Thiol-ene/acrylate shape memory polymers (SMPs) have sufficient stiffness for facile insertion and precision placement and soften after exposure to physiological conditions to reduce the mechanical mismatch with body tissue. As a result, they have demonstrated excellent potential as substrates for various flexible bioelectronic devices, such as cochlear implants, nerve cuffs, cortical probes, plexus blankets, and spinal cord stimulators. To enhance the shape recovery properties and softening effect of SMPs under physiological conditions, we designed and implemented a new class of SMPs as bioelectronics substrates. In detail, we introduced dopamine acrylamide (DAc) as a hydrophilic monomer into a current thiol-ene polymer network. Dry and soaked dynamic mechanical analyses were performed to evaluate the thermomechanical properties, softening kinetics under wet conditions, and shape recovery properties. Modification of SMPs by DAc provided an improved softening effect and shape recovery speed under physiological conditions. Here, we report a new strategy for designing SMPs with enhanced shape recovery properties and lower moduli than previously reported SMPs under physiological conditions without sacrificing stiffness at room temperature by introducing a hydrophilic monomer.
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