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Pure Appl. Chem., 2011, Vol. 83, No. 1, pp. 9-24

Published online 2010-11-10

Synthetic biodegradable elastomers for drug delivery and tissue engineering*

Christopher J. Bettinger

Department of Biomedical Engineering and Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA

Abstract: Synthetic biodegradable elastomers are an emerging class of materials with many potential clinical applications including drug delivery and tissue engineering. Biodegradable elastomers offer advantages of structure diversity, tunable properties, and a wide range of processing capabilities. This review highlights some recent developments in various aspects of biodegradable materials synthesis, characterization, and processing with a specific focus on structure-processing–property relationships. Biodegradation mechanisms and issues regarding tissue biocompatibility of these materials are discussed. Applications of synthetic biodegradable elastomers, including use as a materials platform for controlled release systems, tissue engineering scaffolds, and engineered substrates for in vitro cell–biomaterials interactions will also be presented.
*Pure Appl. Chem. 83, 1–252 (2011). A collection of invited, peer-reviewed articles by former winners of the IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists, in celebration of the International Year of Chemistry 2011.