Shape memory polymers (SMPs) have been developed as an emerging technology platform for biomedical applications in the past decades. In particular, SMPs are clinically essential for the development of novel medical devices to significantly improve long-term surgical outcomes. In this paper, we synthesized and characterized thermally-activated aliphatic urethane SMPs fabricated with nanocomposites for the design and development of biomedical devices. The thermal activation of shape memory function was investigated by direct thermal activation. Critical polymer properties, such as the glass transition temperature and shape memory function, have been tailored to desired applications, by adjusting the polymer composition. Carbon nanotubes were uniformly dispersed within the polymer during nanocomposite fabrication to significantly enhance the thermal and electrical properties. The synthesized SMPs and nanocomposites were characterized to understand their thermal and mechanical properties using dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). Scanning electron microscopy was employed to evaluate the dispersion of carbon nanotubes in polymer matrix. The mechanical properties of SMPs and nanocomposites at temperature above their glass transition temperature were evaluated using dog-bone samples in a dual-column mechanical testing system and an environmental chamber. SMPs and nanocomposites will then be fabricated in the form of foam for the development of novel devices applicable to endovascular embolization of cerebral aneurysms.

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