Japanese chemists have discovered a new gel which is a polymer of N-isopropylacrylamide and ruthenium. The gel swells and contracts on its own, an action that can be used to facilitate the periodic release of drugs. The timing for the release of the drugs can be set by the choice of metal ions used in the gel. Ryo Yoshida and his team from the National Institute of Materials and Chemical Research in Tsukuba believe that the polymer would find a wide variety of industrial applications too. For instance, it could be used to squeeze oil from oil spills.
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