Polymer chemistry has had a profound impact on society, with rapid improvements in technologies in all walks of life. From plastics and synthetic fabrics, agricultural chemicals, paints and coatings, all the way to biomedical applications such as artificial skin and drug eluting implants, polymers are central to modern material innovations.
In recent years, attention has focused on the design of more sophisticated systems and architectures with built-in functions. Actively moving polymers can convert molecular level stimuli-responsiveness into movement on the macroscopic level, and are highly desirable as components of smart systems.
A new special issue of Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, guest-edited by Andreas Lendlein (Institute of Polymer Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht) now highlights recent advances in the area of actively moving polymers and showcases a wide range of applications.
The articles span over various aspects of this rich scientific area. For scientist less familiar with actively moving polymers, the guest editor hopes that the contents are informative and can provide a basis for increased interest. For researchers working within the field, this collection of articles should serve as inspiration for future advances. As concluded by Prof. Lendlein, “It is clear that there are so many possibilities for further sophisticated applications as fundamental research leads to ever smarter materials.”
Read here for free the full introductory Essay by Adam L. Sisson and Andreas Lendlein: