Comparison of different contrast agents when imaging shape memory polymer foams
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SMP foams have unique properties that make them well suited for certain medical applications. SMP foam has the ability to be programmed to “remember” a temporary shape, and once heated can revert back to its original shape. Scientists have recognized that shape memory foam might have great value in the medical industry. One application for SMP foam that is being developed is an embolic device for the treatment of cerebral aneurysms. One critical component in the development of these foams is the creation of accurate 3D models of the foam to determine strut thickness, pore cell size, anisotropy, and perform flow simulations. To obtain a 3D model of these low density polyurethane foams, they must be imaged using µ-CT. In some cases a contrast agent must be used in order to see the foam when imaging via µ-CT, so an appropriate contrast agent must be determined. Different contrast agents at various concentrations were tested in order to find one that is suitable for this application. Barium sulfate, tungsten, and tungsten carbide were all tested at 1%, 5%, 10%, 25%, and 50% by mass concentrations. The 5% barium sulfate samples produced the best results, although they were still not good enough to produce an accurate 3D model, so further research will need to be conducted.
Eagleston, Scott 1990- (2012). Comparison of different contrast agents when imaging shape memory polymer foams. Honors and Undergraduate Research. Available electronically from