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Testing Shape Memory of Porous Polymer Tissue Engineering Scaffolds in Compression

[+] Author Affiliations
Hugh Lippincott, Daniel F. Schmidt

University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA

Paper No. IMECE2011-64560, pp. 963-967; 5 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 2: Biomedical and Biotechnology Engineering; Nanoengineering for Medicine and Biology
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5488-4
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Shape recovery from memory by porous scaffolds for tissue engineering offers easier insertion and self-retention following placement by minimally invasive surgery. Shape memory testing of porous polymer xerogels focuses on the compression cycle and the special aspects of the cycle and equipment used. This contrasts with normal tensile shape memory (SM) testing. In this work a dynamic mechanical analyzer (DMA) was used on small samples to quickly yield measurement of the SM restoration at various stress levels to emulate the forces exerted on the body by a tissue engineering (TE) scaffold returning to its permanent shape. The DMA testing of a hexamethyl diisocyanate trimer crosslinked castor oil (CO) / polycaprolactone (PCL) blend yielded repeated SM with no creep. The porous CO/PCL showed repeated compressive SM at 50% strain with a SM stress-free recovery ratio of 100%. The peak SM recovery work of 6.4 KJ/m3 was measured at 0.5 MPa stress and 6% to 12% strain. In addition to the potential utility of these materials in a tissue engineering setting, the test methods described here are relevant to a broad range of shape memory applications, from medical devices to morphing airframes to self-deploying structures.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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