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Concept: Polyester


Poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) is one of the most abundantly produced synthetic polymers and is accumulating in the environment at a staggering rate as discarded packaging and textiles. The properties that make PET so useful also endow it with an alarming resistance to biodegradation, likely lasting centuries in the environment. Our collective reliance on PET and other plastics means that this buildup will continue unless solutions are found. Recently, a newly discovered bacterium, Ideonella sakaiensis 201-F6, was shown to exhibit the rare ability to grow on PET as a major carbon and energy source. Central to its PET biodegradation capability is a secreted PETase (PET-digesting enzyme). Here, we present a 0.92 Å resolution X-ray crystal structure of PETase, which reveals features common to both cutinases and lipases. PETase retains the ancestral α/β-hydrolase fold but exhibits a more open active-site cleft than homologous cutinases. By narrowing the binding cleft via mutation of two active-site residues to conserved amino acids in cutinases, we surprisingly observe improved PET degradation, suggesting that PETase is not fully optimized for crystalline PET degradation, despite presumably evolving in a PET-rich environment. Additionally, we show that PETase degrades another semiaromatic polyester, polyethylene-2,5-furandicarboxylate (PEF), which is an emerging, bioderived PET replacement with improved barrier properties. In contrast, PETase does not degrade aliphatic polyesters, suggesting that it is generally an aromatic polyesterase. These findings suggest that additional protein engineering to increase PETase performance is realistic and highlight the need for further developments of structure/activity relationships for biodegradation of synthetic polyesters.

Concepts: DNA, Protein, Evolution, Amino acid, Crystal, Polymer, Materials science, Polyester


ZnO nanorods were grown on microfibers of Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fabric by seeding method to develop hierarchical roughness structure. XRD and XPS analysis show the presence of crystalline ZnO and chemical Zn species at the fiber surface at each stage of the process. Five series of samples with different seed concentrations have been realized, and their surface morphology and topography were characterized by AFM and SEM. Increasing seed concentrations lead to samples with superhydrophilic properties. Not only the water contact angle at fabric surface tends to zero but also the water capillary diffusion inside fabric is faster. Nanostructuration affects the structure inside the fabric, and further experiments with decane liquid have been made to get a better understanding of this effect. To study the superhydrophobicity, nanorods treated samples were modified with octadecyltrimethoxysilane (ODS) by two method; solution deposition and vapor deposition. The superhydrophobicity was characterized by measuring the water contact angle and water sliding angle with 5μl water droplet. The samples modified with ODS by vapor deposition showed higher water contact angles and low water sliding angle than the ones modified with solution method. The lotus effect has been well correlated with the surface morphology of the nanorods structured fibers. The application of the Cassie-Baxter equation is discussed.

Concepts: Chemistry, Zinc, Liquid, Surface tension, Angle, Zinc oxide, Polyester, Contact angle


Nanoparticles have been increasingly used to improve the properties of textile fabrics. Viscose and polyester fabrics are treated with SiO(2) nanoparticle by another technique than the conventional sol-gel method in presence of binder (acrylate based copolymer). The effect of the content of SiO(2) nanoparticle on the physical properties of the treated fabrics such as moisture regain, tensile strength and elongation % were investigated. Furthermore, the antibacterial activity and coloration properties of pretreated fabrics were evaluated. Characterizations of pretreated samples by infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy were also conducted. The results show that the physical and coloration properties of pretreated samples were improved. The treated viscose fabric showed outstanding antibacterial performance against both Escherichia coli (G-) and Staphylococcus aureus (G+). Excellent durability of the treatment to repeated home laundering toward antibacterial and coloration properties was obtained in presence of binder.

Concepts: Nanoparticle, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Sol-gel, Gold, Scanning electron microscope, Polyester, Textile


Methoxy poly (ethylene glycol) grafted carboxymethyl chitosan (mPEG-g-CMC) and alginate were chosen as the constituents of hydrogel beads for the construction of an interpenetrating polymeric network matrix. A contrast study between the mPEG-g-CMC hydrogel and mPEG physically mixed with CMC hydrogel was carried out. Bovine serum albumin (BSA) as a model for a protein drug was encapsulated in the hydrogel network, and the drug release properties were studied. The hydrogels prepared by these two methods maintained good pH sensitivity; the loading capacity of the mPEG-g-CMC/alginate hydrogel was enhanced in comparison with that of the hydrogel prepared by physically mixing mPEG. The burst release of the protein was slightly decreased at pH 1.2, while the release at pH 7.4 was improved, suggesting that the mPEG-g-CMC/alginate pH-sensitive hydrogel will be promising for site-specific protein drug delivery in the intestine.

Concepts: Blood, Polymer, Serum albumin, Polysaccharide, Bovine serum albumin, Ethylene glycol, Diol, Polyester


In this study, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fabric was modified by applying a hydrophilic surface finishing agent that contains nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC). To impart superior hydrophilicity, NCC was further cationically modified through quaternization by grafting glycidyl tri-methyl ammonium chloride (GTMAC). A textile binder, PrintRite595(®), was added to the finishing system. The surface finish was applied on the fabric using a rolling-drying-curing process. The modified fabric was characterized in terms of coating durability, moisture regain, and wettability. The durability of the surface finish was tested by six repeated washing steps. The surface properties of the fabric changed from hydrophobic to hydrophilic after heat treatment with the NCC-containing surface finishing agent. The results from the washing fastness, SEM, FTIR, and EDX analyses confirmed that the cationic NCC-containing textile surface finish showed superior adhesion onto the cationic dyeable (anionic) PET surface over the un-modified NCC. Furthermore, the cationic textile surface finish was capable of withstanding multiple washing cycles.

