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Smart materials used in medical applications

Table of contents
1. General description of smart materials 2. Smart metallics used in medical applications Intelligent titanium surfaces Nitinol (for Nickel Titanium Naval Ordnance Laboratory) 3. Smart ceramics used in medical applications Hydroxyapatite Zirconia 4. Smart polymers used in medical applications High-performance polyethylene Hydrogels Poly(methyl methacrylate) Polyglycolic acid LTL Color Compounders

5. Smart composites used in medical applications Electrical resistance measurement in carbon-reinforced composites Piezo composites

6. New tendencies and ideas in smart materials used in medical applications

7. Conclusions

8. Bibliography

1. General description of smart materials

1.1. What are smart materials?

Fig. 1.1. Evolution of materials Science and technology have made amazing developments in the design of electronics and machinery using standard materials, which do not have particularly special properties (i.e. steel, aluminum, gold). Imagine the range of possibilities, which exist for special materials that have properties scientists can manipulate. Some such materials have the ability to change shape or size simply by adding a little bit of heat, or to change from a liquid to a solid almost instantly when near a magnet; these materials are called smart materials. Smart materials have one or more properties that can be dramatically altered. Most everyday materials have physical properties, which cannot be significantly altered; for example if oil is heated it will become a little thinner, whereas a smart material with variable viscosity may turn from a fluid

which flows easily to a solid. A variety of smart materials already exist, and are being researched extensively. These include piezoelectric materials, magneto-rheostatic materials, electro-rheostatic materials, and shape memory alloys. Some everyday items are already incorporating smart materials (coffeepots, cars, the International Space Station, eyeglasses) and the number of applications for them is growing steadily. Each individual type of smart material has a different property which can be significantly altered, such as viscosity, volume, and conductivity. The property that can be altered influences what types of applications the smart material can be used for. There are a number of types of smart material, some of which are already common. Some examples are as following:

Piezoelectric materials are materials that produce a voltage when stress is applied. Since this effect also applies in the reverse manner, a voltage across the sample will produce stress within the sample. Suitably designed structures made from these materials can therefore be made that bend, expand or contract when a voltage is applied.

Shape memory alloys and shape memory polymers are materials in which large deformation can be induced and recovered through temperature changes or stress changes (pseudoelasticity). The large deformation results due to martensitic phase change.

Magnetostrictive materials exhibit change in shape under the influence of magnetic field and also exhibit change in their magnetization under the influence of mechanical stress.

Magnetic shape memory alloys are materials that change their shape in response to a significant change in the magnetic field.

pH-sensitive polymers are materials that change in volume when the pH of the surrounding medium changes.

Temperature-responsive polymers are materials which undergo changes upon temperature. Halochromic materials are commonly used materials that change their colour as a result of changing acidity. One suggested application is for paints that can change colour to indicate corrosion in the metal underneath them.

Chromogenic systems change colour in response to electrical, optical or thermal changes. These include electrochromic materials, which change their colour or opacity on the application of a voltage (e.g. liquid crystal displays), thermochromic materials change in colour depending on their temperature, and photochromic materials, which change colour in response to light for example, light sensitive sunglasses that darken when exposed to bright sunlight.

Ferrofluid

Photomechanical materials change shape under exposure to light. Self-healing materials have the intrinsic ability to repair damage due to normal usage, thus expanding the material's lifetime

Dielectric elastomers (DEs) are smart material systems which produce large strains (up to 300%) under the influence of an external electric field.

Magnetocaloric materials are compounds that undergo a reversible change in temperature upon exposure to a changing magnetic field.

Thermoelectric materials are used to build devices that convert temperature differences into electricity and vice-versa.

Several well established and ongoing applications are today available for adaptive/active materials in medicine that exploit the properties of shape memory and super elastic alloys, shape memory polymers, active and resorbable bioceramics and bioglasses, biomimetic polymers and gels, active (nano)particles, smart textiles, active optical fibers, etc. Nevertheless, the continuously increasing capability to image and manage matter at the atomic and molecular level enabled by a number of nanoscale tools such as scanning probes, self and directed assembly, single molecule techniques, nanolithography and DNA-based technologies, coupled with advanced theory, multiscale modeling and simulation approaches for nanophase and nanostructured materials and smart nano/micro/meso-engineered devices and prostheses, is fuelling relevant opportunities and entirely new perspectives to inbuilt smartness or intelligence in materials and devices that would interject in a meaningful way with the body environment. These are opening new frontiers in medical diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, therapies, and in implant and prostheses. Specific areas of interest include new or creatively engineered materials, multi-scale cell engineering for functional tissues and drug and gene delivery systems, new materials and systems for medical diagnostics, implants and prostheses, and systemic interaction in the body environment including biocompatibility and biofunctionality issues.

