Current Polymers News and Events

Current Polymers News and Events, Polymers News Articles.
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CUHK physicists discover new route to active matter self-organisation
An international team led by Professor Yilin Wu, Associate Professor of the Department of Physics at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has made a novel conceptual advance in the field of active matter science. The team discovered a new route in which the self-organisation of active fluids in space and time can be controlled by a single material property called viscoelasticity. (2021-02-20)

Origin of life -- Did Darwinian evolution begin before life itself?
A study done by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich physicists demonstrates that fundamental characteristics of polymeric molecules, such as their subunit composition, are sufficient to trigger selection processes in a plausible prebiotic setting. (2021-02-19)

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)

Termite gut microbes could aid biofuel production
Wheat straw, the dried stalks left over from grain production, is a potential source of biofuels and commodity chemicals. But before straw can be converted to useful products by biorefineries, the polymers that make it up must be broken down into their building blocks. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering have found that microbes from the guts of certain termite species can help break down lignin, a particularly tough polymer in straw. (2021-02-17)

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

Researchers demonstrate self-sterilizing polymers work against SARS-CoV-2
Researchers have demonstrated a family of self-sterilizing polymers that are effective at inactivating coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2 - the virus that causes COVID-19. The work opens the door to a suite of applications that could help to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and other diseases. (2021-02-15)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Stanford research could lead to injectable gels that release medicines over time
The researchers dissolved polymers and nanoparticles in water, and comingled them at room temperature to solidify a Jello-like substance that - unlike its kitchen counterpart -- did not liquify at higher heat, such as in the body. The technique kept in balance two thermodynamic concepts- enthalpy, which measures energy added to or subtracted from a material, and entropy, which describes how energy changes make a material more or less orderly at the molecular level. (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)

Nanoparticle drug delivery technique shows promise for treating pancreatic cancer
Veterans Affairs researchers have designed a new way to deliver pancreatic cancer drugs that could make fighting the disease much easier. (2021-01-28)

A mild way to upcycle plastics used in bottles into fuel and other high-value products
Plastic is ubiquitous in people's lives. Yet, when plastic-containing items have fulfilled their missions, only a small amount is recycled into new products, which are often of lower quality compared to the original material. And, transforming this waste into high-value chemicals requires substantial energy. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' JACS Au have combined a ruthenium-carbon catalyst and mild, lower-energy reaction conditions to convert plastics used in bottles and other packaging into fuels and chemical feedstock. (2021-01-27)

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)

New biodegradable polyurethane foams are developed from wheat straw
The polyurethane foams have several industrial uses. Now, a new paper, published on the front page of Polymers, was able to obtain them from biomass in order to avoid using petroleum by-products in their manufacturing (2021-01-19)

Lasers & molecular tethers create perfectly patterned platforms for tissue engineering
Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a technique to modify naturally occurring biological polymers with protein-based biochemical messages that affect cell behavior. Their approach, published the week of Jan. 18, 2021 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, uses a near-infrared laser to trigger chemical adhesion of protein messages to a scaffold made from biological polymers such as collagen, a connective tissue found throughout our bodies. (2021-01-18)

A massive advance in spectrometry
Kanazawa University scientists use computer simulations of charged molecules to help improve the accuracy of mass spectrometers. By understanding the collisions between ions that reduce excess charges, this work may lead to more sensitive radiocarbon dating and medical testing. (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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Chemists from RUDN University synthesized chitin-based antibiotics
?hemists from RUDN University discovered previously unknown derivatives of chitin, a biopolymer that forms the exoskeletons of insects and carapaces of crayfish and other arthropods. The new compounds and their nanoparticles have antibacterial properties and are able to catalyze chemical reactions. (2020-12-14)

When chemistry with green light mimics what happens in life
Taking inspiration from nature, researchers at Queensland University of Technology in Australia and Ghent University in Belgium created a green light-stabilised 3D polymer structure that unfolds itself when left in darkness - the first reported example of a reversible, light-triggered process to fold polymers into single chain nanoparticles. (2020-12-13)

Battling COVID-19 using UV light
Some University of New Mexico researchers have found a possible breakthrough in how to manage COVID-19, as well as future viruses. It involves using polymer and oligomer materials activated with UV light in order to kill microbes on surfaces. (2020-12-09)

Bacterial nanopores open the future of data storage
Bioengineers at EPFL have developed a nanopore-based system that can read data encoded into synthetic macromolecules with higher accuracy and resolution than similar methods on the market. The system is also potentially cheaper and longer-lasting, and overcomes limitations that prevent us from moving away from conventional data storage devices that are rapidly maxing out in capacity and endurance. (2020-12-09)

Breakthrough material makes pathway to hydrogen use for fuel cells under hot, dry conditions
A collaborative research team, including Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of Stuttgart (Germany), University of New Mexico, and Sandia National Laboratories, has developed a proton conductor for fuel cells based on polystyrene phosphonic acids that maintain high protonic conductivity up to 200 C without water. (2020-12-07)

New glue sticks easily, holds strongly, and is a gas to pull apart
Research introduces temporary adhesives that don't require tearing or ripping to pull apart. (2020-12-02)

This 3D printer doesn't gloss over the details
A new 3D printing system designed by MIT researchers enables realistic variations in glossiness across a 3D printed surface. The advance could aid fine art reproduction and the design of prosthetics. (2020-12-02)

Miniscule robots of metal and plastic
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a technique for manufacturing micrometre-long machines by interlocking multiple materials in a complex way. Such microrobots will one day revolutionize the field of medicine. (2020-11-24)

Taking a shine to polymers: Fluorescent molecule betrays the breakdown of polymer materials
Scientists at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have come up with a simple method to evaluate the strength and performance of polymer materials. They present their innovation in the latest issue of Angewandte Chemie International Edition, and hope that their work will enable scientists and engineers to better evaluate the polymers they work with, and eventually synthesize better ones. (2020-11-24)

Did early life need long, complex molecules to make cell-like compartments?
Protocell compartments used as models for an important step in the early evolution of life on Earth can be made from short polymers. (2020-11-23)

New solvent-based recycling process could cut down on millions of tons of plastic waste
Multilayer plastic materials are ubiquitous in food and medical supply packaging, particularly since layering polymers can give those films specific properties, like heat resistance or oxygen and moisture control. But despite their utility, those ever-present plastics are impossible to recycle using conventional methods. (2020-11-20)

Supramolecular chemistry - Self-constructed folded macrocycles with low symmetry
The synthesis and self-organization of biological macromolecules is essential for life on earth. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich chemists now report the spontaneous emergence of complex ring-shaped macromolecules with low degrees of symmetry in the laboratory. (2020-11-20)

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