Ultra low density and highly crosslinked biocompatible shape memory polyurethane foams

Pooja Singhal, Jennifer N. Rodriguez, Ward Small, Scott Eagleston, Judith A Van de Water, Duncan J. Maitland, Thomas S. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


We report the development of highly chemically crosslinked, ultra low density (-0.015 g/cc) polyurethane shape memory foams synthesized from symmetrical, low molecular weight, and branched hydroxyl monomers. Sharp single glass transitions (T g) customizable in the functional range of 45-70 °C were achieved. Thermomechanical testing confirmed shape memory behavior with 97-98% shape recovery over repeated cycles, a glassy storage modulus of 200-300 kPa, and recovery stresses of 5-15 kPa. Shape holding tests under constrained storage above the T g showed stable shape memory. A high volume expansion of up to 70 times was seen on actuation of these foams from a fully compressed state. Low in vitro cell activation induced by the foam compared with controls demonstrates low acute bio-reactivity. We believe these porous polymeric scaffolds constitute an important class of novel smart biomaterials with multiple potential applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)724-737
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2012


  • aneurysm
  • low density foams
  • polyurethane
  • secondary-shape forming
  • shape memory polymer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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