Synthesis, Characterisation and Properties of Biomimetic Biodegradable Polymers
Abstract: The acceptance of blood contacting implants creating favorable conditions in vivo is decisively determined by their interaction with proteins that mediate inter cellular interactions with synthetic substrates. Adsorbed proteins can activate blood cascade systems like coagulation and complement that may result in serious blood clots, and/or immunological reactions. Poly (ethylene glycol) (PEG), heparin, and phosphoryl choline (PC) functional poly (methacrylates) are previously used polymers with known non-adhesive properties in blood contacting events.This thesis contributes to this extensive research by introducing a novel type of biomaterial that equips biodegradable polymers with biomimetic functionalities. The phospholipid mimetic material is synthesized by combining biodegradable polymers with various functional polar end-groups consisting of zwitterionic phosphoryl choline (PC), anionic succinates, and cationic quaternary ammonium. The polymer backbone provides mechanical stability and biodegradability whilst the various head groups provide a variety of functions. The careful evaluation of the synthesis has allowed reaction conditions to be optimized leading to complete conversion at each step and subsequently high yields. Initially, poly (e-caprolactone) (PCL) was used since it provided a suitable synthetic starting point. However, the synthesis has also included poly (trimethylene carbonate) (PTMC) to provide a material that allows spontaneous surface enrichment of the polar PC group. This was achieved with an added hydrophilic environment. Through the synthesis of multi PC functional PTMC, additional bulk organisation by the formation of zwitterionomers (PC ionomer) was achieved. Low modulus elasticity and water uptake were some of the properties of the formed material. As a result it was shown that the PC ionomer could be used for protein/drug loading and subsequent release. Furthermore, the material possessed non-adhesive properties in different biological environments.Importantly, the result suggests that a versatile synthetic platform has been established that may provide a smorgasbord of different functional polymers, or combinations of such. This is indeed important since it was shown that the polymer in many ways dictates how the material may take advantage of an added functionality. Such materials should be interesting for a variety of biomedical applications including the production of soft hemocompatible tissue.
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