Reversible Elastic Change Material

Request Number REQ4341319
Due Date April 24, 2017
Author Seh-Rin Sung
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
Reversible Elastic Change Material
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a major medical device manufacturer, seeks a material of which Young’s modulus is reversibly changed by external stimuli with a small influence on an organism.


A major medical equipment manufacturer, a client of NineSigma, seeks technology for accommodating a cylinder with a diameter of 16 mm in a tube with a diameter of 4 mm in order to develop a new catheter.

In addition, since the client aims to apply this material to medical equipment inside an organism, the proposed material is required to work at room-temperature and have biocompatibility.


The client has already manufactured and sold catheters based on metal stent and metal wire mesh. They, however, aim to realize further smaller diameter catheters by using material with a thinner thickness, stronger holding power and reversible elasticity. The client believes that a promising solution to develop a new smaller catheter would be stimuli-responsive materials, which have been researched and developed globally in the fields of medical instruments, biomaterials, parts for electronic equipment, etc. Therefore, believing that relevant solutions that may fulfill their needs may exist in the global community, the client has issued this open request to accelerate their development.


Key Success Criteria

Requirements for material

  • Young’s modulus: reversible change between a flexible body (0.01–0.5 GPa) and a rigid body (0.5 - 12 GPa) by external stimuli.
    • If material in cylinder shape with a diameter of 16 mm can be accommodated in a tube with a diameter of 4 mm, Young’s modulus is not limited within the above-mentioned range.
  • Moldability: Can mold to a cylinder with a thickness of 0.3 mm or less, an inner diameter of 7–16 mm, a length of 60 mm.
  • Young’s modulus can change by stimuli with small influence on an organism.
    • For example, electromagnetism, heat, light, etc.
  • Time for change of elasticity: 30 seconds or less
  • Have biocompatibility.


Environment to be used

  • Used inside an organism
  • Formed to a cylindrical shape
  • Liquid to pass around and also inside the cylinder
  • Maximum pressure difference of 200 mmHg to be generated inside and outside the cylinder
  • This pressure difference keeps for about a week


We welcome a material which is biocompatible and have a potential to achieve their requirements finally, even if it is not used for medical application at the moment. 

Possible Approaches

Anticipated approaches include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Shape memory alloy
  • Shape memory resin
  • Photoresponsive resin
  • Other materials of which hardness is changed in response to external stimuli


Approaches not of interest

The following approaches are excluded from this request:

  • Materials possibly hurting organism


Preferred Collaboration types
Items to be submitted

Items to be Included in the Proposal

Responses will use the Proposal Template which is linked to the “attachments” shown at the bottom of the link (REQ4341319) and include the following items:

  • Overview of the proposed technology (outline, characteristics, and principle)
  • Uniqueness of the technology
  • Development stage
  • Current performance
    • Variation characteristic of Young’s modulus
    • Correspondence relation between the Young’s modulus and the external stimuli at room temperature (1ºC to 40°C), especially at 37°C
  • Reversibility
  • The time-lapse change of Young’s modulus by stimuli
  • Biocompatibility
  • Possible molding method (e.g. injection molding, extrusion molding, blow molding)
  • Moldability (capability of molding for a shape with a thickness of 0.3 mm or less, an inner diameter of 7–16 mm, a length of 60 mm )
  • Current challenge and development plan
  • Achievements in the past (additional information supporting R&D capability such as research papers and patents)
  • Outline of organization

Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

The client will review submitted proposals and possibly ask clarifying questions before selecting the most suitable candidate(s) for collaboration.The client will select the best candidate(s) through evaluations. During the selection process, the client may execute non-disclosure agreement(s) (NDA) with selected respondent(s), seek further information disclosure, and discuss specific development targets or potential opportunities. The client will execute necessary agreement(s) with the selected respondent(s) and move to the project execution phase.

Specifics of any collaboration will be determined through consultation with the concerned parties.

Area of Interest
Request Priority