2. Graduate Program in Engineering and Materials Science (PIPE), Federal University of  Paraná (UFPR), Cel. Francisco H. dos Santos, 100 Av., 632, Jardim das Américas, Curitiba, PR 81.530-000, Brazil. E-mail: heloisesassoteixeira@gmail.com.
  3. Faculty of Forestry Engineering, Federal University of Mato Grosso (UFMT), Fernando  Corrêa  da Costa St, 2367 – Boa Esperança, Cuiabá, MT 78068-600, Brazil. E-mail: elainelengowski@gmail.com; elainecristina@ufmt.br
  4. Department of Forest Engineering and Technology (DETF), Federal University of Paraná (UFPR), Av. Pref. Lothário Meissner, 632, Jardim Botânico, Curitiba, PR 80210-170, Brazil. E-mail: bonfattieraldo@gmail.com.
  5. Honorary Professor, Poornaprajna Institute of Scientific Research (PPISR), Sy. no. 167, Poornaprajnapura, Bidalur Post, Devanahalli, Bangalore 562 110 (Karnataka-India). E-mail: gundsat42@hotmail.com;kgs_satya@yahoo.co.in * Corresponding Author.


Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) is a biodegradable, biocompatible synthetic polymer that has demonstrated good performance in several areas of application as packing, agriculture but mainly in biomedicine field. The natural fibers, or lignocellulosic fibers, play an increasingly important role in polymer composites, since they are not only “biofriendly” polymers, easy to obtain and abundantly found in nature, but also add great improvement in the physical-chemical properties of synthetic polymers, at a relatively low cost. Such fibers are found in several types of plants and can be obtained by different methods (chemical, physical or biological), which can provide some different properties needed in each case of application. This article overviews the most recent advanced studies in the development of PVA composites reinforced with natural fibers, as well as the improve properties, processing methods, characterizations tests and the applications of these composites in the industry field.

(4) Nanocellulose based composites as advanced materials

Sisira, M. K.1, Anju, P. 1, Prasad, V. S. 1 and Satyanarayana, K.G. 2,*.

  1. Materials Science and Technology Division, CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology, Thiruvannathapuram 695019 (Kerala- India).   E-mail: sisiramk@gmail.comanjukannan92@gmail.com; vsprasad@niist.res.in

2- Honorary Professor, Poornaprajna Institute of Scientific Research (PPISR), Sy. no. 167,   Poornaprajnapura, Bidalur Post, Devanahalli, Bangalore 562 110 (Karnataka-India). E-mail: gundsat42@hotmail.com;kgs_satya@yahoo.co.in * Corresponding Author.


Nanocellulose is emerging as an advanced reinforcement material for composites with higher mechanical properties at lower fiber loading, retaining its transparent nature with better processability and ecofriendly characteristics compared to natural fiber based systems. Various cellulose resources including plant fibers such as sisal, banana, coir, jute, areca fibers, rice husk etc. and wood pulp have been used for the synthesis of nanocellulose by chemical as well as mechanical processing including steam explosion to make these nanofibers in bulk with cost effective processes. In-situ crosslinking strategies have been tried in composites with biopolymer matrices such as poly(lactic acid), poly(glycolic acid), poly(butylene succinate) etc. for forming interpenetrating network structures in nanocomposites for better properties. The possibility for functionalization and self-assembly in nanocellulose opened up a novel area of composites with self-aligned fiber incorporated composites showing applications in stimuli responsive materials and devices especially in biomedical applications having better biocompatibility. These composites with improved gas barrier properties and ecofriendly nature is the best bet for packaging and advanced material applications. This review paper covers all the above and presents some perspectives for the future.

5) Natural-based polymers as a sustainable solution for water treatment in the oil industry

Fernanda Lopes Mottaa,b

a Natural Resources Canada, CanmetENERGY Devon, 1 Oil Patch Drive, Devon, AB T9G 1A8, Canada

b Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta, 9211 116 St, Edmonton, AB T6G 1H9, Canada

Corresponding author: fernanda.lopesmotta@canada.ca; lopesmot@ualberta.ca


Oil is one of the most important commodities in the world. The oil industry not only meets the energy needs of society, but also creates employment opportunities, drives key research and development, and promotes education and training. However, water pollution is a serious problem caused by oil extraction and transport, and there is an urgent need for research to address this issue. Synthetic polymers have been extensively used to treat water contaminated by oil industry operations, and its application ranges from dewatering oil sand fine tailings (flocculants) to remediation of oil spills (dispersants, solidifiers, and herders). Gradually, however, awareness of the use of synthetic polymers, which may make water resources even more toxic, has changed the scenario for water treatment. An eco-friendly and sustainable approach towards the environment has introduced natural-based polymers that are cost-effective and retain desirable properties of the native bio-based materials such as biodegradability and non-toxicity. This article gives an overview of the research conducted in the field of the chemical modification of biopolymers applied to water treatment, as well as the challenges and opportunities associated with the development and application of these new materials.

eywords: oil industry, natural-based polymers, water treatment, flocculation, oil spills remediation