Plasma Technology for Health

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Polyurethane shape memory polymer (SMP) foams are proposed for use as thrombogenic scaffolds to improve the treatment of vascular defects, such as cerebral aneurysms. However, gas blown SMP foams inherently have membranes between pores, which can limit their performance as embolic tissue scaffolds. Reticulation, or the removal of membranes between adjacent foam pores, is advantageous for improving device performance by increasing blood permeability and cellular infiltration. This work characterizes the effects of cold gas plasma reticulation processes on bulk polyurethane SMP films and foams. Plasma-induced changes on material properties are characterized using scanning electron microscopy, uniaxial tensile testing, goniometry, and free strain recovery experiments. Device specific performance is characterized in terms of permeability, platelet attachment, and cell–material interactions. Overall, plasma reticulated SMP scaffolds show promise as embolic tissue scaffolds due to increased bulk permeability, retained thrombogenicity, and favorable cell–material interactions.