Polymer chameleons, also called as environmentally-sensitive polymers or smart polymers, are stimuli-responsive polymers that go through speedy amendments in their microstructure, caused by various environmental changes. These polymers are poised for rapid commercialization & adoption across the industries, particularly, healthcare. The increasing usage of bioengineered polymeric products that provide high efficiency and high strength to produce modern hi-tech, end-user materials is likely to augment the market demands during the forecast period (from 2014 to 2025).
Recent Application Discoveries for Smart Polymers:
Despite some challenges, research programs & collaborations between the industry and the R&D community as well as financial support from both governments & private companies are helping in the industry develop. Extensive research on the possible applications of polymer chameleon in various fields, such as pharmaceuticals, implants, molecular separation, flexible chips, drug delivery, biofilms, etc., is in progress.
Growing importance of smart materials with better lifespan is driving the usage of polymer chameleons in different industries, such as healthcare. Research programs for smart polymers in drug delivery products for particular applications are ongoing in the healthcare industry. They are already executing and also looking to expand into several other product sectors and industries, such as personal care.
Challenges Faced by Technology Developers:
Customization of these polymers as per end-use applications, scalability, and cost-effective production are the major issues faced by the technology developers. High raw material prices are another restraint to commercialization and large-scale uptake.
However, research and strategic collaborations are allowing the stakeholders increase the scope of these polymers. Designing technology specific to a particular end application is the best way for a firm to manage an R&D portfolio.
The usage of advanced technologies to create superior products is said to positively affect the growth of the global market. Factors such as strict execution of rules by various governing bodies, increased disposable income levels, and high demand for light-weight & low-fuel combustion automobiles have augmented the demands for engineered polymeric products. The global polymer chameleons market is projected to reach USD 1.6 billion by 2025, as per to a report published by Grand View Research, Inc. Some major companies operating in the global polymer chameleons market are Autonomic Materials, Inc.; Evonik Industries AG; E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company; BASF SE; and Akzo Nobel N.V.
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