Invitation to Submit: Special Issue in Sustainability

Dear Colleagues,

We are inviting submissions of original research articles and reviews for a Special Issue of Sustainability entitled ‘Developing Smartly Responsive Materials Based on Polymer Science’.

Over the past few decades, the advances in polymer chemistry and physics along with high-resolution structural and dynamical characterization techniques have made it possible to realize many synthetic soft materials that actively respond to internal or external stimuli, including pH, light, enzyme, temperature, electromagnetic field, and mechanical stress. Such flexible and smart systems are of great interest in a broad range of fields, from agriculture to healthcare to energy storage and electronics. However, currently used responsive materials are mostly petroleum-based and diverge from a sustainable future premise. Therefore, there is an urgent need to (i) develop new smart materials from sustainable resources or processes and (ii) modify existing non-responsive (passive) materials to actively respond to external stimuli for better performance.

As the responses of smart materials are often accompanied by large structural, conformational, and dynamical changes at different lengths and time scales, the rational design of responsive and sustainable polymeric materials demands a thorough understanding of the fundamental principles underlying the emergence of functionalities, from the molecular level to bulk. In this Special Issue, our aim is to bring together theoretical and experimental studies on polymer science whose primary objective is to guide material design via insight into smartly responsive soft materials necessary for future applications both within and outside academia, such as in energy storage, agriculture, controlled release, structural materials, biomaterials, additive manufacturing, water harvesting, membranes, wearable electronics, etc.

Original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Stimuli-responsive (bio)polymers and nanocomposites;
  • Dynamic networks and supramolecular polymers;
  • Responsive hydrogels from sustainable resources;
  • Smart superabsorbent hydrogels for agriculture;
  • Smart polymer electrolytes for batteries;
  • Mechanically responsive polymers and nanocomposites;
  • Shape-memory polymers;
  • Self-healing stretchable polymers;
  • Lignocellulosic nanomaterials;
  • Recycling and upcycling of polymers.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.


Dr. Erkan Senses
Dr. Tadanori Koga
Guest Editors