Solvent depression of transition temperature to selectively stimulate actuation of shape memory polymer foams
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An embodiment of the invention is a shape memory polymer (SMP) foam designed to recover its original shape through exposure to a solvent. Thermo-responsive SMPs are polymers designed to maintain a programmed secondary shape until heated above their transition temperature, upon which the polymer recovers its original, or primary, shape. The thermo-responsive SMP foam is programmed to its secondary shape prior to use, typically compression of the foam to a small volume, and remains in this programmed shape until exposed to a selected solvent such as dimethyl sulfoxide or ethyl alcohol. Upon exposure to the solvent, the transition temperature of the SMP foam decreases below the temperature of the environment and the SMP foam actuates to its primary shape. The SMP foam is tailored to actuate upon exposure to specific solvents while minimizing or preventing actuation when exposed to water or other solvents. This selective solvent actuation can be used to increase working time of a SMP foam device, that is, the time allowed for use of a device without undesired actuation, while maintaining functional SMP actuation. Solvent actuated SMP foams can be used in various applications including, but not limited to, treatment of aneurysms and arterio-venous malformations, tissue engineering, and wound healing.
Boyle, Anthony J.; Hearon, Keith; Maitland, Duncah J.; Nash, Landon D.; Wilson, Thomas S. (2020). Solvent depression of transition temperature to selectively stimulate actuation of shape memory polymer foams. United States. Patent and Trademark Office; Texas A&M University. Libraries. Available electronically from