Intelligent Polymers Market: Overview
Intelligent polymers, also known as smart polymers or stimuli-responsive polymers, are high-performance polymers that are sensitive to the slightest environmental changes. These change according to the temperature, humidity, pH, and electrical, or magnetic field. They are synthesized by combining reactive functional groups to backbone chains during polymerization. Based on the selection of backbone chain and functional group, intelligent polymers possess different properties such as mechanical, chemical, electrical, and optical.
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They are flexible, easy to color, strong, easy to mold, and tough. Intelligent polymers are primarily used in the production of hydrogels, biodegradable packaging, and biomedical engineering products. They are also employed in the manufacture of daily-usage products such as nappies, helmets, plastic bags, plastic bottles, and chewing gums.
Based on physical features, intelligent polymers can be classified into free linear chain solutions, reversible gels covalently cross linked and polymer chain grafted on a surface. Based on stimuli, these polymers can be classified into physical stimuli (temperature, ultrasounds, light, and mechanical stress), chemical stimuli (pH and ionic strength) and biological stimuli (enzymes and biomolecules).
Intelligent Polymers Market: Trends Snapshot
Intelligent polymers are used in various industries such as biomedical, tissue engineering, textile engineering, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals. These polymers are employed in drug delivery systems, where they can safely transport a pharmaceutical compound into the body, in the biomedical industry. This is done automatically without the use of sensors, transducers, switches, or pumps. When the polymers are exposed to critical temperature they show certain changes in their properties, which is used in tissue culture application. Certain category of new polymers are being developed by companies; these have the ability to return to their original shape from the deformed shape once exposed to external stimuli. These polymers are known as shape-memory polymers and are used in textile engineering. Smart polymers are employed in biotechnology and pharmaceutical formulations, as they get physically mixed or chemically conjugated to biomolecules. These are used for yielding other products.
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Intelligent Polymers Market: Region-wise Insight
North America and Europe have been dominating the intelligent polymers market since the last few years. These polymers are used extensively in the biomedical sector, which is expanding significantly in North America and Europe. These regions have been considered among the most technologically advanced across the globe. Companies operating in the intelligent polymers market in North America and Europe focus on product innovation through research and development.
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