Chris Yakacki - Characterization of Active Shape-Memory Polymers

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The field of stimuli-sensitive polymers has grown rapidly over the past decade. Actively-moving polymers have gained attention and have been proposed for use in applications from shape-changing biomedical devices to morphing structures. This webinar will cover the basics of characterizing shape-memory polymers using thermo-mechanical equipment, such as the Q800 and ElectroForce 3200. The details of the shape-memory cycle and dynamic-mechanical analysis will be explained and results from several studies will be highlighted that demonstrate how these materials can be investigated and explored.

About the Speaker

Christopher Yakacki is an assistant professor in the department of mechanical engineering at the University of Colorado (CU) Denver. Chris earned his PhD from CU Boulder in 2007, which focused on the thermo-mechanics of shape-memory polymers. He helped co-found MedShape, Inc., a biomedical device company in Atlanta, GA and served as the principal scientist for MedShape from 2008-2011. During this time, MedShape cleared several innovative shape-memory polymer and alloy medical devices through the USFDA. In 2012, Chris joined the faculty at CU Denver. He has since been developing new methods of synthesizing liquid-crystalline elastomers and characterizing their actuation and viscoelastic behavior. He also serves as an advisor and consultant for several biomedical device companies that focus on smart-polymer devices. Chris has published over 33 peer-reviewed journal articles and has been awarded over $2M in small business and academic research grants.