2. Smart metallics used in medical applications

2.1. Intelligent titanium surfaces


Researchers Say That Smart Metallic Surfaces May Lead to Better Prostheses Researchers at the Universit de Montral with help from McGill University, the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS-EMT), Plasmionique Inc and the Universidade de So Paulo, have managed

to chemically modify titanium to create so called intelligent surfaces. The new material can interact with cells in the body and either promote healing or suppress their growth. It is believed that this research will lead to smart prostheses that will help promote healing of tissue post implantation. Dr. Nanci and colleagues applied chemical compounds to modify the surface of the common biomedical metals such as titanium. Exposing these metals to selected etching mixtures of acids and oxidants results in surfaces with a sponge-like pattern of nano (ultra small) pits. We demonstrat ed that some cells stick better to these surfaces than they do to the traditional smooth ones, says Dr. Nanci. This is already an improvement to the standard available biomaterial. The researchers then tested the effects of the chemically-produced nanoporous titanium surfaces on cell growth and development. They showed that the treated surfaces increased growth of bone cells, decreased growth of unwanted cells and stimulated stem cells, relative to untreated smooth ones. In addition, expression of genes required for cell adhesion and growth were increased in contact with the nanoporous surfaces.

Fig. 2.1. Control Ti-Uncontrolled growth of cells on a Titanium surface Nano Ti-Controled growth of cells on a nanoporous Titanium surface
Uncontrolled growth of cells on an implant is not ideal. For example, when using cardiovascular stents, it is important to limit the growth of certain cells in order not interfere with blood flow. Also, in some cases, cells can form an undesirable capsule around dental implants causing them to fall. The scientists demonstrated that treatment with specific etchants reduced the growth of unwanted cells.

2.2. Memory metal


2.2.1. Introduction In 1965, the first of a series of metal alloys of nickel and titanium was produced by the Naval Ordnance Laboratory. These alloys are called Nitinol,

for Nickel Titanium Naval Ordnance Laboratory. Many of the alloys have a rather remarkable property: they remember their shape. This "smart" property is the result of the substance's ability to undergo a phase change - a kind of atomic ballet in which atoms in the solid subtly shift their

positions in response to a stimulus like a change in temperature or application of mechanical stress. A simple demonstation involves bending a sample, then exposing it to a source of heat like hot air or hot water. The sample recovers its original shape as its temperature is raised above the temperature corresponding to the phase change. This temperature may be tuned by varying the ratio of nickel to titanium atoms in the solid by a few percent relative to a 1:1 ratio.

2.2.2. How it works As noted above, Nitinol is an alloy of nearly equal numbers of nickel and titanium atoms, with the exact amounts varied to match the temperature of the phase change to the application. The alloy can exist in either of two structures (phases) at room temperature, depending on the exact ratio of nickel to titanium atoms. The structure found above the temperature of the phase change possesses the high symmetry of a cube and is called austenite; the structure found below the temperature of the phase change is much less symmetric and is called martensite. In the martensite phase the material is very elastic, while in the austenite phase the material is comparatively rigid. Nitinol can be "trained" to have a new shape while in the austenite phase by deforming it into the desired shape. As it then cools to below the phase transition temperature, the material enters the martensite phase. In the martensite phase the shape can then be changed by mechanical stress: groups of atoms that were "leaning" in one direction will accommodate the mechanical stress by "leaning" in another direction, as allowed by the less symmetric structure. The sample will revert to the shape enforced upon it while it was in the austenite phase by returning it to the austenite phase through an increase in its temperature. The thermal energy acquired by the shape through heating it provides the energy the atoms need to return to their original positions and the sample to its original shape.

Fig. 2.2. Phases of Nitinol in different treatment

The transformation from austenite to martensite can be accomplished in 24 different ways. These 24 ways of producing martensite from austenite are the result of the symmetric CsCl structure having 6 equivalent face diagonal planes, each of which can shift in one of two directions and can distort (shear) in one of two directions, 6 x 2 x 2 = 2.

Fig. 2.3. Modification of the crystal lattice during the transformation from Austenite to Martensite

Fig. 2.6. In warm water or with a stream of hot air, the spring returns to its Fig. 2.4. A spring made of Fig. 2.5. The same spring "trained" shape by heating it to shape memory metal in its stretched to a new shape. martensite phase. above the temperature of the phase change into the more rigid austenite phase.

2.2.3. Applications The biocompatibility of NiTi allows its use in many medical applications such as: vascular stents, anchors for attaching tendons to bone, medical guidewires, medical guidepins, root canal files, bendable surgical tools, and devices for closing holes in the heart. Another important attribute of nitinol in medicine is its superelasticity. Other shape memory materials include gold cadmium, copper-aluminum-nickel, copper-zincaluminum, and iron-manganese-silicon alloys. 2.2.3.1. Orthodontic archwires. The archwire of these braces used in orthodontia is made of memory metal to apply pressure uniformly to the teeth.

