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Soft Matter. 2010 Jan 1;6(8):1621-1631.

Nanoscale porosity in polymer films: fabrication and therapeutic applications.

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Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94158.


This review focuses on current developments in the field of nanostructured bulk polymers and their application in bioengineering and therapeutic sciences. In contrast to well-established nanoscale materials, such as nanoparticles and nanofibers, bulk nanostructured polymers combine nanoscale structure in a macroscopic construct, which enables unique application of these materials. Contemporary fabrication and processing techniques capable of producing nanoporous polymer films are reviewed. Focus is placed on techniques capable of sub-100 nm features since this range approaches the size scale of biological components, such as proteins and viruses. The attributes of these techniques are compared, with an emphasis on the characteristic advantages and limitations of each method. Finally, application of these materials to biofiltration, immunoisolation, and drug delivery are reviewed.

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