The Synthesis, Characterization and Biocompatibility of Poly(ester urethane)/Polyhedral Oligomeric Silesquioxane Nanocomposites

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Polymers and High Performance Materials


The primary goal of this study is to develop a facile and inexpensive synthesis method for a new biodegradable and biocompatible poly(ester urethane) (PEU)/polyhedral oligomeric silesquioxanes (POSS) nanocomposite via in situ homogeneous solution polymerization reaction into prescribed macromolecular structure and properties including improved biocompatibility, thermal and hydrolytic stability, and stiffness and strength. Cell culture studies, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry, thermogravimetry, and dynamic mechanical analysis measurements were used to confirm the structure and property improvements. The results show that the targeted PEU/POSS nanocomposites (which are remarkably different from conventional polymers, polymer nanocomposites and microcomposites) have significant improvements in mechanical properties and degradation resistance at small POSS concentrations (<= 6 wt%). The nanocomposites exhibited excellent support for cell growth without any toxicity. POSS concentration did not affect cell adhesion or cell growth, but it significantly changed the surface structure of the PEU into a 3-dimensional matrix with regular pores that may allow cells to better access the growth factors/nutrients, waste exchange, and tissue remodeling. The PEU/POSS nanocomposites were resistant to degradation over a period of six months when exposed to a buffer solution. These desirable characteristics suggest that the nanocomposites may hold great promise for future high-end uses such as in biomedical devices, especially at cardiovascular interfaces. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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