Fig. 2.5. Braces of archwire made of memory metal

2.2.3.2. Flexible eyeglass frames. Bending the memory metal eyeglass frames converts the metal from the rigid austenite structure to the more flexible martensite structure. When this mechanical stress is removed, the frames return to their original shape and austenite structure. See this exact pair of frames distort when exposed to liquid nitrogen.

Fig. 2.6. Eyeglass frames made of memory metal

3. Smart ceramics used in medical applications


Ceramics are used as components of dental implants, hip implants, middle ear implants, and heart valves. They are generally more chemically stable and inert than most metals due to their chemical bonding. The most commonly used material are alumina, zirconia, bioglass, hydroxyapatite, and tricalcium phosphate. These materials work well within the human body for several reasons. They are inert, and because they are resorbable and active, the materials can remain in the body unchanged. They can also dissolve and actively take part in physiological processes, for example, when hydroxyapatite, a material chemically similar to bone structure, can integrate and help bone grow into it. One proposed use for bioceramics is the treatment of cancer. Two methods of treatment have been proposed; treatment through hyperthermia, and radiotherapy.

Fig. 3.1. Cell of hydroxyapatite

3.1. Classification of technical ceramics Technical ceramics can also be classified into three distinct material categories: Oxides: alumina, beryllia, ceria, zirconia Nonoxides: carbide, boride, nitride, silicide Composite materials: particulate reinforced, fiber reinforced, combinations

of oxides and nonoxides. Each one of these classes can develop unique material properties because ceramics tend to be crystalline.

3.2. Smart Biomaterials and their Applications The range of applications of smart materials in the biomedical field has become increasingly diverse over the past decade. The increasing complexity of modern smart biomaterials makes it

difficult to identify broad application areas, or themes, where current research is providing, or has the potential to provide, new or improved capabilities. A biomaterial may be defined as any natural or synthetic substance or combination of substances (other than a drug) which can be used for any period of time, as a whole or as a part of a system which treats, augments, or replaces any tissue, organ, or function of the body . It is clear that biocompatibility is an essential requirement for any implanted smart material or device. All other material requirements will depend on the particular application. For permanent implants, resistance to abrasion and wear, fatigue strength, durability (corrosion resistance), long-term dimensional stability and permeability to gases, water, and small biomolecules can be critical. These include: 3.2.1. Hydroxylapatite, also called hydroxyapatite (HA), is a naturally

occurring mineral form of calcium apatite with the formula Ca5(PO4)3(OH), but is usually written Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2 to denote that the crystal unit cell comprises two entities. Hydroxylapatite is the hydroxyl endmember of the complex apatite group. The OH - ion can It be replaced in

by fluoride, chloride or carbonate,

producing fluorapatite or chlorapatite.

crystallizes

the hexagonal crystal system. Pure hydroxylapatite powder is white. Naturally occurring apatites can, however, also have brown, yellow, or green colorations, comparable to the discolorations of dental fluorosis. Hydroxylapatite can be found in teeth and bones within the human body. Thus, it is commonly used as a filler to replace amputated bone or as a coating to promote bone ingrowth into prosthetic implants. Although many other phases exist with similar or even identical chemical makeup, the body responds much differently to them. Coral skeletons can be transformed into hydroxylapatite by high temperatures; their porous structure allows relatively rapid ingrowth at the expense of initial mechanical strength. The high temperature also burns away any organic molecules such as proteins, preventing an immune response and rejection.

Fig. 3.2. Flexible hydrogel-HA composite, which has a mineral-to-organic matrix ratio
approximating that of human bone.

3.2.2. Use of Zirconia in Restorative Dentistry Zirconia is being used on the artificial femoral heads for hip replacements. This makes the part stronger and the heads are smaller so the patient experiences less trauma during the operation. Besides hip replacements, zirconia is being used in shoulders, knee joints, spinal implants and phalangeal joints. This is an amazing use of ceramic materials and it is making great strides in the medical field. Who knows what they will come up with next. Though zirconia has been available for use in restorative dentistry for several years, there has been an increased interest recently in these materials. Zirconia based restorations are quite versatile and can be used for crowns,bridges, and implantabutments in a variety of clinical situations if the appropriate guidelines are followed.. CRYSTAL Zirconia is a modern dental ceramic replacement for the metal substructures used under porcelain crowns and bridges. CRYSTAL brand Dental Zirconia is also translucent, which gives the overlaid procelain a brighter more natural look. Because of it's stronger-than-steel properties, Zirconia has been used for decades on the space shuttle and on the new high-tech brakes on German sports cars and other industrial applications.CRYSTAL Zirconia is a new formulation of medical grade zirconia material, packed into blocks and ground to a custom fit using state-of-theart dental milling machines, and then sintered in 1500 C oven till it is virtually unbreakable. In the past, dentists used to say that crowns or bridges need to be replaced every five or ten years, but while the porcelain may chip or need repair, a crown or bridge substructure created with CRYSTAL Zirconia should last a lifetime, and includes a lifetime warranty when milled by a certified dental laboratory. CRYSTAL Zirconia is 100% biocompatible and because the body does not reject zirconia, this material is the preferred modern material for medical applications. Unlike amalgams and metal alloys used in the dentistry in the past, the body accepts zirconia as a natural material, so you dont have to worry about allergies or adverse reactions.

