Poly(trimethylene carbonate)-based composites for biomedical applications

Zhengchao Guo

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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The past decades have shown major developments in biomedical engineering technologies, especially in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. This poses a large demand on the preparation of suitable biomaterials for both research and industry. Among the different classes of biomaterials, polymer-based composites have received special attention in the past years. These composite materials can have several advantages related to presentation of functional bioactivity and improved mechanical properties, next to biocompatibility and biodegradability. The work introduces two applications of polymer-based composites. One is the use of electrically conductive reduced graphene oxide (rGO) fillers, enhancing the conductivity of scaffolds to be applied in nerve regeneration. Another is the use of sacrificial particle leaching, applied in the manufacturing of porous scaffolds for small-diameter vascular tissue engineering.
To engineer suitable scaffolds or implants for e.g. tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications, structure property relationships of composites need to be considered. Porous scaffold structures fabricated by particle leaching, electrospinning and additive manufacturing, were described. Poly(trimethylene carbonate) (PTMC) was chosen as the polymer component, because of its excellent biocompatibility, surface erosion degradation behavior and flexible and elastic properties. Combination of the functional rGO filler with PTMC, was either done by mixing rGO in a PMTC matrix or grafting the polymer onto the rGO and subsequent mixing with PTMC. Porogen such as sodium chloride, sodium fluoride and calcium carbonate were used to fabricate porous scaffolds for vascular tissue engineering.
It was concluded that current challenges are related to the limited choice of bioactive and functional fillers, control of the bioactive expression in the polymer matrix and manufacturing techniques for suitable structures. Therefore, studies on the relationship between the material properties of a specific polymer-based composite, its structure, physical and mechanical properties and biological response for a specific biomedical application remain necessary.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Grijpma, D.W., Supervisor
  • Poot, A.A., Co-Supervisor
Award date20 Nov 2020
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-5074-1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2020


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