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Smart Materials

Within the engineering of materials for biomedical use, and more specifically in the area of technical orthopedics and podiatry. We are investigating a series of cellular polymers among which we will highlight today, polyurethane.

Depending on the form of the organic synthesis of these materials, molecular structures are obtained with various geometric forms. And depending on these shapes they acquire more or less "form memory ".

The fibers or tissues obtained with these materials are able to change against external physical stimuli: temperature, magnetic fields, etc.

There is a fundamental parameter of this type of material. Which is its vitrea transition temperature (Tg). Briefly we could define it: like that temperature to which the material goes from a rigid state to a molten state, acquiring some elasticity and this gives it "an elastic memory ".

If this (TG) is obtained around the body temperature (35 to 38 º C), this capacity of adaptation to the small changes of temperature, is the one that promotes a thermodynamic change that facilitates the evaporation of the water and the regulation of the temperature of the system.

We are hoping that these tissues can be used extensively and that we can solve the frequent question of our patients: does it seem that with these orthotics I sweat my feet more...?

In this field we cite the doctoral thesis of Dr. Miriam Saenz Pérez and his extraordinary works at the

UPV and the technological center of footwear in La Rioja. This image comes from one of his works. "Smart Fabrics thanks to form-memory materials ".

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