Fig. 3.3. Fixed partial denture

Fig. 3.4. Crystal Zirconia

3.2.3. Ceramics and Medicine help Liver Cancer As most people know traditional treatment for cancer usually involves chemotherapy which can be very difficult for individuals. Usually this means a hospital stay and they will become sick afterwards with vomiting, nausea and hair loss. Most patients understand that this is the plight that they have to deal with when they go through these treatments and some will, but others decide it's just too much to bear. Because of this researchers looked for a new way to do some type of treatment so that people would not have to suffer so much. Glass microspheres are the answer that was found. These are very tiny and very thin -- some have compared them to a human hair saying they are smaller -- and they are approved by the FDA and currently in use in several hospitals across the United States. This is a very simple treatment and the individual can have it done as an outpatient. The microspheres are inserted into the tumor using a catheter and the radiation is centralized to the tumor. The malignant tumor is then addressed and there is minimal damage to the other tissue. Because it is done this way, the individual doesn't have the normal after therapy symptoms and will only experience fatigue for several weeks while the radiation is working.

3.3. Discussions and Conclusions Ceramics are difficult to form into complicated geometries using high-temperature processes in a cost-effective manner in small dental laboratories. Other processes are well suited for custom operations. Hot-isostatic-pressing (HIP) has great advantages for creating standard shapes in a reusable mold, such as prepable zirconia abutments for implants. For custom prostheses (crowns and bridges), it is currently more practical to rely on milling operations or molding operations to form dental shapes. CAD/CAM ceramic materials provide a unique option to start with almost defect-free material, but they don't provide flexibility to regionally customize esthetics or other properties for a restoration. That is a large part of the reason that CAD/CAM has not replaced much of traditional ceramic fabrication technology. No alternative yet competes with the esthetic result of dental porcelain being layered by an artistic ceramic technician to fully characterize a restoration. While one can speculate that this is possible, this is not currently an option. When this is true, then CAD/CAM might have much grander appeal. The detection of ceramic defects before oral inserting the prostheses allows all the corrections in order to avoid the fracture of the ceramic component. The fractures that occur within the structure of these prostheses were motivated by the elasticity module of the ceramics and by the defects within the ceramic layers. Early detection of substance defects within these layers allows for optimal

corrections before inserting them and applying masticatory stress together with reduction of fractures. Also some of the defects are situated superficial enough and cervical, namely in the maximum tension area recorded during mastication with high risks of fracture at this level.

4. Smart polymers used in medical applications

Fig. 4.1. Polyethylene chain picture ` A polymer is a large molecule (macromolecule) composed of repeating structural units.

These sub-units are typically connected covalent chemical bonds(sharing of pairs of electrons between atoms).The polymer can be natural(as examples shellac,amber,natural rubber) or synthetic(examples as synthetic rubber ,nylon ,PVC polystyrene,polyethylene,silicone,polypropylene and many others). What makes a polymer smart? Maybe because it can be used in various applications industry ,medicine , sports , agriculture and for his properties that makes him biodegradable , inert or bioactiv if we refer to medicine. For instance high-performance polyethylene (HPPE or ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene) used in total or partial joint replacement implants, hydrogels used for scaffolds tissue engineering or Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) for bone cement and of course many other polymers.

Fig. 4.2. Various polymers in their crude form

4.1. High-performance polyethylene (HPPE or ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene) Is a subset of the thermoplastic polyethylene. It has extremely long chains, chains that makes him transfer load more effectively from here result a very tough material, with the highest impact strength of any thermoplastic presently made. HPPE is a type of polyolefin. It is made up of extremely long chains of polyethylene, which all align in the same direction. It derives its strength largely from the length of each individual molecule (chain). Van der Waals bonds between the molecules are relatively weak. It is highly resistant to corrosive chemicals with exception of oxidizing acids; has extremely low moisture absorption and a very low coefficient of friction; is self-lubricating; and is highly resistant to abrasion, in some forms being 15 times more resistant to abrasion than carbon steel. Its coefficient of friction is significantly lower than that of nylon and acetal, and is comparable to that of polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon).

