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Synthesis and Characterization of Microparticles for Templating Porous Shape Memory Polymer Scaffolds
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Shape memory polymers (SMPs) are proposed for use in a variety of medical devices, such as neural and peripheral embolism coils for aneurysm occlusion. These “smart” materials have unique advantages over shape memory alloys, such as light weight, large shape recovery of up to 400% plastic strain, nontoxicity, nonmutagenicity, ease of processing. and low cost. Processing SMPs into porous forms increases their potential for use in a number of applications due to unique properties, such as increased thermal and electrical insulation, large volume changes on recovery from compressive strain, and low density. Current SMP foams utilize a gas blowing technique to create the pores. This method results in inhomogeneous pore sizes and may result in shearing of the foams. By templating the SMP foam matrix with microparticles of controlled diameters, we hypothesize that we will be able to finely tune pore sizes within a set range and ensure pore interconnectivity. Here, we fabricated alginate microparticles using a co-flow emulsion technique. The microparticles were sieved to a size range of 75 – 125 μm before utilizing them to template poly(dimethyl siloxane) (PDMS) matrices. The resulting polymer matrices were characterized in terms of pore size and morphology. We found that utilizing the microparticles to template the matrices resulted in an interconnected pore matrix with homogeneous pores, which we hypothesize will allow for controlled expansion of the matrix. These results found using PDMS matrix will lay the groundwork for future generation of SMP foams with controlled porosity, reduced risk of shearing, and enhanced material properties for a variety of medical applications.
SubjectPolymers, Biomedical Engineering
Balakrishna, Kedar H (2018). Synthesis and Characterization of Microparticles for Templating Porous Shape Memory Polymer Scaffolds. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from