Researchers from Northwestern University in Illinois have developed a hybrid polymer with removable supramolecular compartments. The new material has soft and rigid compartments with varying properties, which are organized in specific ways. These compartments can be removed and chemically regenerated. This is possible because the material combines polymers with strong covalent bonds and polymers that form with fragile non-covalent bonds. The covalent polymerization is caused by the supramolecular polymerization, which results in polymers with higher molecular weights. The hybrid polymer could have application as artificial muscles, for drug delivery, as self repairing material, or for replaceable energy sources.
Source: Northwestern University