Dual-responsive hybrid thermoplastic shape memory polyurethane
A urethane-based dual-responsive shape memory polymer (SMP) comprising poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) was prepared. Water-responsive SME was achieved through the solvation and recrystallization of PEG switching segments. Thermo-responsive SME of the copolymer at physiological temperature was also demonstrated. The dual-responsive SMP shows promise for biomedical applications in which the physiological environment ensures constant exposure to water for water-triggered actuation with a suitable response time, while the thermally-triggered SME of the copolymer may be utilised to further augment shape recovery.