Fig. 4.3. Structure of HPPE, with n greater than 100,000 and knee implant

4.1.1. Medical applications Used in total or partial joint replacement such as hip , knee or intervertrebal implants.

4.2. Hydrogels Hydrogel (also called aquagel) is a network of polymer chains that are hydrophilic, sometimes found as a colloidal gel in which water is the dispersion medium. Hydrogels are highly absorbent (they can contain over 99.9% water) natural or synthetic polymers. Hydrogels also possess a degree of flexibility very similar to natural tissue, due to their significant water content.

Fig. 4.4. Porous hydrogel structure

4.2.1. Applications currently used as scaffolds in tissue engineering. When used as scaffolds, hydrogels may contain human cells to repair tissue. hydrogel-coated wells have been used for cell culture[2] environmentally sensitive hydrogels which are also known as 'Smart Gels' or 'Intelligent Gels'. These hydrogels have the ability to sense changes of pH, temperature, or the concentration of metabolite and release their load as result of such a change. as sustained-release drug delivery systems hydrogels that are responsive to specific molecules, such as glucose , can be used as biosensors

Fig. 4.5. Scaffold structures are built up from layers of cross-hatched hydrogel strands

used in disposable diapers where they absorb urine, or in sanitary napkins contact lenses (silicone hydrogels)

EEG and ECG medical electrodes using hydrogels composed of cross-linked polymers (polyethylene oxide) dressings for healing of burn or other hard-to-heal wounds. Wound gels are excellent for helping to create or maintain a moist environment.

4.3. Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) Poly(methyl methacrylate) is a transparent thermoplastic, often used as a light or shatterresistant alternative to glass. PMMA is an economical alternative to polycarbonate (PC) when extreme strength is not necessary. It is often preferred because of its moderate properties, easy handling and processing, and low cost, but behaves in a brittle manner when loaded, especially under an impact force, and is more prone to scratching compared to conventional inorganic glass. PMMA is methyl methacrylate monomer polymerization. Presents high mechanical strength, toughness.

Fig. 4.6. Structure of PMMA

4.3.1. Applications PMMA has a good degree of compatibility with human tissue, and can be used for replacement intraocular lenses in the eye In orthopedic surgery, PMMA bone cement is used to affix implants and to remodel lost bone. It is supplied as a powder with liquid methyl methacrylate (MMA).Although PMMA is biologically compatible, MMA is considered to be an irritant and a possible carcinogen .Although sticky, it does not bond to either the bone or the implant, it primarily fills the spaces between the prosthesis and the bone preventing motion. A big disadvantage to this bone cement is that it heats to quite a high temperature. Dentures are often made of PMMA, and can be color-matched to the patient's teeth

In cosmetic surgery, tiny PMMA microspheres suspended in some biological fluid are injected under the skin to reduce scars permanently A large majority of white Dental filling materials (composites) have PMMA as their main organic component.

Fig. 4.7. Sacroplasty, a bone glue polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is injected into the fracture

4.4. Polyglycolic acid (PGA)

Fig. 4.8. Ring-opening polymerization of glycolide to polyglycolide

Polyglycolic acid (PGA) is a biodegradable, thermoplastic polymer and It can be prepared starting from glycolic acid by means of polycondensation or ring-opening polymerization. Polyglycolide is characterized by hydrolytic instability and the degradation process is erosive and appears to take place in two steps during which the polymer is converted back to its monomer glycolic acid: first water diffuses into the amorphous (non-crystalline) regions of the polymer matrix; the second step starts after the amorphous regions have been eroded, leaving the crystalline portion of the polymer susceptible to hydrolytic attack.

It has the advantages of high initial tensile strength, smooth passage through tissue, easy handling, excellent knotting ability, and secure knot tying. It is commonly used

for subcutaneous sutures, intracutaneous closures, abdominal and thoracic surgeries. 4.4.1. Applications This polymer is used to develop synthetic absorbable suture, Implantable medical devices, tissue engineering scaffolds, bioabsorbables screws.

