Electro-Active Polymer Actuators and Sensors - Types, Applications, New Developments, Industry Structure and Global Markets

Date: March 1, 2013
Pages: 129
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Publisher: Innovative Research & Products, Inc
Report type: Strategic Report
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Electro-Active Polymer Actuators and Sensors - Types, Applications, New Developments, Industry Structure and Global Markets
An electroactive polymer (EAP) is a polymer that exhibits a mechanical response – such as stretching, contracting, or bending, for example – in response to an electric field, or a polymer that produces energy in response to a mechanical stress.

The actuator property of some EAPs has been attractive for a broad range of potential applications, including but not limited to robotic arms, grippers, loudspeakers, active diaphragms, dust wipers, heel strikers (dental) and numerous automotive applications. There are also numerous applications within the medical field, including but not limited to artificial muscles, synthetic limbs or prostheses, wound pumps, active compressing socks, and catheter or other implantable medical device steering elements.

EAP materials have high energy density, rapid response time, customizability (shape and performance characteristics), compactness, easy controllability, low power consumption, high force output and deflections/amount of motion, natural stiffness, combined sensing and actuation functions, relatively low raw materials costs, and relatively inexpensive manufacturing costs.

Electroactive ceramic actuators (for example, piezoelectric and electro-strictive) are effective, compact actuation materials, and they are used to replace electromagnetic motors. While these materials are capable of delivering large forces, they produce a relatively small displacement, on the order of magnitude of a fraction of a percent.

Since the beginning of the 1990s, new EAP materials have emerged that exhibit large strains, and they have led to a paradigm shift because of their capabilities. The unique properties of these materials are highly attractive for bio-mimetic applications such as biologically inspired intelligent robots. Increasingly, engineers are able to develop EAP-actuated mechanisms that were previously imaginable only in science fiction. Electric motors tend to be too weak, while hydraulics and pneumatics are too heavy for use in robotics or prosthetics. In comparison, EAPs are lightweight, quiet and capable of energy densities similar to biological muscles.

In ionic EAPs, actuation is caused by the displacement of ions inside the polymer. Only a few volts are needed for actuation, but the ionic flow implies a higher electrical power needed for actuation, and energy is needed to keep the actuator at a given position. Examples of EAPS in this area are dielectric elastomers, polymers, ionic polymer metal composites (IPMCs), conductive polymers and responsive gels.

An EAP actuator not only is completely different from conventional electromechanical devices, but also separates itself from other high-tech approaches that are based on piezoelectric materials or shape-memory alloys by providing a significantly more power-dense package and, in many instances, a smaller footprint.

Electro-active polymer technology could potentially replace common motion-generating mechanisms in positioning, valve control, pump and sensor applications, where designers are seeking quieter, power efficient devices to replace cumbersome conventional electric motors and drive trains.

This study reports new concepts in mechanism design and digital mechatronics, which have the potential to significantly impact a wide variety of systems and devices, including medical devices, haptic actuators, haptic switches, aperture adjustments in mobile cameras, manufacturing systems, toys and robotics, among others. The survey mainly targets dielectric elastomer actuators, conductive polymers actuators and IMPC actuators as the most likely candidates to act as EAP devices, on the basis of material characteristics, maturity of technology, reliability, and cost to meet design requirements of applications considered.

STUDY GOAL AND OBJECTIVES

Markets for EAP devices are strongly driven by the expanding medical market, E-textiles and robotics, with its demand for a novel class of electrically controlled actuators based on polymer materials. Almost any laboratory for molecular biology must be equipped with a dextrous robotic gripper. The artificial muscle envisioned is a low-cost actuator capable of being accurately electrically controlled, expanding or contracting linearly, and performing in a manner similar to natural skeletal muscles. Such an actuator has potential applications in areas where flexibility of a moving system goes together with a need for accurate control of the motion: haptic actuators, haptic switches, aperture adjustments in mobile phone cameras, robotics, advanced consumer products like smart fabrics, toys and medical technology. Totally new design principles and novel products for everyday use with a large economic potential can be anticipated.

