High performance shape memory polymer networks based on rigid nanoparticle cores

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation; Department of Cell Biology

Publication Date


Document Type



Body Temperature; *Hot Temperature; *Models, Molecular; *Molecular Conformation; Nanoparticles; Organosilicon Compounds; Polymers; Tissue Engineering


Orthopedics | Rehabilitation and Therapy


Smart materials that can respond to external stimuli are of widespread interest in biomedical science. Thermal-responsive shape memory polymers, a class of intelligent materials that can be fixed at a temporary shape below their transition temperature (T(trans)) and thermally triggered to resume their original shapes on demand, hold great potential as minimally invasive self-fitting tissue scaffolds or implants. The intrinsic mechanism for shape memory behavior of polymers is the freezing and activation of the long-range motion of polymer chain segments below and above T(trans), respectively. Both T(trans) and the extent of polymer chain participation in effective elastic deformation and recovery are determined by the network composition and structure, which are also defining factors for their mechanical properties, degradability, and bioactivities. Such complexity has made it extremely challenging to achieve the ideal combination of a T(trans) slightly above physiological temperature, rapid and complete recovery, and suitable mechanical and biological properties for clinical applications. Here we report a shape memory polymer network constructed from a polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane nanoparticle core functionalized with eight polyester arms. The cross-linked networks comprising this macromer possessed a gigapascal-storage modulus at body temperature and a T(trans) between 42 and 48 degrees C. The materials could stably hold their temporary shapes for > 1 year at room temperature and achieve full shape recovery

DOI of Published Version



Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Apr 27;107(17):7652-7. Epub 2010 Apr 7. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID