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Bending light: Polymer composites with tunable index of refraction
Materials Views    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
An ideal optical material would be one that can precisely guide light without losing a drop of it. Such a material would be invaluable for photonics applications from light detection, telecommunications, information processing, lighting, to metrology, spectroscopy, holography and medicine. Natalie Stingelin and coworkers demonstrate that achieving this does not necessarily require costly and time-consuming processing. Rather, a one-pot synthesis of a hybrid polymer/inorganic material results in thin films, dielectric filters and lenses with tailored dimensionality, processability and functionality. More



Chemically-assembled metamaterials may lead to 'superlenses'
Physorg.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
article
Nanomanufacturing technology has enabled scientists to create metamaterials — stuff that never existed in nature — with unusual optical properties. They could lead to "superlenses" able to image proteins, viruses and DNA, and perhaps even make a "Star Trek" cloaking device. More

3-D long-term bone marrow culture to analyze stromal cell biological function
Science Codex    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Stromal cells, as distinct from hematopoietic cells, are an essential component of the bone marrow microenvironment and are necessary for the long-term maintenance of hematopoietic stem cells in vitro. Previous studies have shown that stromal cells regulate the proliferation and differentiation of HSCs through the production of diffusible hematopoietic regulatory factors and extracellular matrix, and through physical cell-cell interactions involving adhesion molecules and gap junction-mediated cell communication. More

Bioresorbable polymeric stents near clinical stage
Plastics Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After more than 20 years of development, bioresorbable coronary stents are close to commercialization, setting up what is sure to be a hotly contested battle for a multi-billion dollar market. One of the key players is the Absorb bioresorbable vascular scaffold that restores blood flow by opening a blocked artery and providing support to the vessel until the device dissolves. Once in place, Absorb dissolves in approximately two years, leaving patients with a treated vessel free of a permanent metallic implant. More

Polymeric chemical sensors
Gas Chromatography    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Chemical sensors prepared from conductive polymers have become popular devices for monitoring gases and vapors, with polypyrrole of particular interest. This material has been used in various forms as the reactive sensor due to its favorable structural properties and redox behavior. More

Conjugated polymers make strong candidates for future spintronic applications
Nanotechweb.org    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
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Organic molecules can exhibit π-type magnetism according to a study by researchers from the Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructure and Nanodevices at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. The team also shows that temperature can be used to control this property. More

New insulator could help grid weather storms
Scientific American    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
High voltage cables are typically insulated with special water-resistant polymers that have high-dielectric strength. When the cables get whacked by an especially strong rain or snow storm the insulation may not block all of the moisture. The leaks can lead to a loss of electrical current or even damage to the cables. Typically, the insulation will regain its ability to block water hours, or even days, later. Now researchers at IBM and Swiss electric-grid builder ABB think they can create an insulating material that can stay water repellent longer — or at least recover quicker. More

Flexible solar cells a step closer
ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Solar panels that can be printed like newspapers have inched a step closer with the development of an energy-efficient, organic, small-molecule solar cell. The solar cell, which was developed by a team from the University of California-Santa Barbara, has energy efficiencies of 6.7 percent, which rivals the best polymer-based solar cells. More

Polymer-based sensors feeling the strain
Royal Society of Chemistry    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Researchers in China have made a new strain sensor to monitor the safety of buildings and other structures. Strain sensors are used to monitor structural damage, so can detect problems in the integrity of buildings during earthquakes, or in the structure of vehicles and aircraft. More


 
Global Polymer Innovations
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