In addition, new and much larger markets will open up if microfluidic devices using micropumps and microvalves can enter the arena of clinical and point-of-care medicine and even the home diagnostics market. This study focuses on EAP devices, types, applications, new developments, industry and global markets, providing market data about the size and growth of the application segments, including a detailed patent analysis, company profiles and industry trends. Another goal of this report is to provide a detailed and comprehensive multi-client study of the market in North America, Europe, Japan and the rest of the world (ROW) for EAPs and potential business opportunities in the future.

The objectives include thorough coverage of the underlying economic issues driving the EAP and devices businesses, as well as assessments of new advanced EAPs and devices that are being developed. Another important objective is to provide realistic market data and forecasts for EAPs and devices. This report provides the most thorough and up-to-date assessment that can be found anywhere on the subject. The study also provides extensive quantification of the many important facets of market developments in EAPs and devices all over the world. This, in turn, contributes to the determination of what kinds of strategic responses companies may adopt in order to compete in this dynamic market.

REASONS FOR DOING THE STUDY

EAPs exhibit many qualities that make them ideal for a low-cost actuator capable of being accurately electrically controlled, expanding or contracting linearly, and performing in a manner that resembles the natural skeletal muscles. Such an actuator has potential applications in areas where flexibility of a moving system goes together with a need for accurate control of the motion, such as EAP-based medical devices, advanced consumer products like haptic actuators, aperture adjustments in mobile phone cameras, robotics, smart fabrics, and toys.

Development of EAP fields will benefit companies that use EAP components to add value to products and services, companies skilled in using EAP to design new products and services, and materials processors that add value to raw materials. The small volumes of EAP consumption likely will have little impact on raw materials suppliers. Near-term returns on investment by EAP suppliers generally will be modest, because most EAP fields still are building infrastructure and knowledge bases for efficient and effective production, marketing and use of EAPs. The specialized knowledge necessary to produce EAPs and incorporate those effectively into products will slow the spread of EAP use, but it also has led to high market valuations for companies developing products for high-value applications.

EAPs also are finding applications in haptics, which provides a tactile feedback technology taking advantage of the sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the user. Haptic feedback interface devices using EAP actuators provide haptic sensations and/or sensing capabilities. A haptic feedback interface device is in communication with a host computer and includes a sensor device that detects the manipulation of the interface device by the user and an EAP actuator responsive to input signals and operative to output a force to the user caused by motion of the actuator. The output force provides a haptic sensation to the user.

Smart structures, which fully integrate structural and mechatronic components, represent the most refined use of EAPs and might eventually enjoy very large markets. Only a very simple EAP-based smart-structure product is in commercial use today. Other important areas of opportunity include applications in which designers are looking for performance improvements or new features but are unwilling to accept the compromises necessary to use conventional mechanisms and products (including non-mechanical devices) that must operate in a variety of conditions but have rigid designs optimized for a single operating point. Though improvements in EAP performance would increase the range of possible applications, the major barriers to widespread EAP use are users' lack of familiarity with the technology, the need for low-cost, robust production processes, and the need for improved design tools to enable non-experts to use the materials with confidence.

Since publishing our last report in 2008, many changes have occurred, including the emergence of new market segments such as haptic sensors and adjustable apertures for cellular phone cameras, new materials and new fabrication processes, new manufacturers and new patents. Therefore, iRAP felt a need to do a detailed technology update and analysis of this industry.

CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE STUDY

The study is intended to benefit existing manufacturers of robotics, advanced consumer products like smart fabrics, toys, and medical technology, who seek to expand revenues and market opportunities through new technology such as low-cost EAPs and devices, which are positioned to become a preferred solution over conventional actuator applications.

This study also provides the most complete accounting of EAPs and devices growth in North America, Europe, Japan and the rest of the world currently available in a multi-client format. The markets have also been estimated according to the type of materials used, such as dielectric elastomer actuators, conductive polymers and ionic polymer metal composites.

The report provides the most thorough and up-to-date assessment that can be found anywhere on the subject. The study also provides extensive quantification of the many important facets of market developments in the emerging markets of EAPs and devices, such as China. This, in turn, contributes to the determination of what kind of strategic response suppliers may adopt in order to compete in this dynamic market.

