SPE Industry Update
Nov. 21, 2012

Physicists laser print conducting polymer circuits
MIT Technology Review
Conducting polymers are plastics that carry current. This is an emerging technology that is beginning to have a significant impact on areas ranging from photovoltaics and printed circuit boards to batteries and biological sensors. The advantages of plastic conductors are many. They are cheap, flexible and light. They are also simple to make and to shape into useful circuits. More

Synthesis and properties of acrylate hydrogels as stimuli-responsive materials
SPE Plastics Research Online
During recent decades, stimuli-responsive hydrogels have been used as novel materials for a variety of applications, such as chemical transducers or separators, drug delivery vehicles and artificial organs. One particular type of responsive polymer that has received much attention is poly(N,N-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate), or PDMAEMA.More

Evaluating phase inversion during high-impact polystyrene synthesis by means of rheology
SPE Plastics Research Online
High-impact polystyrene, or HIPS, is a polymer blend consisting of many tiny rubber particles dispersed in a polystyrene matrix. HIPS is used in a wide range of applications, including household appliances, electric and electronic appliances and automotive parts. Extensive theoretical and experimental research on the synthesis of HIPS has contributed much to our knowledge of how to precisely obtain the desired final properties of the material.More

Chemists create self-assembling polymer that increases hard drive capacity by 5 times
When you think of increased storage capacity, you most likely don't think of self-assembling polymers that only require heat in order to rearrange themselves. However, with the potential to increase HDD storage capacity fivefold, researchers at the University of Texas might make self-assembling polymers the norm.More

Counting loops in polymers to improve properties
Overclockers Club
Polymers surround us as they are used in our phones, computers and even our clothes and cars. These materials are made of chains of molecules that bind together into a larger structure, but sometimes these bonds are not perfect. Researchers at MIT have developed a method to find and count these imperfections, which should lead to improved manufacturing techniques that will enhance polymers' properties.More

Stretchy electronics move closer
Printed Electronics World
Sensors and other electronics are usually made of rigid and stiff material such as metals and plastics. They cannot be stretched, twisted or thrown, and should be handled with care. But that is about to change. Researchers from the Institute of Textiles and Clothing at Hong Kong Polytechnic University have developed a new technology that allows electronics to drape around our body comfortably. Defying our imagination, the researchers have engineered a new fabric that can conduct electricity, paving the way for stretchable electronics.More

Polymers establish structure in drug delivery breakthrough
Plastics Today
Protein hydrogels combined with plastics can be injected into the human body as a vehicle to deliver drugs or cells that regenerate damaged tissue. In a breakthrough described in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, a degradable polymer-tipped network allows the gels to maintain a structure inside the body.More

Need to filter water? Fight infection? Just open package, mix polymers
University of Akron via PhysOrg
VideoBrief Working in the lab for the last few years, three generations of polymer scientists say their mutual and passionate curiosity about science has led to their discovery of a first-of-its-kind, easily adaptable biocompatible polymer structure able to fight infection, filter water and perform a host of other functions.More

Polymer lens nearly identical to human eye lens
A multilayered polymer gradient refractive index lens inspired by the human eye could one day provide a more natural alternative to implantable eye lenses and consumer vision products. The work provides a new material approach for fabricating synthetic polymer lenses.More

Algae-based fuel on sale in San Francisco area
San Francisco Chronicle
Big oil took a small but significant hit when San Francisco-area motorists began filling up their gas tanks with algae, becoming the first private citizens in the world to use a domestically grown product that could revolutionize the fuel industry. The first alternative fuel made from algae went on sale at four Bay Area gas stations in what advocates insist is the first wave in a tide of clean fuel that will hit the marketplace.More

Single-serve wine packs portable
Plastics News
Drinking wine may never be the same — thanks to Los Angeles inventor Matt Zimmer, who worked with mold maker R&D/Leverage to develop interlocking individual wine jars made of PET. Stacked Wines LLC: The company name says it all.More

Injectable radioactive polymer slows tumor growth
HealthDay News via Doctors Lounge
An injectable radioactive polymer substantially slows tumor growth and avoids the need for surgical implantation in mice, according to a study published in a recent issue of Cancer Research.More