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  • In comparison to the ubiquity of their chalcogenic thiophene analogs, selenophene-incorporated conjugated polymers are relatively scarce in the organic electronics literature. However, this scarcity belies the tremendous utility of selenophene in high-performance optoelectronic materials. In this focus review, we discuss the key developments in selenophene-based conjugated polymer research from the early polyselenophene investigations, through the detailed study of regioregular poly(3-hexylselenophene), to the state-of-the-art donor-acceptor polymers that have enabled advancements in the performance and functionality of various optoelectronic devices. Finally, we end with our perspective on the future of this field.

    • Adam V. Marsh
    • Martin Heeney
    Focus Review Open Access
  • The maintenance of stem cells multipotency and control of the differentiation direction are important for these applications in tissue engineering. We explored whether the multipotency of adipose derived stem cells (AdSCs) is maintained when they are removed from injectable polymer (IP) hydrogels with various degrees of cross-linking and induced to differentiate into osteoblasts and adipocytes. We confirmed that AdSCs cultured in IP hydrogels maintained an undifferentiated state. However, when cultured in an IP hydrogel, their multipotency was reduced.

    • Nozomi Mayumi
    • Nobuo Murase
    • Yuichi Ohya
    Original Article Open Access
  • This review outlines the research across the areas of polymer chemistry and cryobiology We discuss the solutions to problems in cryobiology from the viewpoint of polymeric materials science and the applications of polymer-based cryobiology for biomedical applications. We explain how the recent advances in polymer research have enabled the development of innovative polymeric cryoprotectants with novel mechanisms and the development of state-of-the-art methods for the intracellular delivery of substances, such as drugs, using a cryobiological technique called the freeze-concentration effect.

    • Kazuaki Matsumura
    • Robin Rajan
    • Sana Ahmed
    Focus Review Open Access
  • Recent advances in polymer informatics are reviewed, focusing on experimental research. Data-driven analyses, predictions, and suggestions are becoming more practical, despite the appropriate treatments of higher-order structures and process information acting as bottlenecks. After summarizing recent developments, future challenges in polymer informatics are discussed.

    • Kan Hatakeyama-Sato
    Focus Review
  • The effect of different types of maleic anhydride-modified polypropylene on interfacial shear strength for carbon fiber-reinforced polypropylene composites: The effect of three types of maleic anhydride-modified polypropylenes (MAPP) on the interfacial shear strength (IFSS) of PP and carbon fiber (CF) were investigated. The localization of MAPP at the interface enabled sufficient chemical interaction regardless of MA content of MAPP, and the differences of MA content had little IFSS dependences. When the chemical interaction is sufficient at the interface, the IFSS values were attributed to the crystallinity at the interphase, which depends on the natures such as crystallinity of MAPP added.

    • Ayaka Yamaguchi
    • Michio Urushisaki
    • Tamotsu Hashimoto
    Original Article
  • Tricoordinate boron embedded conjugated polymers, so-called p−π* conjugated polymers, have been studied as optoelectronic and sensor materials. p−π* Conjugated polymers usually possess bulky aryl groups that kinetically stabilize the boron centers, and the bulky aryl substituents prohibit intermolecular interactions in the solid state. In this work, we synthesized new p−π* conjugated polymers based on a thiophene-fused thiaborin unit. The thiaborin-based p−π* conjugated polymers exhibited great red shifts in the absorption spectra measured in film state relative to those measured in solution, suggesting strong intermolecular interactions.

    • Yohei Adachi
    • Mitsuru Sakabe
    • Joji Ohshita
    Original Article
  • Fused expanded pyridinium cation (FEP) was introduced as a side chain of the polymer by click reaction. The obtained polymer offered membranes with good flexibility and showed excellent anion conductivity of 123.4 mS cm–1 at 80 °C under 80% relative humidity, although ion-exchange capacity of the polymer was quite low (0.77). Remarkable conductivity of the membranes is likely due to the weak interaction between FEP cation and OH, which increases the ion mobility and concentration of OH.

    • Yuki Motoishi
    • Naoki Tanaka
    • Tsuyohiko Fujigaya
    Original Article
  • With recent advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT), indoor organic photovoltaic devices (iOPVs) have attracted increasing attention because of their potential utility as self-sustainable, eco-friendly power sources. This review highlights emerging iOPV technologies based on π-conjugated polymers and oligomeric materials and outlines their fundamental principles and characterization techniques.