SCOPE AND FORMAT

The market data contained in this report quantify opportunities for EAPs and devices. In addition to product types, the report also covers the many issues concerning the merits and future prospects of the EAP and devices business, including corporate strategies, information technologies, and the means for providing these highly advanced products and service offerings. It also covers in detail the economic and technological issues regarded by many as critical to the industry’s current state of change. The report provides a review of the EAP and devices industry and its structure and the many companies involved in providing these products. The competitive position of the main players in the market and their strategic options are also discussed, as well as such competitive factors as marketing, distribution and operations.

TO WHOM THE STUDY CATERS

The study will benefit existing manufacturers of EAP-tipped catheters, haptic actuators, aperture adjustment mechanisms in mobile cameras, robotics, advanced consumer products like smart fabrics and toys, and medical technology. EAP materials exhibit large strains, and they led to a paradigm shift based on their capabilities. The unique properties of these materials are highly attractive for biomimetic applications such as biologically inspired intelligent robots.

This study provides a technical overview of EAPs and related devices, especially recent technology developments and existing barriers. Therefore, audiences for this study include marketing executives, business unit managers and other decision makers working in the areas of haptic applications, aperture adjustment mechanisms in mobile cameras, robotics, advanced consumer products like smart fabrics and toys, and medical technology, as well as those in companies peripheral to these businesses.

REPORT SUMMARY

Electroactive polymers are increasingly used in niche actuators and sensor applications demanding large strains as compared to other piezoelectric materials. New applications are emerging in medical devices, haptic actuators, cellular phone cameras, smart fabrics for sensors, digital mecha-tronics and high strain sensors.

New EAP devices are already replacing some mechanisms that rely on direct or indirect displacement to produce power. Shape-memory alloys contract with a thermal cycle, and piezoelectric technologies expand and contract with voltage at high frequencies. While both these technologies provide direct displacement, they are usually limited to 1% direct displacement. Electromagnetic solutions typically consist of a motor that rotates an output shaft, so there is no direct displacement from the motor itself, but there can be “indirect” displacement from a mechanism connected to the output shaft.

EAP devices are facing competition in a new rapidly evolving and highly competitive sector of the medical market. Increased competition could result in reduced prices and gross margins for EAP products and could require increased spending on research and development, sales and marketing, and customer support.

This study separated markets for EAP devices and products into six application segments – medical devices, haptic actuators, adjustable apertures for cellular phone cameras, smart fabrics, digital mechatronics, and high-strain sensing instruments for construction.

Major findings of this report:
  • Global market for EAP actuators and sensors reached $148 million in 2012. This will increase to $363 million by 2017.
  • Medical devices had the largest market share in 2012 followed by haptic actuators, adjustable apertures for cellular phones, high strain sensing in construction, smart fabrics, and digital mechatronics.
  • While medical devices will continue to maintain the lead in 2017, that sector will see a modest average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 11.8% for the period. Haptic actuators will see maximum growth at an AAGR of 35% from 2012 to 2017.
  • Among the regions, North America has the largest market share with 66% of the market and will be maintained around 60% share till 2017.
INTRODUCTION

STUDY GOAL AND OBJECTIVES
REASONS FOR DOING THE STUDY
CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE STUDY
SCOPE AND FORMAT
METHODOLOGY
INFORMATION SOURCES
WHOM THE STUDY CATERS TO AUTHOR’S CREDENTIALS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

SUMMARY TABLE A -GLOBAL MARKET SIZE/PERCENTAGE SHARE FOR ELECTRO-ACTIVE POLYMER ACTUATORS AND SENSORS BY APPLICATION, 2012 AND 2017
SUMMARY FIGURE A - GLOBAL MARKET SIZE/PERCENTAGE SHARE FOR ELECTRO-ACTIVE POLYMER ACTUATORS AND SENSORS BY APPLICATION, 2012 AND 2017
SUMMARY TABLE B - NORTH AMERICAN AND GLOBAL MARKET FOR ELECTRO-ACTIVE POLYMER ACTUATORS AND SENSORS, 2012 AND 2017
SUMMARY FIGURE B - NORTH AMERICAN AND GLOBAL MARKET FOR ELECTRO-ACTIVE POLYMER ACTUATORS AND SENSORS, 2012 AND 2017

