College Station, Texas - Polyurethane shape memory foams (SMPs) can form porous polymeric scaffolds which are "a fast-emerging class of smart biomaterials with multiple potential applications," according to an article in the May 2012 issue of Journal of Polymer Science: Polymer Physics.
Work by a team led by Dr Duncan Maitland, who heads the Biomedical Device Laboratory in the department of biomedical engineering at Texas A&M University, resulted in these shape memory polymer foams.
Maitland's artice, co-authored by graduate students and research assistants) Pooja Singhal and Jennifer Rodriguez, describes research on the development of highly chemically crosslinked, ultra-low-density polyurethane shape memory foams (SMPs) synthesised from symmetrical, low-molecular-weight and branched hydroxyl monomers.
SMPs may be shaped into one form, changed into another shape and returned to the original shape on command, most commonly with heat or ultraviolet light (Texas A&M Engineer, 2010).
Such foams can be used, for example, as biomaterials for embolic devices in minimally invasive medical applications.
Maitland's foams feature on the journal's cover, referring to the paper on, "Ultra low density and highly crosslinked biocompatible shape memory polyurethane foams," by Singhal et al.
A related article, "Opacification of Shape Memory Polymer Foam Designed for Treatment of Intracranial Aneurysms," Rodriguez et al, was recently published in the Annals of Biomedical Engineering.