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The Lead

Tiny silicone spheres appear from the mist

May 7, 2015 7:44 am | by Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign | News | Comments

Technology in common household humidifiers could enable the next wave of high-tech medical imaging and targeted medicine, thanks to a new method for making tiny silicone microspheres developed by chemists at the Univ. of Illinois. Microspheres, tiny spheres as small as a red blood cell, have shown promise as agents for targeted drug delivery to tissues, as contrast agents for medical imaging and in industrial applications.

Many plastics labeled “biodegradable” don’t break down as expected

March 18, 2015 1:43 pm | by American Chemical Society | News | Comments

Plastic products advertised as biodegradable have recently emerged, but they sound almost too...

Textured rubber that grips slick, icy surfaces

March 17, 2015 4:08 pm | by Jason Socrates Bardi, American Institute of Physics | News | Comments

Winter storms dumped records amounts of snow on the East Coast this February, leaving...

Lengthening the life of high-capacity silicon electrodes in rechargeable lithium batteries

December 2, 2014 4:14 pm | by Mary Beckman, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | News | Comments

A new study will help researchers create longer-lasting, higher-capacity lithium rechargeable...

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Simple sewing machine has high-tech role in future “soft” machines

June 3, 2014 7:50 am | by Emil Venere, Purdue Univ. | News | Comments

The humble sewing machine could play a key role in creating "soft" robotics, wearable electronics and implantable medical systems made of elastic materials that are capable of extreme stretching. New stretchable technologies could lead to innovations including robots that have human-like sensory skin and synthetic muscles and flexible garments that people might wear to interact with computers or for therapeutic purposes.

Northwestern researchers create “rubber-band electronics”

July 3, 2012 3:32 am | News | Comments

Researchers at Northwestern University, working with a team of scientists from the United States and abroad, have recently developed a type of electronics that can bend and stretch to more than 200% their original size, four times greater than is possible with today’s technology. The key is a combination of a porous polymer and liquid metal.

Civil engineers find savings where the rubber meets the road

May 23, 2012 3:44 am | by Denise Brehm, Civil and Environmental Engineering | News | Comments

A new study by civil engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows that using stiffer pavements on the nation's roads could reduce vehicle fuel consumption by as much as 3%—a savings that could add up to 273 million barrels of crude oil per year, or $15.6 billion at today's oil prices. This would result in an accompanying annual decrease in carbon dioxide emissions of 46.5 million metric tons.

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Making materials to order

May 26, 2011 4:01 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

A team of researchers at MIT has found a way to make complex composite materials whose attributes can be fine-tuned to give various desirable combinations of properties such as stiffness, strength, resistance to impacts, and energy dissipation.

Russian dandelions could be new source for rubber

May 11, 2011 5:51 am | by R&D Editors | News | Comments

As a raw material, petroleum is risky because its pricing is so volatile. By domesticating a Russian variety of dandelion and using the milky-white substance that seeps from its roots, researchers from Ford and Ohio State University believe they can create a new source of natural rubber for cupholders, floor mats, and interior trim in its cars.

Strong and Pliable, 50 Years On

January 31, 2009 7:00 pm | by Dawn Duncan, Lubrizol Advanced Materials | Articles | Comments

Even today, the flexibility of thermoplastic polyurethanes is testing manufacturers’ ability to find new applications and processing methods.

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