Methods and Materials for Modulating Construct Wear Due to Cyclic Loading

Case ID:
UA22-172
Invention:

Rethinking the structural organization of a polymer is a normally forgone solution for improving polymer flexibility. Here, the inventors have created four improved ways to manufacture polymers. The first is to create it at its mid-stress point, the second is to make the polymer with a shifting neutral axis, the third method uses polymers to provide support at high-stress points along with the polymer, and the fourth is to use fibers as the support system. All these methods increase the amount of stress that a device can undergo, and it can be used for a longer time.

Background:
Method and process of making polymeric devices primarily applies to medical and healthcare devices (e.g. heart valve), but also includes polymeric materials for sports, industry, manufacturing, etc. Current polymers are manufactured in a rigid neutral state, meaning it has to experience full force in all directions when bent. They are not given any extra support, leaving them weaker than they could be.

The new methods of manufacturing polymers in a partially flexed state will allow it to experience less stress in its flexed states. Current polymers do not apply neutral axis shifting, but changing this would help decrease wear over time on the structure of the material. Manufacturing polymers with a cyclic shift in the neutral axis will increase the life of the polymer as it allows the polymer to experience constant stress and strain over a rotating axis. Current polymers and resins are usually made as a whole part, without any support, or extra support at areas of high tension. Polymers can also be strengthened by increasing the amount of support they have at their high-stress point, and also ensuring that there is no intra-material failure. Another method that is being proposed to increase the strength of polymers is to add fibers that increase durability by supporting the polymer bi-axially. By using a bulking polymer at high-stress locations polymers are better able to distribute the stress. Along with using bulking polymers to strengthen the structure, adding fibers can also increase the strength of a material.   

Applications:

  • All polymer purposes
  • Polymer medical devices that are frequently bent or under tension
  • Biopolymers


Advantages:

  • Longer life of polymer
  • Decrease in the frequency of replacement
  • Sustainable
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Katherine Kuhns
Licensing Manager, UAHS-TLA
The University of Arizona
katiekuhns@email.arizona.edu
Lead Inventor(s):
Marvin Slepian
Syed Hossainy
Keywords: