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Chemistry
Plastics and Polymers

How do stitches made from smart polymers work?

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November 01, 2010 7:29PM

When a shape memory polymer is used to stitch a wound loosely, the temperature of the body makes the thread tighten and close the wound, applying just the right amount of force. This is an example of a 'smart' polymer. i.e. one that changes in response to changes around it. In this case a change in temperature causes the polymer to change its shape. Later, after the wound is healed, the material is designed to dissolve and is harmlessly absorbed by the body. Hope this helps:)