Synthesis and characterisation of biodegradable liquid crystal elastomer with the property of shape recovery
Novel shape recovery biodegradable liquid crystal (LC) elastomer is reported here for the first time. The method of synthesis of the shape memory biodegradable LC elastomer has been explored. During the reaction, the LC molecules are added to form LC polymers, and then cross-linking agent is added to form a cross-linked LC elastomer. The LC elastomer in this work is hydrophilic. In vitro degradation of the LC elastomer films in a buffer of pH 7.4 at 37°C shows that the LC elastomer has good degradability. The biodegradable LC elastomer exhibits liquid crystalline behaviour and has shape memory ability. Its shape memory and actuating properties also have been studied. The reversible transition from liquid crystalline phase to isotropic phase is utilised as the switching mechanism for these stimuli-responsive materials. When reheating the LC elastomer to 120°C, the shape will recover.