Current Polymer News and Events

Current Polymer News and Events, Polymer News Articles.
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Climate-friendly foam building insulation may do more harm than good
The use of the polymeric flame retardant PolyFR in 'eco-friendly' foam plastic building insulation may be harmful to human health and the environment, according to a new commentary in Environmental Science & Technology. The authors' analysis identifies several points during the lifecycle of foam insulation that may expose workers, communities, and ecosystems to PolyFR and its potentially toxic breakdown products. (2021-02-23)

Biotechnologists developed an effective technology for nutrient biocapture from wastewater
Biotechnologists from RUDN University in collaboration with Lomonosov MSU and Kurchatov institute made an important contribution to the technology of phosphate and nitrate biocapture from wastewater using Lobosphaera algae fixed on the filters.The biomass obtained in the course of this process can be used as a fertilizer. (2021-02-19)

Ultrabright dots see beyond skin deep
Tiny light-emitting probes give researchers a better option for noninvasive imaging of living tissue. (2021-02-16)

Luminescent windows generate energy from inside and out
Rice University engineers design and build windowpanes that redirect sunlight or illumination from indoors to edge-band solar cells. (2021-02-15)

Producing more sustainable hydrogen with composite polymer dots
Hydrogen for energy use can be extracted in an environmentally friendly way from water and sunlight, using photocatalytic composite polymer nanoparticles developed by researchers at Uppsala University. In laboratory tests, these 'polymer dots' showed promising performance and stability alike. The study has been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. (2021-02-12)

Origami powered by light
Some man-made materials can mimic plants' slow but steady reaction to light energy, usually triggered by lasers or focused ambient light. New research from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University has discovered a way to speed up this effect enough that its performance can compete against electrical and pneumatic systems. (2021-02-10)

Two-phase material with surprising properties
Some materials can couple electrical and mechanical properties - this can lead to astonishing effects: New materials have been developed, consisting of both crystalline and amorphous regions. In these special polymers, the electro-mechanical coupling suddenly disappers - scientits at TU Wien have found out how. (2021-02-08)

STINGing tumors with nanoparticles
DALLAS - Feb. 8, 2021 - A new nanoparticle-based drug can boost the body's innate immune system and make it more effective at fighting off tumors, researchers at UT Southwestern have shown. Their study, published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, is the first to successfully target the immune molecule STING with nanoparticles about one millionth the size of a soccer ball that can switch on/off immune activity in response to their physiological environment. (2021-02-08)

Mixed and matched: Integrating metal-organic frameworks into polymers for CO2 separation
Polymer matrices can be combined with metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) to enhance their performance for CO2 separation. However, it is challenging to find compatible interactions between MOFs and polymers for this purpose. Now, an international team of scientists has developed a simple strategy to incorporate zirconium-based MOFs into a polymer matrix via covalent bonds. The resulting membranes show excellent gas separation performance, stability, and tolerance to harsh conditions, helping erode current barriers for industrial applications. (2021-02-08)

3D printing polymers
Researchers in the labs of Christopher Bates, an assistant professor of materials at UC Santa Barbara, and Michael Chabinyc, a professor of materials and chair of the department, have teamed to develop the first 3D-printable ''bottlebrush'' elastomer. The new material results in printed objects that have unusual softness and elasticity -- mechanical properties that closely resemble those of human tissue. (2021-02-08)

Tiny sensor technique reveals cellular forces involved in tissue generation
A team of Brown University researchers developed a technique that uses tiny polymer spheres to sense the forces at play as body tissue forms and grows. (2021-02-05)

Molecule from nature provides fully recyclable polymers
Plastics are among the most successful materials of modern times. However, they also create a huge waste problem. Scientists from the University of Groningen and the East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST) in Shanghai produced different polymers from lipoic acid, a natural molecule. These polymers are easily depolymerized under mild conditions. Some 87 percent of the monomers can be recovered in their pure form and re-used to make new polymers of virgin quality. (2021-02-04)

Nanotech plastic packaging could leach silver into some types of foods and beverages
Antimicrobial packaging is being developed to extend the shelf life and safety of foods and beverages. However, there is concern about the transfer of potentially harmful materials, such as silver nanoparticles, from these types of containers to consumables. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces illustrate that silver embedded in an antimicrobial plastic can leave the material and form nanoparticles in foods and beverages, particularly in sweet and sugary ones. (2021-02-03)

New ink jet approach offers simple way to print microdisk lasers for biosensing
Researchers have developed a unique inkjet printing method for fabricating tiny biocompatible polymer microdisk lasers for biosensing applications. The approach enables production of both the laser and sensor in a room temperature, open-air environment, potentially enabling new uses of biosensing technologies for health monitoring and disease diagnostics. (2021-02-03)

