Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Design, Synthesis, and Applications of Novel Polyesters Based on Natural Metabolites

As the biomedical and biotechnological fields expand, the design of novel materials will be essential in order to meet new requirements. Specifically, the field of tissue engineering continuously evolves as new materials and medical information are gathered. Scaffolds for tissue engineering need to be strong and flexible so that they can accommodate the body's natural movements. A class of potential soft tissue scaffolds - biodegradable polyester elastomers - has become a very popular option for these applications. Although useful, the ability to chemically tailor these materials for application-specific needs is challenging. Being able to easily append biologically relevant molecules onto tissue scaffolds would add a new and critical level of control over the interactions of cells and tissues with the materials. We have focused on the design of polyketoesters based on natural monomers, many of which are FDA approved for use in humans. The presence of ketones allows for facile and efficient chemical modifications that enable one polyester backbone to accommodate multiple functions. Because thermal polycondensation was used to synthesize these polyesters, the macromolecular properties of the final polymers can be tailored to fit the needs of a particular application by varying the starting materials and the curing conditions.