Tough biodegradable mixed-macromer networks and hydrogels by photo-crosslinking in solution

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The preparation of polymeric networks that are both tough and biodegradable remains a challenge. Here we show a very straightforward method to produce tough biodegradable networks from low molecular weight macromers for applications such as tissue engineering. Photo-crosslinking combinatorial mixtures of methacrylate-functionalized poly(1,3-trimethylene carbonate) (PTMC), poly(d,l-lactide) (PDLLA), poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) oligomers in propylene carbonate (PC) allowed the preparation of network films with excellent tensile characteristics and resistance to tearing. This method enabled the production of both very tough mixed-macromer elastomers as well as mixed-macromer hydrogels. A mixed-macromer hydrogel prepared from 33 wt.% PTMC, 33 wt.% PCL and 33 wt.% PEG had a very high tearing energy of 0.81 kJ/m2, which is comparable to tearing energies determined for articular cartilage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-88
JournalActa biomaterialia
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • METIS-320049
  • IR-103851


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