A show of force: Novel polymer that toughens up and changes color upon mechanical stress
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) developed a polymer whose properties change markedly after being exposed to mechanical stress. In bulk form, the mechano-responsive polymer shows color changing, fluorescence, and self-strengthening abilities even under simple compression or extension. These fundamental findings are unprecedented in the field of mechanochemistry and could pave the way for numerous applications in materials science. (2021-02-02)

Even machines need their greens
Image that products could be strengthened with the same living materials that provide nutrients to strengthen trees. Professor Qiming Wang's research lab is one of the first to infuse 3-D printer ink with living material. The material has potential for greater strength, to be flexible and self-heal. (2021-01-27)

Princeton team advances new route to chemically recyclable plastics
As the planet's burden of rubber and plastic trash rises unabated, scientists increasingly look to the promise of closed-loop recycling to reduce waste. A team of researchers at Princeton's Department of Chemistry announces the discovery of a new polybutadiene molecule - from a material known for over a century and used to make common products like tires and shoes - that could one day advance this goal through depolymerization. (2021-01-25)

SUTD research team extends 4D printing to nanophotonics
The newly developed shape memory polymer resist which allows for high-resolution 4D printing, promises a platform for information hiding for optical anti-counterfeiting and tunable photonic devices. (2021-01-22)

Cargo delivery by polymers
Degradable, bio-based polymers offer options for chemical recycling, and they can be a tool to store and release useful molecules. Scientists have developed a class of sugar-based polymers that are degradable through acid hydrolysis. The researchers also integrated ''cargo'' molecules in the polymer, which are designed to split off after polymer degradation. Degradable, cargo-bearing polymers are important for medical and sensor applications, says the study published in the journal Angewandte Chemie. (2021-01-22)

Taking sieving lessons from nature
Nanostructure-templated electrochemical polymerization enhances speed and selectivity in organic membrane-based processes. (2021-01-21)

Drug-delivery microcapsules tagged with zirconium-89 can be tracked by PET imaging
Polymer and radionuclide chemists report major advance in microcapsule drug delivery systems. Their microcapsules -- labeled with radioactive zirconium-89 -- are the first example of hollow polymer capsules capable of long-term, multiday positron emission tomography imaging in vivo. In previous work, the researchers showed that the hollow capsules could be filled with a potent dose of the cancer drug doxorubicin, which could then be released by therapeutic ultrasound that ruptures the microcapsules. (2021-01-20)

Russian chemists developed polymer cathodes for ultrafast batteries
Russian researchers have synthesized and tested new polymer-based cathode materials for lithium dual-ion batteries. The tests showed that the new cathodes withstand up to 25,000 operating cycles and charge in a matter of seconds, thus outperforming lithium-ion batteries. The cathodes can also be used to produce less expensive potassium dual-ion batteries. (2021-01-19)

New tool removes chemotherapy drugs from water systems
'What goes in, must come out' is a familiar refrain. It is especially pertinent to the challenges facing UBC researchers who are investigating methods to remove chemicals and pharmaceuticals from public water systems. Cleaning products, organic dyes and pharmaceuticals are finding their ways into water bodies with wide-ranging negative implications to health and the environment, explains Dr. Mohammad Arjmand, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UBC Okanagan. (2021-01-18)

New process more efficiently recycles excess CO2 into fuel, study finds
For years, researchers have worked to repurpose excess atmospheric carbon dioxide into new chemicals, fuels and other products traditionally made from hydrocarbons harvested from fossil fuels. The recent push to mitigate the climactic effects of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has chemists on their toes to find the most efficient means possible. A new study introduces an electrochemical reaction, enhanced by polymers, to improve CO2-to-ethylene conversion efficiency over previous attempts. (2021-01-11)

Scientists make sustainable polymer from sugars in wood
Scientists from the University of Bath have made a sustainable polymer using the second most abundant sugar in nature, xylose. (2021-01-11)

Post-surgical patch releases non-opioid painkiller directly to the wound
A Duke-led team of scientists has developed a bio-compatible surgical patch that releases non-opioid painkillers directly to the site of a wound for days and then dissolves away. The polymer patch provides a controlled release of a drug that blocks the enzyme COX-2 (cyclooxygenase-2,) which drives pain and inflammation. The study appears Jan. 10, 2021 in the Journal of Controlled Release. (2021-01-11)

Analytical measurements can predict organic solar cell stability
researchers have developed an analytical measurement ''framework'' which could allow organic solar cell researchers and manufacturers to determine which materials will produce the most stable solar cells prior to manufacture. (2021-01-11)

