10 March 2014 Fabrication and characterization of a foamed polylactic acid (PLA)/ thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) shape memory polymer (SMP) blend for biomedical and clinical applications
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Abstract
Shape memory polymers (SMP) are a class of stimuli-responsive materials that are able to respond to external stimulus such as heat by altering their shape. Bio-compatible SMPs have a number of advantages over static materials and are being studied extensively for biomedical and clinical applications (such as tissue stents and scaffolds). A previous study has demonstrated that the bio-compatible polymer blend of polylactic acid (PLA)/ thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) (50/50 and 70/30) exhibit good shape memory properties. In this study, the mechanical and thermo-mechanical (shape memory) properties of TPU/PLA SMP blends were characterized; the compositions studied were 80/20, 65/35, and 50/50 TPU/PLA. In addition, porous TPU/PLA SMP blends were fabricated with a gas-foaming technique; and the morphology of the porous structure of these SMPs foams were characterized with scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The TPU/PLA bio-compatible SMP blend was fabricated with melt-blending and compression molding. The glass transition temperature (Tg) of the SMP blends was determined with a differential scanning calorimeter (DSC). The mechanical properties studied were the stress-strain behavior, tensile strength, and elastic modulus; and the thermomechanical (or shape memory) properties studied were the shape fixity rate (Rf), shape recovery rate (Rr), response time, and the effect of recovery temperature on Rr. The porous 80/20 PLA/TPU SMP blend was found to have the highest tensile strength, toughness and percentage extension, as well as the lowest density and uniform pore structure in the micron and submicron scale. The porous 80/20 TPU/PLA SMP blend may be further developed for specific biomedical and clinical applications where a combination of tensile strength, toughness, and low density are required.
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Janice J. Song, Ijya Srivastava, Jennifer Kowalski, Hani E. Naguib, "Fabrication and characterization of a foamed polylactic acid (PLA)/ thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) shape memory polymer (SMP) blend for biomedical and clinical applications", Proc. SPIE 9058, Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites 2014, 90580B (10 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2046494; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2046494
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