A new approach to studying conjugated polymers made it possible for an Army-funded research team to measure, for the first time, the individual molecules' mechanical and kinetic properties during polymerization reaction. The insights gained could lead to more flexible and robust soft electronic materials, such as health monitors and soft robotics.
A research team at the University of Chicago is now exploring the properties of a material found in cells which allows cells to remember and respond to environmental pressure. In a paper published on May 14, 2021 in Soft Matter, they teased out secrets for how it works--and how it could someday form the basis for making useful materials.
Researchers at TU Bergakademie Freiberg developed an innovative material from a cultured marine sponge. When the fibers of the sponge react with a copper-containing ammonia solution, such as that found in the electronics industry, the mineral atacamite is formed. This mineral, which occurs only very rarely in nature, attaches itself so strongly to the sponge fibers that a robust material is created that has catalytic and antibacterial properties and could therefore potentially be used as a bio-based industrial filter.
An international team including researchers from The University of Tokyo Institute of Industrial Science has developed spherical colloidal particles for the visualization of rotational dynamics. The two-color fluorescent particles have an off-center core that allows tracking of dense suspensions using microscopy. The researchers observed coupling between the rotation of charged particles, correlation between local crystallinity and rotational diffusivity, and "slip-stick" friction between particles. The findings will enhance the understanding of biological systems and industrial processes.
While air-borne droplets bounce off commonly used plexiglass dividers, they stick to surfaces coated with the new material, then get absorbed and dry up.
Microplastic pollution of waterways has become a huge concern, with the tiny pieces of plastic entering food webs and potentially having harmful effects on animals and people. In addition, microplastics can act as breeding grounds for antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Now, researchers reporting in Environmental Science & Technology have analyzed antibiotic-resistance genes (ARGs) on five types of microplastics at different locations along the Beilun River in China, finding much higher abundances in urban than rural regions.
A new high-performance plastic foam developed from whey proteins can withstand extreme heat better than many common thermoplastics made from petroleum. A research team in Sweden reports that the material, which may be used for example in catalysts for cars, fuel filters or packaging foam, actually improves its mechanical performance after days of exposure to high temperatures.
Hokkaido University researchers have developed a simple method that converts existing generic polymers into luminescent polymers using mechanical force.
Using a new 3D printing process, University of Nottingham researchers have discovered how to tailor-make artificial body parts and other medical devices with built-in functionality that offers better shape and durability, while cutting the risk of bacterial infection at the same time.
Researchers have created a plant-based, sustainable, scalable material that could replace single-use plastics in many consumer products.