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Author Topic: Protective Polymer  (Read 2489 times)

Offline rabbit1

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Protective Polymer
« on: 14/12/2004 15:51:48 »
I posted this in "Chemistry" and got zero replies -maybe the other scientists have some ideas? This was the question.......

I am interested in learning about how polymer films form when a dissolved monomeric material comes in contact with air. In the same way that an apple produces a protective (brown) skin when cut, I want to know what sort of monomer will polymerise in contact with air to form a similar sort of protective skin that halts the polymerisation process. Can anyone help? Thanks!

Hopefully, an answer might come??

just this guy I know..


 

Offline chris

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Re: Protective Polymer
« Reply #1 on: 14/12/2004 16:37:15 »
I think the lack of replies reflects the fact that it's quite a hard question !

Apples don't go brown because they have produced a protective film to heal themselves. They discolour because trauma to the flesh of the apple (bruising) breaks open cells and a powerful cocktail of digestive enzymes spills out and begins to break down other chemicals that haved leaked out of the injured cells.

Some of the substances that are acted on by these enzymes are oxidised to coloured substances. In particular proteins containing iron are acted upon by an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase (tyrosinase) which turns them a brown colour.

In terms of polymerisation processes that occur on contact with air, there are some antiseptic products designed to cleanse, and then form a 'second skin', when painted over wounds. They polymerise to a colourless layer when exposed to the air. I've no idea what reagents they contain, however !

Perhaps someone else knows how this is achieved ?

Chris

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Offline rabbit1

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Re: Protective Polymer
« Reply #2 on: 14/12/2004 17:25:22 »
Chris - thanks for this. You obviously did more than a quick look at this question. I have asked a number of companies in polymer research and got nothing - maybe the dreaded Christmas problem? BUt perhaps there are some academic polymer people who may still respond. Air plus monomer plus catalyst all combining to mimic what happens with an apple. Learning from nature....making a better application. Sems to me that this could be a great research project - you mentioned medicinal application - this is just one.

So come on people - difficult that it is - have a try before Santa ends it all!

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Re: Protective Polymer
« Reply #2 on: 14/12/2004 17:25:22 »

 

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