Rapid progress has occurred in the field of responsive polymers that can provide, receive and respond to signals from their environment including interactions with synthetic molecules, biological species and physical stimuli. Research in functional materials has been driven by the increasing demand for intelligent materials. Furthermore, driven by the motivation that system complexity could be reduced by the integration of multiple functions in one material, multifunctional materials are being developed. Symposium V, 'Multifunctional Polymer-Based Materials', held in Boston, Massachusetts, November 28–December 2, 2011 at the 2011 MRS Fall Meeting gave a highly interdisciplinary scientific community the opportunity to gather and discuss topics such as multifunctional surfaces and interfaces, stimuli-sensitive and shape-memory polymers, cell-biomaterial interactions, multifunctional biomaterials, liquid crystalline polymers, multifunctional polymer-based materials, micro-/nanostructured systems, multimaterial systems, encapsulation and drug release, stimuli-responsive hydrogels, photosensitive materials and dielectric and electronic systems.
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