Engineers find antioxidants improve nanoscale visualization of polymers
Reactive molecules, such as free radicals, can be produced in the body after exposure to certain environments or substances and go on to cause cell damage. Antioxidants can minimize this damage by interacting with the radicals before they affect cells. (2021-01-08)

Nanocrystals that eradicate bacteria biofilm
POSTECH-UNIST joint research team finds ways to control the surface texture of nanostructures. (2021-01-08)

Researchers repurpose 'damaged' polymer optical fibers to precisely measure magnetic fields
Optical fiber sensors can measure strain, temperature, pressure, and many other physical parameters along the fibers, but they are currently immune to electromagnetic noise -- interference from other external electric or magnetic interactions. It is a desirable trait, until the effect of the electromagnetic field on the fibers needs to be measured. An international research team has used what was previously considered a 'damaged' part of an optical fiber to develop such a magnetic field sensor. (2021-01-07)

Mechanophores: Making polymer crystallization processes crystal clear
Scientists at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have come up with a new technique to evaluate the mechanical forces generated in polymer crystallization as they cool down from their molten state. In a new study published in Nature Communications, they used small, fluorescent molecules to visualize the crystallization process, guiding manufacturers in their goals to optimize polymer materials. (2021-01-05)

Novel film that that evaporates sweat six times faster and holds 15 times more moisture
Researchers from NUS Faculty of Engineering created a novel film that is very effective in evaporating sweat from our skin. Promising applications include shoe insoles and linings, as well as underarm pads for sweat absorption. (2021-01-04)

Reliable anti-counterfeit checks under extreme conditions
NUS researchers invented DeepKey, a new anti-counterfeiting technology that performs reliable AI-based authentication under extreme environmental conditions. It is suitable for tagging high-value products such as vaccines, drugs, jewelry and electronics. (2020-12-22)

Review on functional hydrogel coatings
Hydrogel-coated substrates combine the merits of both the substrates and hydrogels, enabling new functions and applications. Typical applications of hydrogel coatings can be found in both medical and non-medical areas, such as soft devices and robotics, invasive medical devices and implants. The emerging topic of functional hydrogel coatings are reviewed from three aspects: functions and applications of hydrogel coatings, methods of preparing hydrogel coatings with strong adhesion, and tests to evaluate the adhesion. (2020-12-22)

'Soft' nanoparticles give plasmons new potential
Rice University scientists couple gold nanoparticles with soft polymers that pull energy from the gold's plasmonic response to light. That energy can then be used to catalyze chemical reactions. (2020-12-22)

Research brief: Researchers discover new way to deliver DNA-based therapies for diseases
University of Minnesota Twin Cities researchers in the Department of Chemistry have created a new polymer to deliver DNA and RNA-based therapies for diseases. For the first time in the industry, the researchers were able to see exactly how polymers interact with human cells when delivering medicines into the body. This discovery opens the door for more widespread use of polymers in applications like gene therapy and vaccine development. (2020-12-18)

Still paying for broken smartphone display? Now, It is automatically fixed
Smartphone display repair cost that caused so many people to cry about, it may no longer be an issue to worry about. Research team in South Korea has developed a smartphone display material that can self-heal from damages. (2020-12-17)

Upcycling: new catalytic process turns plastic bags into adhesives
Only a small percentage of plastic bags and other polyethylene packaging is recycled because only low-value products can be made from this waste. UC Berkeley chemists have created a catalytic process that preserves the desirable properties of polyethylene while adding another attribute - stickiness - that increases the value of the recycled product. The adhesive polyethylene could be used to coat wires and metal implants or bond plastic layers. Even latex paint sticks to it. (2020-12-17)

How long's too long? Effects of crosslinker length on anion-exchange membrane fuel cells
Anion exchange membrane (AEM) fuel cells (AEMFCs), which produce electricity using hydrogen, are considered an alternative to currently used proton exchange membrane fuel cells. However, AEMs have problems with stability in alkaline conditions, which can be overcome by crosslinking--but effects of crosslinker length on AEMFC performance are not well understood. Now, scientists from Korea have elucidated such effects for oxygen-containing crosslinkers and, using an optimally long crosslinker, produced a novel AEMFC with greater performance. (2020-12-17)

Flexible and powerful electronics
A team of researchers led by the University of Tsukuba has developed a method for optimizing the electrical properties of carbon-based conductors by turning them into an ionic gel. This work may open the way for cheap, highly efficient sensors that can be printed on flexible surfaces. (2020-12-16)

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