Guymon Receives $277,000 NSF Grant for Polymer Research

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

University of Iowa Press Release


C. Allan Guymon, Donald E. Bently Faculty Fellow of Engineering, and associate professor of chemical and biochemical engineering in the University of Iowa College of Engineering, has received a three-year, $277,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for polymer research.

The grant builds upon a similar NSF grant he received in 2006 and involves polymers formed using light, such as those used in dental fillings, plastics and paints.

Guymon said that the nanometer-sized polymers are formed using large amounts of soap in water -- formally called lyotropic liquid crystals -- and that light determines the speed of polymer formation, a critical factor in developing nanotechnology structures.

He added that his research might also have medical applications because nanostructured polymers prepared using lyotropic liquid crystals have shown their ability to change the growth and development of tissue in the body.

Additionally, in recent years, Guymon has taught about the importance of polymers at both Iowa City West High School and Clear Creek Amana High School to over 40 chemistry classes. The grant will also help in incorporating the importance of nanotechnology as part of this ongoing collaboration.