Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical and Chemical Engineering


Henderson, James H.


Polymer Science, Shape Memory Polymers, Tissue Engineering

Subject Categories

Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Engineering | Materials Science and Engineering


Over the past decade, several shape-memory polymer (SMP) substrates capable of changing topography under cell-culture conditions have been developed for the study of cell mechanobiology. Most initial reports of cytocompatible SMP platforms employed thermal triggering under ambient heating conditions, which, especially in hydrated environments, is a slow process that generally takes several minutes to a few hours. Also, biocompatible SMPs initially featured recovery temperatures too high for cells to maintain viability during the thermal trigger. To overcome the limitations of ambient thermal heating triggered shape recovery, the goal of this thesis was to develop new cytocompatible SMPs that can trigger a shape recovery in response to non-thermal triggers, namely enzymatic activity, visible light, and near infrared radiation. The results presented demonstrate several contributions to the shape memory polymer field via development of novel mechanisms to dynamically control surface topographies that can be used to direct cell alignment.


Open Access

Available for download on Wednesday, November 06, 2024