Engineering bioactive synthetic polymers for biomedical applications: A review with emphasis on tissue engineering and controlled release

Edna Johana Bolívar-Monsalve, Mario Moisés Alvarez, Samira Hosseini, Michelle Alejandra Espinosa-Hernandez, Carlos Fernando Ceballos-González, Margarita Sanchez-Dominguez, Su Ryon Shin, Berivan Cecen, Shabir Hassan, Ernesto Di Maio, Grissel Trujillo-De Santiago

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Synthetic polymers (SyPs) have found many relevant applications niches in biomedical engineering. Their mechanical properties, defined chemical structure, batch to batch consistency are attractive features that render them superior (at least in some senses) to natural polymers. However, most SyPs must be functionalized in order to properly serve for an intended biological application. Here we describe recent strategies used to functionalize SyPs for tissue engineering and related applications. We review functionalization strategies to promote cell-polymer interactions, to direct cell fate, and to induce extra-cellular matrix (ECM) (or tissue) remodeling. Besides chemical functionalization, we describe a selection of methods (i.e., casting and particle leaching, thermally induced phase separation, electrospinning, gas foaming, and 3D printing) that have been used in recent literature to modify the architecture/topography of scafolds made of SyPs. We also review recent literature on SyPs functionalization to impart antimicrobial or conductive character and to engineer actuators for tissue engineering applications. Finally, we briefly discuss some of the trends on the engineering of SyPs (i.e., bioinspiration, 3D bioprinting, nucleic-acid-based platforms) that are currently reshaping tissue engineering.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)4447-4478
Number of pages32
JournalMaterials Advances
Volume2
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Jul 2021

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