University of Valladolid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN18 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 6196-6206
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1481
Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain
Polymeric materials have attracted considerable interest in the last two decades for applications in various fields such as molecular separation, adsorption, catalysis, energy storage, biosensing, cell culture, template synthesis, and drug delivery to name a few. Essential approaches towards these applications include novel processing technologies of polymers, the synthesis of novel polymers with a well-defined structure, the use of templates for creating ‘tailored’ barrier or surface structures, and the preparation of composites. Moreover, the advanced surface functionalization of these materials is an economical and facile way to obtain a synergistic combination of several functions by using different (mainly polymeric) materials, as well as to improve their biocompatibility, or to tune their properties (wetting, mechanical, thermal).

However, state-of-the-art surface functionalization techniques are not currently included in the training of undergrad or postgraduate science students at the University of Valladolid (UVa, Spain). With the aim to overcome this lack of specific training, the Laboratory of Cellular Materials (CellMat Laboratory, of the Condensed Matter Physics Department (UVa), a leading research group on materials science research and in particular on cellular polymer research, has developed a training program focused on the basis of different surface functionalization procedures such as Spray-coating, Dip-coating, Triboelectrostatic-charge, Spin-coating, Laser ablation, Plasma, or Filler addition. In addition, the theoretical learning about these techniques will be enhanced by hands-on learning employing several surface functionalization techniques on solid or cellular polymers.

Herein, the contents and methodology of this training program are detailed through practical examples of laboratory work to be developed within this teaching program. Finally, the efficiency of this training program is evaluated, taking this feedback about its implementation into account to propose a further improvement of the training program.
Materials science, practical learning, training program.