Fig. 4.9. Polyglycolic acid and bioabsorbable screw

4.5. LTL Color Compounders LTL Color Compounders today announced the expansion of its line of ColorRx Antimicrobial (AM) grades. LTL is a leading supplier of custom colored and compounded engineering resins. ColorRx AM grades contain a silver ion antimicrobial additive and are available in a wide range of polymer types. Both master batches and ready-to-use product are offered. LTL has worked closely with a key supplier of silver antimicrobial additives to develop the ColorRx AM line using proven silver ion technology. LTL can provide customized solutions tailored to customers specific materials, color requirements, and desired degree of antimicrobial protection, either as a ready-to-run material or a master batch. In EPA-regulated applications (non-medical device) the ColorRx AM line protects molded or extruded plastic articles from discoloration, degradation, or odor development caused by the growth of microorganisms on the article. In FDA-regulated and approved medical devices the ColorRx AM line provides added protection from pathogenic bacteria that cause hospital-acquired infections. In healthcare settings ColorRx AM grades should be used in conjunction with good sanitation practices. The surface of a plastic article can become a breeding ground for microorganisms. These microorganisms can result in undesirable odor, discoloration, degradation, or formation of a disagreeable bio-film. For medical devices used in hospitals and other healthcare settings pathogenic microbe growth is a serious concern.

Silver ion AM does not kill microorganisms in the sense of a disinfectant such as chlorine bleach. Instead the AM suppresses cellular reproduction by disrupting the energy production mechanism of the cell, preventing DNA replication in the cell, and weakening the cell wall. Silver ions bound in an inorganic matrix are incorporated into a plastic. The silver ions migrate to the surface of the plastic in the presence of trace amounts of moisture and then move into the cell. As a result the count of microorganisms decreases over a period of hours. As an indication of effectiveness, standardized tests such as JIS Z 2801 utilize specific bacterial strains to determine the reduction in bacteria count on treated surfaces over a 24 hour period. In this test very large reductions of 99.9% or greater.

Fig. 4.10. ColorRx Antimicrobial (AM)

5. Smart composites used in medical applications


The composite materials considered here are solid objects with a macrostructure. The constituents of these, solids can be observed with the naked eye. Solid objects are said to be smart if they embody additional functionality capabilities beyond their inherent structural attributes. These capabilities might be attributed to an embedded network of interconnected sensors, actuators and computers, for example. Synthetic inhomogeneous materials with these capabilities comprise the basis for a new generation of materials. These materials have the potential to revolutionize many types of products, and usher into existence unforeseen manufactured goods. Humankinds traditional quest for superior materials may be satisfied in the near future by ideas furnished by Mother Nature. The design and manufacturing methodologies needed for creating new generations of materials will come from a meticulous study of flora and fauna. The future lies with the development of synthetic materials that mimic naturally occurring biological materials.

5.1. Cure monitoring Today, engineering plastics and polymer matrix composites (PMCs) are widely used in consumer and leisure products such as golf clubs, fishing rods, skis, and tennis rackets. Fiberreinforced plastics (FRPs), particularly, are the most promising composite materials for airplanes, space structures, and military ships. Thermosetting and thermoplastic polymers are common materials used in FRPs. In the molding process for polymers, a liquid resin becomes solid. As for thermosetting polymers, a monomeric liquid resin becomes a cross-linked rigid solid and a tightly bound threedimensional network is produced. This process is called cure. Thermoplastics do not need to becured because they are not cross-linked. In these advanced engineering materials, the integrity of the product is very important for certifying the performance. The quality of a product strongly depends on the profiles of the control parameters such as the temperature and pressure in the molding process. Therefore, many researchers have developed techniques for optimizing the molding process. The monitoring technique is essential for the optimal control system of the molding process. The cure monitoring technique, especially has been an important focus because the cure reaction of a thermosetting FRP is too complicated to predict. Techniques for monitoring the molding process of thermosetting FRPs are not discussed. However, it should be remembered that some of the techniques that monitor the mechanical, optical, and electrical properties, can also be applied to monitor the state of solidification in the process of molding thermoplastic polymers.

5.2. Electrical Resistance Measurement in Carbon-Reinforced Composites The technique for health monitoring by measuring electrical resistance has become attractive since the late 1980s for carbon-reinforced composites (90). This technique measures changes in electrical resistance when strains or damages are applied to the composites. Like the tagging technique, the advantage of this technique is that there is no need for embedded sensors for in situ monitoring. In addition, the mechanical properties of the composites are not affected by using this monitoring technique because the carbon reinforcements work as sensors. Recently, applications have focused on three types of composites; carbonfiber- reinforced concrete, carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers (CFRPs), and carbon fibercarbon matrix (C/C) composites (91). The self-monitoring functions of carbon-reinforced composites are aimed at strain and damage monitoring. These functions result from changes in the electrical paths and in the conductivity of carbon. Short carbonfiber-reinforced concrete consists of low conductive concrete and carbon fibers at a low volume fraction. In continuous carbon-reinforced polymers, the electrical paths are composed of the carbon

fibers due to the nonconductivity of polymers. A current flows overall in the C/C composite because it has conductivity in the fiber and matrix. The electrical paths in the composites are changed by damages such as fiber breaks, delaminations, matrix cracks, and debonding between the fiber and matrix. The mechanism of the variation of electrical resistance differs among these composites due to their different electrical paths.

