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page 63 | OCTOBER 2011 | PLASTICS ENGINEERING |5fromSPESPE EUROTEC is finally here! This conference has been three years inthe making, and it represents SPE's first foray into holding ANTEC-styleconferencing outside North America.EUROTEC is being held in Barcelona, Spain, in conjunction withEquiplast on November 14-15.We have enjoyed wonderful support from SPE's European membergroups, and are especially grateful to those companies sponsoring theevent: SABIC, Ticona, A. Schulman, and PolyOne.The effort has been led by SPE's European Board. I want to particularlythank the technical program chairs for all the hard work they have doneto make EUROTEC a quality conference-in keeping with SPE's tradi-tion of excellence. Technical program chairs for the conference areDominique Duriez of SPE's France Section, and Bernhard Peters of SPE'sCentral Europe Section. Additional leadership and help in getting all ofthe program and arrangements in shape could not have been possiblewithout Djamila Gonzalez of SPE's Spain Section, Alain Dirven of SPE'sRapid Design, Engineering and Mold Making SIG, and Olivier Crave ofSPE France and a member of SPE's Executive Committee.I would also be remiss if I did not personally thank Past President KenBraney and our own Conference Director, Lesley Kyle, both of whomhave been tirelessly involved since the beginning of this effort in everyaspect of the conference.In addition to the conference, a number of SPE groups are holdingmeetings in conjunction with EUROTEC, so we will have not only awonderful conference, but also a real gathering of our members and lead-ers in Europe. Support for this activity from U.S.-based member groupshas likewise been strong, and I am looking forward to seeing many ofSPE's American colleagues there as well.*****This is my last opportunity to thank you all for the honor of serving asyour Executive Director before stepping down at the end of this year. Mytime with SPE has been wonderful, thanks to all the staff, volunteers,leaders, and members who have made this experience the highpoint of mycareer. I wish you all the very best.

industryPATENTSBY ROGER CORNELIUSSENSounds ExoticU.S. Patent 7,858,055 (December28, 2010), "Moisture SensitiveAuxetic Material," WanDuk Lee,SangSoo Lee, CholWoh Koh, and JinHeo (Kimberly-Clark Worldwide,Inc., Neenah, Wisconsin, USA).Auxetic materials have a negativePoisson's ratio, meaning that undertensile stress, the area perpendicularto the tensile axis increases ratherthan decreases. Applications havebeen limited because of productiondifficulties. Lee et al of Kimberly-Clark have developed a material thatis auxetic when exposed to moistureand external forces. This materialconsists of a stiff, moisture-activatedshrinking filament wrapped in a helixaround a rubber core. When exposedto moisture, the helical fiber shrinksby 20% or more. This shrinkagepulls the rubber, forming pores andresulting in an overall auxetic behav-ior. The fiber can be a modified cel-lulose or a polyvinyl alcohol fiberand the rubber can be natural rubber,silicone, or polyurethane.Some NerveU.S. Patent 7,858,142 (December28, 2010), "Laminin-ModifiedConduit for Nerve Regeneration andMethods of Manufacturing theConduit and Regenerating NervesUsing the Conduit," Henrich Cheng,Yi-Cheng Huang, Pei-The Chang,and Yi-You Huang (Taipei, Taiwan).Nerve regeneration is complex, andmature neurons do not replicate orundergo cell division. Cheng et alhave developed a laminin-modifiedhollow tube for nerve regeneration.Laminin is an extracellular matrixprotein for Schwann cell adhesion,critical for nerve regeneration. Ametal wire is inserted into a chitosansolution and cooled in a liquid nitro-gen trap. After freezing; the encapsu-lated wire is removed, heated by anelectric current, and then pulled out,leaving a hollow tube. The solvent isthen removed by freeze-drying andthe tube is treated with a plasma gas.The tube with the activated surface isthen soaked with a laminin solutionand seeded with Schwann cells. Thistreated tube is filled with abiodegradable polymer and attachedto the severed neuron ends. The tubeis long enough so that the exposedneuron ends stay in the tube withoutsuturing.Another Use for Horseradish!U.S. Patent 7,858,386 (December28, 2010), "Method of ControllingQuantum Dot Photoluminescenceand Other Intrinsic PropertiesThrough Biological Specificity," IgorL. Medintz, Hedi M. Mattoussi,Moungi G. Bawendi, J. MatthewMauro, George P. Anderson, andThomas Pons (U.S. Navy,Washington, D.C., USA).Biological applications of lumines-cent colloidal semiconductornanoparticles or quantum dotsrequire better controls. Medintz et alhave developed a method to controlquantum dot photoluminescence bya protein, such as a polyhistidinemetal complex or horseradish peroxi-dase. This control can include theluminescence magnitude as well ason-and-off switching resulting fromcharge transfer to the quantum dotnanocrystal (ionization) throughredox interactions. In one example, ahorseradish peroxidase is able to con-trol the light impinging on the quan-tum dot through its conversion ofluminor in the presence of a perox-ide, which releases light. Proteasesterminated with a polyhistidine canalso control quantum dot lumines-cence. Although the exact ionizationand neutralization process is not yetunderstood, its effect is dramatic. Acharged dot does not emit light.Breakdown RequiredU.S. Patent 7,862,691 (January 4,2011), "Decomposition Method ofWaste Plastics and Organics," TatsuoKitamura, Yoshihide Kitamura, andItsushi Kashimoto (Kusatsu ElectricCo., Ltd., Shiga, Japan).The need exists for cost-effectiveand efficient local disposal of infec-tious medical waste. This waste mayinclude plastics, which can also gen-erate corrosive and reactive gases dur-ing pyrolysis. Safe and convenientdisposal methods for hospitals andclinics must not require large-scaleequipment and processes. Kitamuraet al of Kusatsu Electric havedevel-oped such a disposal method bypyrolysis with titanium oxide cata-lysts at 420°C to 560°C, followed bylime neutralization. To be effective,the amount of waste must be smallcompared with the amount of titani-um oxide particles. Three to 40 kgper hour of materials can beprocessed per 100 kg of titaniumoxide. Materials generating HCl, HF,and sulfur compounds can be safelyand quickly neutralized by a lime-6| PLASTICS ENGINEERING | OCTOBER 2011 | www.4spe.orgContinued on page 8 ??