Smart polymers are also known as intelligent materials, and are polymers that are responsive to stimuli in a very dynamic manner. Depending on the type of change that a smart polymer undergoes under different circumstances, several industry verticals are finding use for them today. Most smart polymers are responsive to changes in acidity or pH, light, and temperature, while a few specialized polymers can be made sensitive to chemical changes and abrasion or friction.
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A large portion of the overall use for smart polymers has so far been in medicine, in the creation of bio-separation agents for tissue engineering as well as in certain therapeutic agents. With most of the application scope for the global smart polymers market ending up in medicine, recent developments have finally allowed the market to break into other industry verticals.
The global smart polymers market is expected to expand at a very promising rate over the coming years, thanks to a variety of factors that are propelling the overall demand for them. The overall scope of the global smart polymers market will become clearer as the current decade progresses. For now, the answer to the following questions will clarify where players in the global smart polymers market can look to next.
What Potential do Smart Polymers Hold in Automotive?
One of the more promising and interesting aspects in the global smart polymers market at the moment is the research and development effort for using them in the automotive industry. Companies such as General Motors Corp. are working towards the use of smart materials in general for the construction of automotive components that can enhance the mechanical properties of a vehicle. This includes controlling the airflow in an engine, and shape changing automotive parts that respond to stress and improve aerodynamic performance.
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Where do Smart Polymers go in Healthcare?
While new avenues are opening up for smart polymers in completely new industry verticals, the overall application scope for them in healthcare and medical devices seems to be increasing at a similar pace. There are expected to be a very high number of applications for smart polymers in the biomedical applications, especially in tissue engineering, biocatalyst, bioseparation, and drug delivery. The overall scope of smart polymers in drug delivery what is driving the global smart polymers market currently, and will continue to do so for the immediate future.
Meanwhile, the scope of smart polymers in other healthcare applications is being developed by several players. DiFusion Inc., for instance, recently announced the completion of a test series where smart biomaterials were used in in vivo and in vitro studies. The company is currently holding multiple patents in a variety of fields including tissue regeneration, antimicrobial, and load bearing implants, most of which make use of smart materials and polymers.