    • Sunbin Hwang
    • Takuma Yasuda
    Review Open Access
  • Intrinsically stretchable semiconducting polymer materials have been sought for meeting requirements in the development of wearable intelligent electronic devices. In this focus review, our recent progress in main-chain engineering for development of intrinsically stretchable n-type semiconducting materials is described. The topics include four strategies, namely, (i) a conjugation-break spacer approach, (ii) a block copolymer approach, (iii) an all-conjugated statistical terpolymer approach, and (iv) a sequence random copolymer approach, in which specially designed stress-relaxation units or sequences are incorporated along the main chains of naphthalene-diimide-based n-type semiconducting polymers.

    • Megumi Matsuda
    • Kei-ichiro Sato
    • Tomoya Higashihara
    Focus Review
  • The new strategy of two different AS-ODNs (targeting K-ras and YB-1) being delivered simultaneously to the same target cancer cell was investigated using the quantized complex made from AS-ODNs and short β-glucan (schizophyllan (SPG)). We used the quantized complex properties to prepare both end complexes with AS-ODNs on both ends. Both end complexes silenced two target genes and showed high inhibition of cancer cell growth. The results indicate that both end complexes can deliver two antisense sequences at the same time and show a synergistic effect.

    • Yuki Hata
    • Kazuki Sumiya
    • Kazuo Sakurai
  • Stretchable mechanoelectric generators (MEGs) using ‘π-electrets’ composed of π-conjugated polymers modified with bulky, yet flexible alkyl side chains were fabricated. Facile control of the elastic modulus by blending two miscible alkylated π-conjugated polymers enables the laminated films in a MEG to have high stretching of up to 300%. The fabricated MEGs showed good conformability when applied to a soft object that underwent deformation.

    • Akira Shinohara
    • Manabu Yoshida
    • Takashi Nakanishi
    Original Article Open Access
  • Chemical design strategies developed in the last decade for conjugated polymer binders in lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are reviewed here. The first part of this review discusses the mechanism of operation and role of binders in LIBs, and the importance of conductivity in advanced binder systems. The second part of this review gives an account of various conducting polymer binders developed for cathodes and anodes of LIBs. The review concludes with an emphasis on sustainable synthetic design strategies for next-generation conducting polymer binders for greener electrochemical energy storage systems.

    • Pratyusha Das
    • Barry C. Thompson
  • We performed cationic ring-opening polycondensation of a galactose-based cyclic sulfite monomer to give (1 → 2)-galactan. Treatment of the cyclic sulfite with 10-(+)-camphorsulfonic acid (CSA) in the presence of water initiated ring-opening polycondensation to give benzylated (1 → 2)-galactan. The MALDI-TOF mass spectrum of the obtained polymer showed a simple pattern with even intervals, indicating the formation of benzylated (1 → 2)-galactan with OH termini. When we used 4-penten-1-ol as the alcohol initiator for cationic polycondensation, we obtained a pentenoyl group-terminated polymer and/or cyclic oligosaccharides. The mechanism for the polycondensation reaction was determine through systematic investigations of the polymerization and DOSY spectral measurements of the polymer. The present method may be useful with graft polymerizations designed to give oligogalactan-containing glycosides in one pot.

    • Ryo Miyazaki
    • Misaki Suzuki
    • Yasuhito Koyama
    Original Article
  • Water-insoluble poly(methacrylic acid) (poly(MAAc)) sponges with nanolayered structures were fabricated via thermal cross-linking with poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA). The cross-linked sponges contained up to 75 wt% poly(MAAc) when the molecular weight of PVA and the cross-linking time were adjusted appropriately. After immersion in a NaClO·5H2O aqueous solution, all poly(MAAc)/PVA_50 wt% sponges with different PVA molecular weights were completely dissolved. Multilayer films of poly(MAAc)/PVA with different physicochemical properties were also fabricated. Among potential applications, these sponges can be used as adsorption materials for low molecular weight compounds and heavy metal ions.

    • Daiki Kobayashi
    • Haruki Uchida
    • Yohei Kotsuchibashi
    Original Article