Universal Strategy for Designing ShapeMemory Hydrogels


Smart polymeric biomaterials have been the focusof many recent biomedical studies, especially those withadaptability to defects and potential to be implanted in thehuman body. Herein we report a versatile and straightforwardmethod to convert non-thermoresponsive hydrogels intothermoresponsive systems with shape memory ability. As aproof of concept, a thermoresponsive polyurethane mesh wasembedded within a methacrylated chitosan (CHTMA), gelatin(GELMA), laminarin (LAMMA) or hyaluronic acid (HAMA)hydrogel network, which afforded hydrogel composites withshape memory ability. With this system, we achieved good toexcellent shapefixity ratios (50-90%) and excellent shaperecovery ratios (similar to 100%, almost instantaneously) at bodytemperature (37 degrees C). Cytocompatibility tests demonstrated good viability either with cells on top or encapsulated duringall shape memory processes. This straightforward approach opens a broad range of possibilities to convey shape memoryproperties to virtually any synthetic or natural-based hydrogel for several biological and nonbiological applications.




Materials Science


Costa, DCS; Costa, PDC; Gomes, MC; Chandrakar, A; Wieringa, PA; Moroni, L; Mano, JF

nossos autores


The authors acknowledge the support of the European Union (EU) Horizon 2020 for Project InterLynk (Grant Agreement H2020-NMBP-TR-IND-2020, Project ID 953169). This work was developed within the scope of Project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials (UIDB/50011/2020, UIDP/50011/2020, and LA/P/0006/2020), financed by national funds through the FCT/MEC (PIDDAC). This work was also supported by the Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalizacao (POCI) in the component FEDER and by national funds (OE) through FCT/MCTES in the scope of the Projects MARGEL (PTDC/BTM-MAT/31498/2017) and BEAT (PTDC/BTM-MAT/30869/2017). The MARGEL Project is acknowledged for the individual Junior Researcher contract of D.C.S.C. and the M.Sc. Scholarship of P.D.C.C. The Beat Project is acknowledged for the individual Junior Researcher contract of M.C.G. The melt electrowriting developments were supported by BONE Interreg NWE Project 497. The authors also acknowledge Primex ehf (Iceland) for providing pristine chitosan.

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