5.3. Piezo Composites

1-3 Piezo Composites have become the material of choice for many high performance ultrasound transducer since it was invented by R.E. Newnham and L.E. Cross in the late 1970's . A variety of piezo composite materials can be made by combining piezo ceramic elements with a passive polymer such as epoxy or active polymer. Piezo-composites are classified according to their connectivity (such as 2-2, 1-3, 0-3 etc.,). Connectivity is defined as the number of dimensions through which the material is continuous. It is conventional for the first digit to refer to the piezoelectrically active phase. Prof. Newnham defined the family of interconnectivity of piezo electric composites as shown in one of his drawn pictures below. Today the most piezo composites on the market are with the 1-3 and 2-2 connectivity used in ultrasound transducers, actuators and sensors. 1-3 piezo composites advantages over standard bulk piezo ceramics are in general: lower acoustic impedance, 1-3 piezo composites are available with acoustic impedance between 8MRayl and 26MRayl higher coupling coefficient of typically 0.63 to 0.70 compared with 0.54 of bulk material higher bandwidth and lower Qm Disadvantages of piezo composites over bulk piezoceramic components are in general the higher costs and the often limited temperature operating range. The typical applications for 1-3 piezo composites are Medical Diagnostic Ultrasound Non Destructive Testing NDT SONAR, mostly defense oriented for high performance Flow Control and Air Ultrasound The biggest single market for the 1-3 piezo composite is the medical diagnostic ultrasound market which is using more 1-3 piezo composite than the other markets combined. Today's medical

ultrasound imaging systems would be not possible without the advancements in 1-3 piezo composites. Smart Material is manufacturing and distributing piezo composite material with 2-2 connectivity (the MFC) and 1-3 connectivity. Smart Material is utilizing different manufacturing technologies to meet to meet the typical requirements of the applications for 1-3 piezo composites as outlined above which are listed under Types Available: 1-3 Fiber Composites with Random Pixel Distribution 1-3 Fiber Composites with Regular Pixel Distribution 1-3 Standard Dice&Fill Composites Utilizing different manufacturing technologies for 1-3 piezo composites allows Smart Material to provide 1-3 composites for frequencies ranging from 40kHz to 10 MHz, with fill factor ranging from 25% to 80% and sizes up to 100mm by 100mm (4inches by 4 inches).

6. New tendencies and ideas in smart materials used in medical applications There are two diverting ideas that define a direction in the research of new materials field: Creating a universal material able to respond to all the requirements (this idea is purely sci-fi for now); Creating the material needed in the place needed, with the structure needed, in the quantities needed (this would be possible by manipulating the matter at an atom scale). Implementing a system with an automated response in various fields present significant advantages by monitoring certain signals and responding accordingly when it detects limit overruns. Adding to the system the possibility of learning certain patterns, which is possible today using neural networks, enhances the autonomy and efficiency. Applying these new findings from science and technology in medicine requires miniaturization and keeping the interactions with the environment strictly limited to the purpose these assemblies were created for. Smart materials are exactley this, combining the sensing activity with the actuating one. The disadvantage is that they usualy respond to only one type of signal and respond in only one way. By combining in certain ways different types of smart materials there is a posibility of reducing this disadvantage.

Regenerative medicine, diagnostics and drug delivery could profit from intelligent biomaterials. For example enzyme-responsive materials have the potential to detect, respond to, and ultimately repair biological processes by injecting cell-scaffold that gels when triggered by tissue fluid enzymes. Also the flow of molecules into (and out of) polymer particles can be controlled by very specific enzyme switches - the first steps in making truly bio-responsive materials. The goal for now is to mimic the in-vivo feed-back systems that control enzyme activity. Carbon nanotubes is known to be highly electrically conductive, this being used to create a connection with the neuronal cell membranes. Unlike the metal electrodes that are currently used in research and clinical applications, the nanotubes can create shortcuts between the distal and proximal compartments of the neuron, resulting in enhanced neuronal excitability. From a study conducted in Switzerland resulted this finding is relevant for the emerging field of neuro-engineering and neuroprosthetics, the nanotubes could be used as a new building block of novel "electrical bypass" systems for treating traumatic injury of the central nervous system. Carbon nano-electrodes could also be used to replace metal parts in clinical applications such as deep brain stimulation for the treatment of Parkinson's disease or severe depression. And they show promise as a whole new class of "smart" materials for use in a wide range of potential neuroprosthetic applications. There are three fundamental obstacles to developing reliable neuroprosthetics: 1) stable interfacing of electromechanical devices with neural tissue, 2) understanding how to stimulate the neural tissue, and 3) understanding what signals to record from the neurons in order for the device to make an automatic and appropriate decision to stimulate. The new carbon nanotube-based interface technology discovered together with state of the art simulations of brain-machine interfaces is the key to developing all types of neuroprosthetics -- sight, sound, smell, motion, vetoing epileptic attacks, spinal bypasses, as well as repairing and even enhancing cognitive functions. Near-infrared (NIR) light (which is just beyond what human can see) penetrates through the skin and almost four inches into the body, with great potential for diagnosing and treating diseases. Low-power NIR does not damage body tissues as it passes. A new smart polymer that responds to low-power NIR light breaks apart into small pieces that seem to be nontoxic to surrounding tissue. A hydrogel with the new polymer could release medications or imaging agents when hit with NIR. This is the first example of a polymeric material capable of disassembly into small molecules in response to harmless levels of irradiation.

