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Tissue Eng. 2007 Oct;13(10):2369-85.

Review: photopolymerizable and degradable biomaterials for tissue engineering applications.

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Department of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Photopolymerizable and degradable biomaterials are finding widespread application in the field of tissue engineering for the engineering of tissues such as bone, cartilage, and liver. The spatial and temporal control afforded by photoinitiated polymerizations has allowed for the development of injectable materials that can deliver cells and growth factors, as well as for the fabrication of scaffolding with complex structures. The materials developed for these applications range from entirely synthetic polymers (e.g., poly(ethylene glycol)) to purely natural polymers (e.g., hyaluronic acid) that are modified with photoreactive groups, with degradation based on the hydrolytic or enzymatic degradation of bonds in the polymer backbone or crosslinks. The degradation behavior also ranges from purely bulk to entirely surface degrading, based on the nature of the backbone chemistry and type of degradable units. The mechanical properties of these polymers are primarily based on factors such as the network crosslinking density and polymer concentration. As we better understand biological features necessary to control cellular behavior, smarter materials are being developed that can incorporate and mimic many of these factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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