Researchers in China and Wisconsin have collaborated on research showing that a compound of commonly used medical plastics can be injection molded into shape memory polymers.
The new blends have the advantage of better shaping ability.
Previously developed shape memory polymers blends could not be formed via bending, folding, compression or stretching into temporary shapes at room temperature without an extra heating step. according to the authors from the National Engineering Research Center of Novel Equipment for Polymer Processing at South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China and the Polymer Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI.
Shape memory polymers have the potential to significantly impact the medical industry by creating devices that could self deploy, that is spring into a predetermined shape after being placed inside the human body. Another application that has been investigated is a catheter that is stiff outside the human body and then becomes softer and more comfortable inside the human body.