INDUSTRY OVERVIEW

EAP TECHNOLOGY AND TYPES
  IONIC EAPS
  FIELD-ACTIVATED OR ELECTRONIC EAPS
    Dielectric Polymers
    Dielectric Polymers (Continued)
    Phase Transition Polymers
  TABLE 1 - SUMMARY OF THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF THE TWO BASIC EAP GROUPS
DEFINITIONS
  TABLE 2-DEFINITIONS OF TECHNICAL TERMS USED FOR ELECTRO-ACTIVE POLYMER ACTUATORS
EAP MATERIALS FOR ACTUATOR APPLICATIONS
EAP ACTUATOR APPLICATIONS
  DETAILED APPLICATIONS
  DETAILED APPLICATIONS (CONTINUED)
  DETAILED APPLICATIONS (CONTINUED)
MARKET ACCORDING TO APPLICATIONS
  TABLE 3 - GLOBAL MARKET SIZE/PERCENTAGE SHARE FOR ELECTRO-ACTIVE POLYMER ACTUATORS AND SENSORS 2012 AND 2017
  FIGURE 1- GLOBAL MARKET FOR EAP ACTUATORS AND SENSORS BY APPLICATION IN 2012 AND 2017
  MEDICAL APPLICATIONS
    Micro-pumps
    Micro-pumps(Continued)
    Active Catheters
    Active Catheters (Continued)
    Active Catheters (Continued)
  FIGURE 2 - APPLICATION OF AN EAP CATHETER
    Enabling new functionality for medical devices
    Enabling new functionality for medical devices (Continued)
    Eye focus correction
  FIGURE 3 -ILLUSTRATION OF EYELID SLING ATTACHED TO EAP ARTIFICIAL MUSCLE DEVICE
    Disposable Infusion Pumps
  FIGURE 4 - APPLICATION OF ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER IN A DIAPHRAGM PUMP
    Medical Markets
  TABLE 4 - FORECAST OF ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER USE IN MICRO-PUMPS, ACTIVE CATHETERS, MRI EQUIPMENT, EYE FOCUS CORRECTION AND DISPOSABLE INFUSION PUMPS 2012 - 2017
  ROBOTICS EMULATING BIOLOGY
  ROBOTICS EMULATING BIOLOGY (CONTINUED)
  ROBOTICS EMULATING BIOLOGY (CONTINUED)
  FIGURE 5- APPLICATION OF EAP ACTUATORS IN ROBOTS
  ROBOTICS MARKET
  TABLE 5 -FORECAST FOR EAP DEVICE USAGE IN DIGITAL MECHATRONICS FOR MEDICAL BIOMETICS ROBOTICS AND TOY ROBOTICS, 2012 AND 2017
HAPTIC ACTUATORS
HAPTIC ACTUATORS (CONTINUED)
  FIGURE 6 -APPLICATION OF ELECTROACTIVE
  POLYMER-HAPTIC SWITCH
  FIGURE 7 -APPLICATION OF ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER – HAPTIC SWITCH LAYOUT
  TABLE 6- FORECAST FOR EAP ACTUATOR USAGE IN 36 HAPTIC APPLICATIONS, 2012 AND 2017
  ADJUSTABLE APERTURES FOR CELLULAR PHONE CAMERAS
  TABLE 7 -SPECIFICATIONS FOR TYPICAL EAP APERTURE MECHANISMS IN MOBILE PHONES
  FIGURE 8 -ILLUSTRATIONS OF EAP APERTURE MECHANISMS FOR PHONE CAMERAS
  TABLE 8 -FORECAST FOR EAP DEVICE USAGE IN AJUSTABLE APERTURE ACTUATORS FOR CELL PHONE CAMERA APPLICATIONS, 2012 AND 2017
  LARGE STRAIN SENSING FUNCTIONS: WALL SHEAR STRESS SENSORS
  LARGE STRAIN SENSING FUNCTIONS: WALL SHEAR STRESS SENSORS (CONTINUED)
  WALL SHEAR STRESS SENSOR MARKET
  TABLE 9 - FORECAST FOR EAP DEVICE USAGE AS SENSORS IN CIVIL AND STRUCTURAL CONSTRUCTION, 2012 AND 2017
  WEARABLE DIELECTRIC ELASTOMER ACTUATORS
  WEARABLE DIELECTRIC ELASTOMER ACTUATORS (CONT.)
  WEARABLE DE MARKET
  TABLE 10 - FORECAST FOR EAP DEVICE USAGE IN SMART FABRIC SENSORS, 2012 AND 2017
  COMBINED MARKET ACCORDING TO APPLICATIONS
  TABLE 11 - SUMMARY OF GLOBAL MARKET FOR EAP ACTUATORS BY APPLICATION, 2012 AND 2017
  MARKET ACCORDING TO MATERIAL TYPES
  TABLE 12 - FORECAST FOR MATERIAL USAGE IN EAP ACTUATORS AND SENSORS, 2012 AND 2017
  FIGURE 9 - ILLUSTRATION OF MARKET SHARE FOR MATERIAL USAGE IN EAP ACTUATORS AND SENSORS 2012 AND 2017

