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Polymers 2014, 6(4), 1178-1186; doi:10.3390/polym6041178
Article

Chitosan Membranes Exhibiting Shape Memory Capability by the Action of Controlled Hydration

1,2
, 1,2
 and 1,2,*
1 Research Group—Biomaterials, Biodegradables and Biomimetics, University of Minho, Headquarters of the European Institute of Excellence on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, AvePark, Zona Industrial da Gandra S. Cláudio do Barco, 4806-909 Caldas das Taipas, Guimarães, Portugal 2 ICVS/3B's, PT Government Associate Laboratory, Braga/Guimarães, Portugal
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 February 2014 / Revised: 31 March 2014 / Accepted: 10 April 2014 / Published: 17 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Polymers)
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Abstract

Chitosan membranes can undergo a glass transition at room temperature triggered by hydration. The mechanical properties of the membranes were followed by a tension test and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), with the sample in wet conditions after being immersed in varying compositions of water/ethanol mixtures. Results show that with the increasing of water content, the Young’s and storage modulus decrease systematically. For water contents of ca. 35 vol%, chitosan (CHT) exhibits a glass transition, showing an elastomeric plateau in the elastic modulus above this hydration level and the occurrence of a peak in the loss factor. Due to the semi-crystalline nature of CHT, membranes of this biomaterial present a shape memory capability induced by water uptake. By fixation of the permanent shape by further covalent cross-linking, the membranes can have different permanent shapes appropriate for different applications, including in the biomedical area.
Keywords: shape memory; glass transition dynamics; biopolymers; biomaterials; smart systems shape memory; glass transition dynamics; biopolymers; biomaterials; smart systems
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Correia, C.O.; Caridade, S.G.; Mano, J.F. Chitosan Membranes Exhibiting Shape Memory Capability by the Action of Controlled Hydration. Polymers 2014, 6, 1178-1186.

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