Polymer networks were prepared by photocross-linking fumaric acid monoethyl ester (FAME) functionalized, three-armed poly(d,l-lactide) oligomers using N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone (NVP) as diluent and comonomer. The use of NVP together with FAME-functionalized oligomers resulted in copolymerization at high rates, and networks with gel contents in excess of 90% were obtained. The hydrophilicity of the poly(d,l-lactide) networks increases with increasing amounts of NVP, networks containing 50 wt % of NVP absorbed 40% of water. As the amount of NVP was increased from 30 to 50 wt %, the Young’s modulus after equilibration in water decreased from 0.8 to 0.2 GPa, as opposed to an increase from 1.5 to 2.1 GPa in the dry state. Mouse preosteoblasts readily adhered and spread onto all prepared networks. Using stereolithography, porous structures with a well-defined gyroid architecture were prepared from these novel materials. This allows the preparation of tissue engineering scaffolds with optimized pore architecture and tunable material properties.
- EC Grant Agreement nr.: FP6/500465