Shape-memory behavior of thermally stimulated polyurethane for medical applications

G. Baer, T. S. Wilson, Dennis L Matthews, D. J. Maitland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


Shape memory polymers (SMPs) have been of great interest because of their ability to be thermally actuated to recover a predetermined shape. Medical applications in clot extracting devices and stents are especially promising. We investigated the thermomechanical properties of a series of Mitsubishi SMPs for potential application as medical devices. Glass transition temperatures and moduli were measured by differential scanning calorimetry and dynamic mechanical analysis. Tensile tests were performed with 20 and 100% maximum strains, at 37 and 80°C, which are respectively, body temperature and actuation temperature. Glass transitions are in a favorable range for use in the body (35-75°C), with high glassy and rubbery shear moduli in the range of 800 and 2 MPa respectively. Constrained stress-strain recovery cycles showed very low hysteresis after three cycles, which is important to know for preconditioning of the material to ensure identical properties during applications. Isothermal free recovery tests showed shape recoveries above 94% for MP5510 thermoset SMP cured at different temperatures. One material exhibited a shape fixity of 99% and a shape recovery of 85% at 80°C over one thermomechanical cycle. These polyurethanes appear particularly well suited for medical applications in deployment devices such as stents or clot extractors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3882-3892
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Glass transition
  • Mechanical properties
  • Polyurethanes
  • Thermal properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics


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