INDUSTRY STRUCTURE AND DYNAMICS

  TABLE 13 - BRANDED EAP ACTUATORS ON THE MARKET IN 2012
  TABLE 13 - BRANDED EAP ACTUATORS ON THE MARKET IN 2012 (CONTINUED)
FACTORS INFLUENCING MARKET PERFORMANCE SUCCESS STORIES
BUSINESS MODELS AND INDUSTRY PARTICIPANTS
BUSINESS MODELS AND INDUSTRY PARTICIPANTS (CONTINUED)
  TABLE 14 - EAP DEVICE MANUFACTURERS AND PRODUCT AREAS
  TABLE 14 - EAP DEVICE MANUFACTURERS AND PRODUCT AREAS (CONTINUED)
  TABLE 15 - MARKET SHARE OF TOP MANUFACTURERS OF EAP ACTUATORS IN 2012
REGIONAL MARKETS
  FIGURE 10 - REGIONAL PERCENTAGES OF MARKET SHARE FOR EAP DEVICES, 2012 AND 2017
ACQUISITIONS AND MERGERS
  TABLE 17 - PARTNERSHIP AND COLLABORATION DEALS OF POLYMER ACTUATORS, 2005 TO 2012
  TABLE 17 - PARTNERSHIP AND COLLABORATION DEALS OF POLYMER ACTUATORS, 2005 TO 2012 (CONTINUED)

TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW OF EAP ACTUATORS AND SENSORS

DIELECTRIC EAPS AND ELASTOMER ACTUATORS
  CONSTRUCTION AND CHARACTERISTICS
  CONSTRUCTION AND CHARACTERISTICS (CONTINUED)
  FIGURE 11 - DIELECTRIC ELASTOMER POLYMER ACTUATOR CONSTRUCTION
IONIC POLYMER METAL COMPOSITES ACTUATORS
  FIGURE 12 - STRUCTURE OF IONIC POLYMER METAL COMPOSITES
CONDUCTIVE POLYMER ACTUATORS
COMPARISON OF EAP ACTUATORS VERSUS OTHER ACTUATORS
  FIGURE 13 - COMPARISION OF EAP ACTUATORS WITH OTHER ACTUATORS
  FIGURE 14 - PERFORMANCE OF KEY TYPES OFACTUATORS
COMPARISON OF EAP SENSORS
  TABLE 18 - COMPARISON OF IONOMERIC POLYMER SENSORS AND PIEZOELECTRIC SENSORS
MATERIALS USED IN EAP ACTUATORS
  TABLE 19 - MATERIALS USED IN ELECTROACTIVE ACTUATORS AND SENSORS
CHARACTERSTICS OF EAP ACTUATORS
CHARACTERSTICS OF EAP ACTUATORS (CONTINUED)
  TABLE 20 - CHARACTERISTICS AND PROPERTIES OF EAP-TYPE ACTUATORS
DEVELOPING EAP TECHNOLOGIES
  TABLE 21 - COMPARISION OF WORK DENSITIES AND STRAINS OF EAP ACTUATORS

