Thermoset Shape Memory Polymer Variable Stiffness 4D Robotic Catheters

Published Advanced Science, 2021



Variable stiffness catheters are typically composed of an encapsulated core. The core is usually composed of a low melting point alloy or a thermoplastic polymer. In both cases, there is a need to encapsulate the core with an elastic material. This imposes a limit to the volume of variable stiffness material and limits miniaturization. This paper proposes a new approach that relies on the use of thermosetting materials. The variable stiffness catheter proposed in this work eliminates the necessity for an encapsulation layer and is made of a unique biocompatible thermoset polymer with an embedded heating system. This significantly reduces the final diameter, improves manufacturability, and increases safety in the event of complications. The device can be scaled to sub-millimeter dimensions, while maintaining a high stiffness change. In addition, integration into a magnetic actuation system allows for precise actuation of one or multiple tools.


author = {Author, First, Author, Second, and Author, Last},
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year = {2021}