Magnetically Actuated Shape Memory Polymers for On-Demand Drug Delivery

Anand Utpal Vakil, Maryam Ramezani, Mary Beth B. Monroe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Repeated use of intravenous infusions to deliver drugs can cause nerve damage, pain, and infection. There is an unmet need for a drug delivery method that administers drugs on demand for prolonged use. Here, we developed magnetically responsive shape memory polymers (SMPs) to enhance control over drug release. Iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles (mnps) were synthesized and incorporated into previously developed SMPs to enable magnetically induced shape memory effects that can be activated remotely via the application of an alternating magnetic field. These materials were tested for their shape memory properties (dynamic mechanical analysis), cytocompatibility (3T3 fibroblast viability), and tunable drug delivery rates (UV–VIS to evaluate the release of incorporated doxorubicin, 6-mercaptopurine, and/or rhodamine). All polymer composites had >75% cytocompatibility over 72 h. Altering the polymer chemistry and mnp content provided methods to tune drug release. Namely, linear polymers with higher mnp content had faster drug release. Highly cross-linked polymer networks with lower mnp content slowed drug release. Shape memory properties and polymer/drug interactions provided additional variables to tune drug delivery rates. Polymers that were fixed in a strained secondary shape had a slower release rate compared with unstrained polymers, and hydrophobic drugs were released more slowly than hydrophilic drugs. Using these design principles, a single material with gradient chemistry and dual drug loading was synthesized, which provided a unique mechanism to deliver two drugs from a single scaffold with distinct delivery profiles. This system could be employed in future work to provide controlled release of selected drug combinations with enhanced control over release as compared with previous approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7279
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • actuation
  • drug delivery
  • magnetism
  • polyurethanes
  • shape memory polymers
  • thermoplastic
  • thermoset

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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