NEW DEVELOPMENTS AND PATENT ANALYSIS

U.S. PATENTS AND PATENT ANALYSIS
  TABLE 22 - NUMBER OF U.S. PATENTS GRANTED TO COMPANIES MANUFACTURING EAP ACTUATORS AND SENSORS FROM 2008 THROUGH 2012 (TO MAY 31)
  FIGURE 15 - TOP COMPANIES IN TERMS OF U.S.PATENTS GRANTED FOR EAP ACTUATORS AND SENSORS FROM JANUARY 2008 THROUGH MAY 2012
OVERVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL U.S. PATENT ACTIVITY IN EAP ACTUATORS AND SENSORS
  TABLE 23 - NUMBER OF U.S. PATENTS GRANTED BY ASSIGNED COUNTRY/REGION FOR EAP ACTUATORS AND SENSORS FROM JANUARY 2008 THROUGH MAY 2012
DETAILS OF U.S. PATENTS ISSUED FOR ELECTROACTIVE POLYMERS AND DEVICES
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER ACTUATED DEVICES
  INTERNAL MEDICAL DEVICES FOR DELIVERY OF THERAPEUTIC AGENT IN CONJUNCTION WITH A SOURCE OF ELECTRICAL POWER
DEVICES AND METHODS FOR STRICTURE DILATION
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER ACTIVATION SYSTEM FOR A MEDICAL DEVICE
  METHOD FOR FABRICATING ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER TRANSDUCER
  ELECTROADHESIVE DEVICES
  WALL CRAWLING ROBOTS
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER BASED ARTIFICIAL SPHINCTERS AND ARTIFICIAL MUSCLE PATCHES
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER DEVICE
  ELECTROCHEMICAL ACTUATOR
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER TRANSDUCERS BIASED FOR OPTIMAL OUTPUT
  OPTICAL LENS DISPLACEMENT SYSTEMS
  METHOD OF FABRICATING AN ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER TRANSDUCER
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER ACTUATED MEDICAL DEVICES
  ELECTROCHEMICAL ACTUATOR
  ELECTROCHEMICAL METHODS, DEVICES, AND STRUCTURES
  HIGH-PERFORMANCE ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER TRANSDUCERS
  CIRCUITS FOR ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER GENERATORS
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER DEVICES FOR CONTROLLING FLUID FLOW
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER TRANSDUCERS FOR SENSORY FEEDBACK APPLICATIONS
  EMBEDDED ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER STRUCTURES FOR USE IN MEDICAL DEVICES
  OPTICAL LENS DISPLACEMENT SYSTEMS
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER MANUFACTURING
  ROTATABLE CATHETER ASSEMBLY
  METHOD FOR FORMING AN ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER TRANSDUCER
  MEDICAL BALLOON INCORPORATING ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER AND METHODS OF MAKING AND USING THE SAME
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER TRANSDUCERS BIASED FOR INCREASED OUTPUT
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER ACTUATED LIGHTING
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER-BASED ARTICULATION MECHANISM FOR MULTI-FIRE SURGICAL FASTENING INSTRUMENT
  FAULT-TOLERANT MATERIALS AND METHODS OF FABRICATING THE SAME
  MONOLITHIC ELECTROACTIVE POLYMERS
  CATHETERS HAVING ACTUATABLE LUMEN ASSEMBLIES
  COMPLIANT ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER TRANSDUCERS FOR SONIC APPLICATIONS
  OPTICAL LENS IMAGE STABILIZATION SYSTEMS
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER-BASED ACTUATION MECHANISM FOR GRASPER
  CONDUCTIVE POLYMER COMPOSITE STRUCTURE
  ACTUATOR BODY AND THROTTLE MECHANISM
  INTERNAL MEDICAL DEVICES FOR DELIVERY OF THERAPUTIC AGENT IN CONJUNCTION WITH A SOURCE OF ELECTRICAL POWER
  TEAR RESISTANT ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER TRANSDUCERS
  SURFACE DEFORMATION ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER TRANSDUCERS