Concepts: Cotton, Polyester, Textile, Polyethylene terephthalate, Textile manufacturing


The evidential significance of car seat fibres has been investigated. Thirty six samples of car seat fabric were examined and the fibres catalogued according to their morphology and characteristics. The majority of car seat fibres were black or grey thick polyester fibres that were either dyed or pigmented. The MSP spectra produced were unlike those usually obtained from black or grey polyester fibres used in clothing. Tapings taken from car seats were examined for car seat fibres, various types were found showing that these fibres are expected to shed from the fabric albeit in low numbers, unless the vehicle is older. No fibres that matched the samples of the car seat fabric were found on the tapings of the car seats. One hundred garments were examined for car seat fibres, 10% of garments had populations of such fibres present and 41% had at least one car seat fibre present. None of these fibres matched the samples of the car seat fabric or those from the car seat tapings.

Concepts: Paper, Polyester, Textile, Aramid, Car seat, Clothing, Felt


To enhance the functional properties of viscose fabrics, Tinosan(®) CEL (TC), Ag, and TiO(2) nano-particles were incorporated as functional additives in different easy care finishing formulations alone and in admixtures. Results indicated that padding viscose fabrics in finishing bath containing 10g/l TC and 60g/l dimethyloldihydroxyethylene urea (DMDHEU) enhances some performance as well as antibacterial properties of the treated fabrics. Moreover, incorporation of Ag or TiO(2) nano-particles in the DMDHEU or DMDHEU/TC finishing baths enhances the functional properties of the treated samples such as antibacterial properties, UV-blocking properties, and/or self cleaning performance. Incorporation of poly (N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone) in the aforementioned finishing formulations enhances these functional properties along with durability to wash. On the other hand, incorporation of Silicon(®)-SLH softener in finishing baths along with TC affects the performance and antibacterial properties of the treated fabrics.

Concepts: Bathing, Polyester, Textile, Bed Bath & Beyond, Bathtub, Textile manufacturing, Viscose, Velvet


The textile industry can benefit from the use of microcapsules, both adding value to products through the production of technical or functional textiles and improving the processes in the production chain. Some applications have been widely explored in academic research, but many are not feasible for use in industrial scale. Thus, the aim of this study was to develop consistent and efficient methodologies for the encapsulation of active compounds commonly used in the textile industry, employing materials which are viable for large-scale application. In this study, polyurethane urea (PUU) microcapsules were formulated by interfacial polymerization and encapsulated with C.I Disperse Blue 60 for the dyeing of polyester (PET) fabric without the use of dispersing agents and other auxiliaries. The dyeing was carried out in a high temperature (HT) dyeing machine with a very simple dyebath, in which there are only dissolved dye molecules, microencapsulated dyes and the fabric. Additionally, the dyebath wastewaters were reused on a further dyeing as 100% bathwater and mixed with 50% distilled water. Colorimetric measurements show excellent colour removal in both samples.

Concepts: Water, Cotton, Dye, Dyes, Used good, Polyester, Textile, Textiles


Microplastic fibers (MP) from textile weathering and washing are increasingly being recognized as environmental pollutants. The majority of studies on the bioavailability and effects of microplastic focused on small polystyrene spherical plastic particles, while less data are available for fibers and for other materials besides polystyrene. We investigated the ingestion and effects of ground polyethylene terephthalate (PET) textile microfibers (length range: 62-1400 μm, width 31-528 μm, thickness 1-21.5 μm) on the freshwater zooplankton crustacean Daphnia magna after a 48 h exposure and subsequent 24 h of recovery in MP free medium and algae. The majority of ingested fibers by D. magna were around 300 μm, but also some very large twisted MP fibers around 1400 μm were found inside the gut. Exposure to these fibers results in increased mortality of daphnids after 48 h only in the case where daphnids were not pre-fed with algae prior to experiment, but no effect was found when daphnids were fed before the experiments. Regardless of the feeding regime, daphnids were not able to recover from MP exposure after additional 24 h incubation period in a MP free medium with algae. The uptake and effects of PET textile MP on D. magna are presented here for the first time.

Concepts: Water, Eating, Polymer, Recyclable materials, Polyester, Branchiopoda, Thermoplastic, Polyethylene terephthalate


Hydrogels such as poly (N-isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylic acid) (pNIPAM-AAc) can be photopatterned to create a wide range of actuatable and self-folding microstructures. Mechanical motion is derived from the large and reversible swelling response of this crosslinked hydrogel in varying thermal or pH environments. This action is facilitated by their network structure and capacity for large strain. However, due to the low modulus of such hydrogels, they have limited gripping ability of relevance to surgical excision or robotic tasks such as pick-and-place. Using experiments and modeling, we design, fabricate and characterize photopatterned, self-folding functional microgrippers that combine a swellable, photocrosslinked pNIPAM-AAc soft-hydrogel with a non-swellable and stiff segmented polymer (polypropylene fumarate, PPF). We also show that we can embed iron oxide (Fe2O3) nanoparticles into the porous hydrogel layer, allowing the microgrippers to be responsive and remotely guided using magnetic fields. Using finite element models, we investigate the influence of the thickness and the modulus of both the hydrogel and stiff polymer layers on the self-folding characteristics of the microgrippers. Finally, we illustrate operation and functionality of these polymeric microgrippers for soft robotic and surgical applications.

Concepts: Oxygen, Surgery, Polymer, Polypropylene, Polyethylene, Polyester, Elastomer, Excision