Heat Activated Shape Memory Anchoring Device
Available for Licensing
US Utility Patent Pending
Steven J Simske
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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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)
- Control pivoting