Fig. 6.1. Near-infrared light

Fig. 6.2. Molybdenum oxide wheel molecule Working out how nano-particles are built is key to developing new intelligent materials, electronic devices, and understanding the bio-machinery that operates in living cells. The ability to control this self-assembly has profound consequences for the development of new technologies as well as understanding the basis for complex chemistry, and for example, the origins of life. A team of experts at Glasgow devised an experiment which enabled them to observe molecules being constructed around what appeared to be a transient template cluster. The experiment involved the construction a flow reactor system for the assembly of the nanoparticles under dynamic flowing conditions. This new experimental approach allows self-assembly being examined in a new way at the nano-level, giving rise to unprecedented mechanistic information unmasking the complexities of molecular self-assembly (the process by which objects form a particular arrangement without any external manipulation). During the experiment, the researchers observed the self-assembly of molybdenum oxide wheel molecules around an intermediate structure in the centre of the wheel which they found to be the template or scaffold used to construct the larger molecule. Following completion of the molybdenum oxide wheel molecule, which is just 3.6 nanometres in diameter, the template was ejected, freeing it to repeat the process. The researchers were able to photograph this process and the template using X-ray crystallography.

Understanding the assembly process is vital if we are to create a new range of functional nano-objects. A tiny cage of gold covered with a smart polymer, it responds to light, opening to empty its contents, and resealing when the light is turned off. The principle on which it is based on is fairly intuitive described in the next few steps. Attach a smart polymer to a gold nano-cage with the pores at the corners. To load the cages, shake them in a solution of the drug at a temperature above the polymer's critical temperature. Fig. 6.2. Nano cage polymer Let the cages cool, so that the polymer chains stand up like brushes, sealing the cage's pores. To release the drug, expose the cages to laser light (the lightning bolt) at their resonant frequency, heating them just enough to drive the polymer over its critical temperature. The polymer chains will collapse, opening the pores, and releasing the drug. The cage can be resealed simply by turning off the light. Medicines sometimes have to be administered in extremely small quantities. Just a few tenths of a milliliter may be sufficient to give the patient the ideal treatment. Micro-pumps greatly facilitate the dosage of minute quantities. The peristaltic pump is a highly complex system. It contracts in waves in a similar way to the human esophagus, and thus propels the liquid along it changes shape of its own accord. To achieve this, researchers had to use a whole range of different materials and special material composites. They used lead-zirconate-titanate (PZT) films that are joined in a suitable way with bending elements made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic and a flexible tube. PZT materials change their shape as soon as you apply an electric field to them. This makes it possible to control the pump system electronically. Special adhesives additionally hold the various

components of the pump system together. Thanks to the special control electronics, tiny quantities can be pumped accurately through the system.

7. Conclusions
The most sophisticated class of smart materials in the foreseeable future will be that which emulates biological systems. This class of multifunctional materials will possess the capability to select and execute specific functions intelligently in order to respond to changes in the local environment. Furthermore, these materials could have the ability to anticipate challenges based on the ability to recognize, analyze, and discriminate. These capabilities should include selfdiagnosis, self-repair, selfmultiplication, self-degradation, self-learning, and homeostasis. The intelligence to be imbued in a synthetic material developed by humankind should emulate the intelligent attributes found in biological systems. These attributes do not require human involvement, and they function autonomously, as evidenced by self-learning, selfdegradation, and regeneration. Thus the rusting of iron in a humid environment could be considered to be a simple form of self-degradation. Other functions could include the availability to recognize and subsequently discriminate, redundancy, hierarchical control schemes, and the election of an appropriate action based on sensory data. Furthermore, a material that has been damaged and is undergoing a process of self-repair would reduce its level of performance in order to survive. This intelligence should be inherent in future generations of smart materials. So, were looking forward to the future, waiting impatiently to see what wonderful discoveries will appear in the materials domain.

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