Severe dysfunction of muscle tissues can be treated by transplantation but the success rate is still not high enough. One possibility instead is to replace the dysfunctional muscle with artificial muscles. This article introduces a unique approach using shape memory alloys (SMAs) to replace the anal sphincter muscle for solving the problem of fecal incontinence. The use of SAMs that exhibit a two-way shape memory effect allows the device to function like a sphincter muscle and facilitates simple design In this article, we will give a brief introduction to the functional material - SAM - together with its medical applications, and will follow this with a description of the recent progress in research and development of an SMA-based artificial sphincter. The possibility of its commercialization will also be discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas