Biodegradable, Elastic Shape-Memory Polymers for Potential Biomedical Applications

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Science  31 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5573, pp. 1673-1676
DOI: 10.1126/science.1066102

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The introduction of biodegradable implant materials as well as minimally invasive surgical procedures in medicine has substantially improved health care within the past few decades. This report describes a group of degradable thermoplastic polymers that are able to change their shape after an increase in temperature. Their shape-memory capability enables bulky implants to be placed in the body through small incisions or to perform complex mechanical deformations automatically. A smart degradable suture was created to illustrate the potential of these shape-memory thermoplastics in biomedical applications.

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