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Synthesis of poly(lactic acid)-based macro-porous foams with thermo-active shape memory property via W/O high internal phase emulsion polymerization


Here, the synthesis of macro-porous polymer foams by using bio-based poly(lactic acid) (PLA) as macro-monomer was carried out via W/O high internal phase emulsion (HIPE) polymerization. The PLA macro-monomer end-capped by di-acrylate groups was employed as the continuous phase and copolymerized with fluorinated methacrylate, 2-ethylhexyl acrylate, and acrylate crosslinkers. The interconnected macro-porous polyHIPEs showed the thermo-responsive shape memory property. It is found that the transition temperature (Ttrans) of the polyHIPEs in shape recover cycle is adjustable in the temperature range from 24.5 to 107.8 °C, corresponding to their glass transition temperature (Tg), which can be controlled by the ratio of macro-, fluorinated, and acrylate monomers. In this work, the best shape memory property is obtained with a PLA content over 40%. The corresponding polyHIPEs could change their shape with a compress ratio as high as 50% at the temperature above Ttrans, maintain the temporary shape by cooling to room temperature, and exhibit a nearly 100% recovery upon reheating. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) results suggest that the macro-porous structure can be maintained without collapse of the pores in at least four compression-recovery cycles. These polyHIPEs also have degradation capabilities.

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This work was financially supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2020YFE0100300).

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Correspondence to Xiaoyu Li or Longhai Guo.

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Qiu, T., Xu, G., Li, X. et al. Synthesis of poly(lactic acid)-based macro-porous foams with thermo-active shape memory property via W/O high internal phase emulsion polymerization. Colloid Polym Sci 300, 415–427 (2022).

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  • Porous polymers
  • Shape memory
  • High internal phase emulsion
  • Degradation