Scientists at the University of Akron have developed a new polymer system that can do everything from stopping bleeding to filtering water. In addition to the polymer’s impressive adaptability, the researchers say its preparation is amazingly simple: just open a package and mix two ingredients together.
The polymer’s adaptability comes from the fact that its structure is an “electrospun polymer fiber mat” in which virtually any small molecule can be attached. By attaching surface proteins, for example, the polymer can become a new type of vascular graft for use during aneurysm surgery. Attaching antibiotics could allow the polymer to filter water or fight a wound infection.
Take a look at the video below of three University of Akron polymer science professors explaining more about how their multifunctional polymer works:
Article from the University of Akron: Need to filter water? Fight infection? Just open package, mix polymers
Study abstract from Journal of the American Chemical Society: Post-Assembly Derivatization of Electrospun Nanofibers via Strain-Promoted Azide Alkyne Cycloaddition