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER PRE-STRAIN
  MRI RESONATOR SYSTEM WITH STENT IMPLANT
  VARIABLE STIFFNESS CATHETER ASSEMBLY
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER ACTUATED GASTRIC BAND
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER-BASED LUMEN TRAVERSING DEVICE
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER ACTUATED MOTORS
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER-BASED PERCUTANEOUS ENDOSCOPY GASTROSTOMY TUBE AND METHODS OF USE
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER TORSIONAL DEVICE
  HAPTIC STYLUS UTILIZING AN ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER
  POLYMER ACTUATOR HAVING ACTIVE MEMBER LAYER THAT EXPANDS OR CONTRACTS UPON APPLICATION OF ELECTRIC FIELD
  SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENTS STRUCTURED FOR DELIVERY OF MEDICAL AGENTS
  ARTICULATION JOINT WITH IMPROVED MOMENT ARM EXTENSION FOR ARTICULATING AN END EFFECTOR OF A SURGICAL INSTRUMENT
  ROBOTIC ENDOSCOPE
  WAVE POWERED GENERATION
  SURGICAL STAPLING INSTRUMENT HAVING AN ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER ACTUATED SINGLE
  LOCKOUT MECHANISM FOR PREVENTION OF FIRING
  THREE-DIMENSIONAL ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER ACTUATED DEVICES
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER ACTUATED DEVICES
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER BASED ARTIFICIAL SPHINCTERS AND ARTIFICIAL MUSCLE PATCHES
  SURGICAL INSTRUMENT HAVING FLUID ACTUATED OPPOSING JAWS
  WAVE POWERED GENERATION
  POLYMER ACTUATOR
  MULTIPLE FIRING STROKE SURGICAL INSTRUMENT INCORPORATING ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER ANTI-BACKUP MECHANISM
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER TRANSDUCERS BIASED FOR INCREASED OUTPUT
  EXTERNAL COUNTERPULSATION DEVICE USING ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER ACTUATORS
  SURGICAL INSTRUMENT INCORPORATING EAP COMPLETE FIRING SYSTEM LOCKOUT MECHANISM
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER ELECTRODES
  ANASTOMOTIC RING APPLIER DEVICE UTILIZING AN ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER MOTORS
  BIFURCATED STENT
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER PRE-STRAIN
  HIGH POWER-TO-MASS RATIO ACTUATOR
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER ANIMATED DEVICES
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER-BASED ACTUATION MECHANISM FOR CIRCULAR STAPLER
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER-BASED ACTUATION MECHANISM FOR LINEAR SURGICAL STAPLER
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER-BASED ACTUATION MECHANISM FOR MULTI-FIRE SURGICAL FASTENING INSTRUMENT
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER DEVICES FOR MOVING FLUID
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER TORSIONAL DEVICE
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER ACTUATED HEART-LUNG BYPASS PUMPS
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER GENERATORS
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER-BASED PUMP
  HAPTIC DEVICES USING ELECTROACTIVE POLYMERS
  ELECTROACTIVE POLYMER ACTUATED SHEATH FOR IMPLANTABLE OR INSERTABLE MEDICAL DEVICE

APPENDIX I - COMPANY PROFILES

ARTIFICIAL MUSCLE, INC.
BOSTON SCIENTIFIC INC.
CEDRAT RECHERCHE SA (CEDRAT)
PIEZOTECH S.A.S.
SENSATEX INC.
SENSEG
APPENDIX II - LIST OF SUPPLIERS OF EAP MATERIAL
3M
ABTECH SCIENTIFIC, INC.
ALFA AESAR
STERLING FIBERS, INC.
SUMITOMO CHEMICAL
THE DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY
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