Soft bacterial polyester-based shape memory nanocomposites featuring reconfigurable nanostructure

Kazuki Ishida, Rebecca Hortensius, Xiaofan Luo, Patrick T. Mather

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


In this work, a novel soft shape memory polymer nanocomposite derived from a bacterial medium-chain-length polyhydroxyalkanoate, poly(3-hydroxyoctanoate- co-3-hydroxyundecenoate) (PHOU), used to form a covalent network grafted with polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS), a crystallizable inorganic-organic hybrid nanofiller, was prepared. The PHOU-POSS nanocomposite, PHOU-POSSw-net [w (= POSS content, wt %) = 0, 20, 25, 30, and 38], is a completely amorphous elastomer (w ≤ 20) or contains POSS nanocrystals embedded in the amorphous PHOU matrix (w ≥ 25). The hybrid nanostructure of PHOU-POSSw-net (w ≥ 25) is featured by its reconfigurability, based on aggregation and disaggregation of POSS covalently connected to the PHOU network, which enables excellent shape fixing and recovery. Furthermore, it exhibits soft and elastomeric mechanical properties even in the fixed state. Taking advantage of the shape memory ability as well as the softness in the fixed state, we demonstrate microscale dynamic surface topography of PHOU-POSSw-net.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-393
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2012


  • X-ray
  • elastomers
  • polyesters
  • polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane
  • polyhydroxyalkanoates
  • reconfigurable nanostructures
  • shape memory polymers
  • soft nanocomposites
  • stimuli-sensitive polymers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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