Redesigning the modern applied medical sciences and engineering with shape memory polymers


The shape memory polymers (SMPs) are one of the most evolved classes of stimuli-responsive polymers that can attain a temporary shape and retrace back to the original shape when excited with a stimulus. The advantages of these materials being lightweight and possessing high strain recovery ability make them one of the most vogue materials in the realms of applied medical sciences. The following perspective is an author’s reflection on how these materials have evolved since its inception. Moreover, the article revisits some of the growing trends in the area of these smart materials, touching upon the latest developments, such as 4D printed SMPs. In an attempt to blend both the applications and the technology, the perspective provides a succinct overview of the expanding boundaries of the SMPs employed to fabricate medical devices.

Graphical abstract

To illustrate the versatility of shape morphing polymers in the applied medical sciences and biomedicine including vascular, orthopedic, and neuronal applications

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copyright reserved MDPI, 2013

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copyright reserved Science, 2002

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copyright reserved American Chemical Society 2016. (Bottom) Illustration of removal of a clot in a blood vessel using the laser-activated shape memory polymer microactuator coupled to an optical fiber, reproduced with permission from [28], copyright reserved Elsevier 2007

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copyright reserved American Chemical Society 2014

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copyright reserved BioMedical Engineering OnLine 2007

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copyright reserved Springer, 2020


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Correspondence to Sayan Basak.

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Sayan Basak declares that he has no conflict of interest. All individuals listed as authors qualify as authors and have approved the submitted version. Their work is original and is not under consideration by any other journal. They have permission to reproduce any previously published material.

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Basak, S. Redesigning the modern applied medical sciences and engineering with shape memory polymers. Adv Compos Hybrid Mater (2021).

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  • Shape memory polymer
  • Biodegradability
  • Biocompatibility
  • Biomedical application
  • Smart materials