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Ultrasound Actuation of Shape-Memory Polymer Filaments: Acoustic-Thermoelastic Modeling and Testing

[+] Author Affiliations
Aarushi Bhargava, Kaiyuan Peng, Jerry Stieg, Reza Mirzaeifar, Shima Shahab

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA

Paper No. SMASIS2017-3832, pp. V002T04A014; 12 pages
  • ASME 2017 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems
  • Volume 2: Modeling, Simulation and Control of Adaptive Systems; Integrated System Design and Implementation; Structural Health Monitoring
  • Snowbird, Utah, USA, September 18–20, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Aerospace Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5826-4
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


Controlled drug delivery (CDD) technology has received extensive attention in the past three decades due to numerous advantages of this technology when compared to the conventional methods. Despite recent efforts and substantial achievements, controlled drug releasing systems still face major challenges in practice, including chemical issues with synthesizing biocompatible drug containers and releasing the pharmaceutical compounds at the targeted location with a controlled time rate. In this work, we present experimentally-validated acoustic-thermoelastic mathematical modeling to show the feasibility of using shape memory polymers (SMPs) and focused ultrasound (FU) technology for designing a novel drug-delivery system. SMPs represent a new class of materials that have the ability of storing a temporary shape and returning to their permanent or original shape when subjected to external stimuli such as heat. FU is used as a trigger for noninvasively stimulating SMP-based drug capsules. FU has a superior capability to localize the heating effect, thus initiating the shape recovery process only in selected parts of the polymer. A multiphysics model is developed, which optimizes the design of a SMP-based CDD system using acoustic-thermoelastic analysis of a filament as the constituting base structure and quantifies its activation through FU. The analytical and numerical models are divided into three parts. The first part studies the acoustic behavior of SMPs using Khokhlov-Zabolotskaya-Kuznetsov (KZK) model. The equation solves for acoustic pressure field in a hybrid time-frequency domain using operator-splitting method and examines the effects of absorption, diffraction and nonlinear distortion on the propagating wave in the medium. The second part provides a numerical model based on Penne’s Bioheat equation to estimate the thermal field developed in SMPs as a result of focused acoustic pressure field. The third part provides a numerical framework to predict the mechanical stresses developed in SMPs under FU and consequent shape recovery. The mechanical model is formulated by a compressible neo-Hookean constitutive equation, which assumes the SMPs behave as a thermoelastic material and predicts the shape memory effect under FU. Experimental validation is performed using a FU transducer in a water tank. The recovery of thermally responsive SMPs under FU predicted by our model shows a good accordance with the experiments. The modeling results are used to optimize parameters such as nonlinear properties, input frequency, source power and dimensional effects to achieve maximum shape recovery.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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