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Center for Response-Driven Polymeric Films

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Response-Driven Polymeric Films Center  (University of Southern Mississippi)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

At the Center for Response-Driven Polymeric Films, a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the scientific focus is on design, synthesis, and understanding of molecular processes in biomaterials. Polymeric materials, and in particular polymeric films, have paced the evolution of technologies for the last 50 years, and their importance to economic growth is undeniable.

The Center integrates two interdisciplinary research groups into one scientific body via collaborative research projects, utilization of novel molecular probes capable of reaching previously unattainable detection limits, and integration of scientific research and education. High-quality, multi-disciplinary research teams are assembled from polymer science, biochemistry and chemistry, physics, and biological sciences. The emerging field of nanotechnology includes recent developments of ultra-structured organic/inorganic hybrid materials and functional films. Two seed projects are conducted annually and focus on high-risk projects.

The Center’s goal is to understand responses of biological systems, development of synthetic routes for macromolecular chain responses, development of environmental stimuli functions enabling their film formation and analysis, development of techniques for predicting environmental responses, and understanding formation processes in polymeric films.

Education & Outreach

Education and Outreach at the Center for Response-Driven Films works continuously to educate students, teachers and the community about polymer science. The Center’s initiatives range from K-12 hands-on activities to summer research programs.

The Center invites area schools to visit its facilities for presentations, tours, and hands-on demonstrations. Local high school students can participate in many different educational opportunities such as after-school programs and summer science programs. Teachers are also welcome to participate with their students in those programs. We also offer a summer Research Experience for Teachers. Both programs allow teachers to expand their science curriculum.

Each year the Center hosts undergraduates from all over the country for a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The 10-week summer research program brings together students from various science disciplines to perform research in polymeric films. Students are exposed to polymer science research through classes, seminars, field trips, and hands-on laboratory experience. Undergraduates participate in a laboratory research project with faculty and graduate students in polymer science, chemistry, biochemistry, biological sciences and physics.

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Related Institutions

Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Coatings
International Coatings and Formulation Institute
International Journal of Coatings Science
Mississippi Polymer Institute


  • Image from an NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC).
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