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Raminhos, Joana, João Borges Borges, and Alexandre Velhinho. "Development of polymeric anepectic meshes: auxetic metamaterials with negative thermal expansion." Smart Materials and Structures 28 (2019): 045010. AbstractWebsite

his paper reports the application of additive manufacturing technology to fabricate bi-dimensional lightweight composite meshes capable of demonstrating auxetic properties (negative Poisson's ratio (NPR)) in combination with negative thermal expansion (NTE) behaviour, using as constituent materials polymers that do not exhibit NTE behaviour. To describe the combination of NPR and NTE characteristics, the designation of 'anepectic' is being proposed. Each mesh, obtained from varying either the material combination or the design parameters, was tested on a heated silicone bath to study the effects of the different combinations on the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). It was found that all meshes studied demonstrated a successful combination of NPR and NTE behaviours, and it was revealed that there is a possibility to tailor the meshes to activate the NTE behaviour within a chosen range of temperatures. For an extreme case, a Poisson's ratio of −0.056, along with a CTE of −1568 × 10−6 K−1 has been achieved.

Ramos, Diogo J., Henrique Carrêlo, João Paulo Borges, Nuria Calero Romero, Jenifer Santos Garcia, and Maria Teresa Cidade. "Injectable Hydrogels Based on Pluronic/Water Systems Filled with Alginate Microparticles for Biomedical Applications." Materials 12 (2019): 1-13. AbstractWebsite

A (model) composite system for drug delivery was developed based on a thermoresponsive hydrogel loaded with microparticles. We used Pluronic F127 hydrogel as the continuous phase and alginate microparticles as the dispersed phase of this composite system. It is well known that Pluronic F127 forms a gel when added to water in an appropriate concentration and in a certain temperature range. Pluronic F127 hydrogel may be loaded with drug and injected, in its sol state, to act as a drug delivery system in physiological environment. A rheological characterization allowed the most appropriate concentration of Pluronic F127 (15.5 wt%) and appropriate alginate microparticles contents (5 and 10 wt%) to be determined. Methylene blue (MB) was used as model drug to perform drug release studies in MB loaded Pluronic hydrogel and in MB loaded alginate microparticles/Pluronic hydrogel composite system. The latter showed a significantly slower MB release than the former (10 times), suggesting its potential in the development of dual cargo release systems either for drug delivery or tissue engineering.

Ribeiro, Maximiano P., Ana Espiga, Daniela Silva, Patricia Baptista, Joaquim Henriques, Catarina Ferreira, Jorge Carvalho Silva, João Paulo Borges, Eduardo Pires, Paula Chaves, and Ilídio J. Correia. "Development of a new chitosan hydrogel for wound dressing." Wound repair and regeneration 17 (2009): 817-824. AbstractWebsite

Wound healing is a complex process involving an integrated response by many different cell types and growth factors in order to achieve rapid restoration of skin architecture and function. The present study evaluated the applicability of a chitosan hydrogel (CH) as a wound dressing. Scanning electron microscopy analysis was used to characterize CH morphology. Fibroblast cells isolated from rat skin were used to assess the cytotoxicity of the hydrogel. CH was able to promote cell adhesion and proliferation. Cell viability studies showed that the hydrogel and its degradation by-products are noncytotoxic. The evaluation of the applicability of CH in the treatment of dermal burns in Wistar rats was performed by induction of full-thickness transcutaneous dermal wounds. Wound healing was monitored through macroscopic and histological analysis. From macroscopic analysis, the wound beds of the animals treated with CH were considerably smaller than those of the controls. Histological analysis revealed lack of a reactive or a granulomatous inflammatory reaction in skin lesions with CH and the absence of pathological abnormalities in the organs obtained by necropsy, which supported the local and systemic histocompatibility of the biomaterial. The present results suggest that this biomaterial may aid the re-establishment of skin architecture.

Ropio, Inês, Ana Catarina Baptista, Joana Nobre, J. Correia, F. Belo, S. Taborda, Morais B. M. Faustino, João Borges Borges, A. Kovalenko, and Isabel Ferreira. "Cellulose paper functionalised with polypyrrole and poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) for paper battery electrodes." Organic Electronics 62 (2018): 530-535. AbstractWebsite

A simple process of commercial paper functionalisation via in situ polymerisation of conductive polymers onto cellulose fibres was investigated and applied as electrodes in paper-based batteries. The functionalisation involved polypyrrole (PPy) and Poly (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) as conductive polymers with the process of functionalisation optimised for each polymer individually with respect to oxidant-to-monomer ratios and polymerisation times and temperature. Paper with conductivity values of 44 mS/cm was obtained by exposing the samples to pyrrole vapour for a period of 30 min at room temperature; however, polymerisation at temperatures of 40 °C lead to higher conductivity values to up 141 mS/cm. Consequently, functionalised PPy and PEDOT papers were applied as cathodes in batteries with Al foil anodes and commercial paper soaked in an electrolyte solution of NaCl.