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Shape Memory Polymer Porous Structures for Mini-Invasive Surgical Procedures

[+] Author Affiliations
Luigi de Nardo, Sabrina De Cicco, Matteo Jovenitti, Maria C. Tanzi, Silvia Farè

Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy

Paper No. ESDA2006-95559, pp. 539-544; 6 pages
  • ASME 8th Biennial Conference on Engineering Systems Design and Analysis
  • Volume 2: Automotive Systems, Bioengineering and Biomedical Technology, Fluids Engineering, Maintenance Engineering and Non-Destructive Evaluation, and Nanotechnology
  • Torino, Italy, July 4–7, 2006
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4249-5 | eISBN: 0-7918-3779-3
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


In the recent past, clinical procedures underwent huge modifications. Among them, mini-invasive surgery has modified the clinical practice and the quality of life of patients. All these evolutions are strictly correlated to the advancement in materials science. Shape Memory Polymers (SMPs), a novel class of stimuli-responsive materials, can be considered ideal candidates for the design of devices for mini-invasive surgery. Such devices can be inserted in a compact temporary shape and subsequently expanded at body temperature: a bone defect, e.g., could be filled by a filler made of SMPs. With the aim of promoting tissue integration and healing, these structures should present a suitable porosity. In this work two different processing techniques to obtain shape memory polymer scaffolds from Calo·MER™, a SMP, are presented. Porous structures were obtained by micro-extrusion, with different chemical expanding agents or by particulate leaching with salt. Morphology, thermo-mechanical and shape recovery properties of the SMP porous samples were investigated. The obtained foams show a well interconnected morphology, with a pore size in the range suitable for bone applications. Shape memory properties were not significantly affected by the transformation processes: a good ability of recovering the original shape was verified. Therefore, foams obtained from these materials could be used to fabricate devices for mini-invasive surgical procedures.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME
Topics: Polymers , Surgery , Shapes



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