An estimated 6 million people in the United States have an unruptured cerebral aneurysm . If left untreated, these aneurysms can rupture and to lead to severe brain function impairment or even death. Shape memory polymer (SMP) foams have been proposed for use to optimize endovascular embolization in place of current embolization devices [2,3].
SMPs are capable of actuating from a programmed secondary geometry to their expanded primary geometry in response to a stimulus, such as body temperature . The expanded foam geometry provides an interface for embolization of the aneurysm to occur, however, treatment with these devices has limited visibility under fluoroscopy.
Previous work by Hasan et al. increased radiopacity through the incorporation of tungsten (W) nanoparticles. These composite foams showed successful x-ray visibility, but aggregate disruption of the SMP matrix led to decreased mechanical properties .
This work addresses limitations of composite SMP foams, namely toughness, by chemically incorporating x-ray visible monomers, such as the triodobenzene containing monomer, 5-Amino-2,4,6-triiodoisophthalic acid (AT), into the material composition. These materials enable contrast agent loading without disrupting the polymer matrix. This polymer foam system was characterized to determine the clinical relevance of the improved radiopaque SMP foam for occlusion devices.