Heat Activated Shape Memory Anchoring Device


Available for Licensing
TRL: 7

IP Status

US Utility Patent Pending: US 2021/0177609 A1


Steven J Simske
Adam Morrone

Figure 1 (Left): Diagram of anchor deployment when the device is heated. (a) shows the device when internal temperature is below Af, and (b) shows the device when internal temperature is above Af
At A Glance

Researchers at Colorado State University have developed a device that, upon heating, deploys anchors in all directions.  This outwards force is used to permanently lock the device into a larger cavity or cylinder (e.g. PVC pipe or intramedullary cavity of a long bone) to selectively control placement of the device.  The mechanism for the expansion of these shape memory anchors is an internal stress associated with a crystallographic transition.

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Licensing Manager

Jessy McGowan

Reference No.:  2020-025


Shape-memory polymers (SMPs) are polymeric smart materials that have the ability to return from a deformed state (temporary shape) to their original (permanent) shape induced by an external stimulus (trigger), such as temperature change. One of the first conceived industrial applications was shape memory (SM) foam in robotics to provide initial soft pretension in gripping. Since then, these materials have seen widespread usage in construction (e.g. foam which expands with warmth to seal window frames) and sports wear. Polyurethane SMPs are also utilized as an autochoke element in engines. And although the potential to develop SMPs for greater applications remains, many have yet to be realized. Specifically, shape memory devices are not currently used to anchor inserts into a sleeve, as implants into a bone, or to control pivoting.

  • Medical devices (e.g. orthodontics and orthopedics)
  • Pipelines
  • Connectors
  • Control pivoting

Morrone and Simske. (2020) A Novel Design Methodology for Osseointegrated Implants using Shape Memory Alloy Anchors. IAE. Biomed Sci Instrum Vol 56(2) P 350-363

Morrone, Adam. “A Novel Design Methodology for Osseointegrated Implants and the Effects of Heat-Treatment on Shape Setting Nitinol Foil.” Colorado State University - ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2020. 27829767.

Last updated: April 2022

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