Biodegradable networks for soft tissue engineering by thiol–yne photo cross-linking of multifunctional polyesters†
Novel biodegradable networks have been prepared by combination of post-polymerization modification of poly(ε-caprolactone) and thiol–yne photo cross-linking. In a first step, a novel multifunctional poly(ε-caprolactone) bearing propargyl groups (PCL–yne, 8 mol% substitution degree) was obtained in a rapid one-pot reaction and at a multigram scale. In a second step, PCL–yne and mixtures of PCL and PCL–yne were cross-linked via photoradical thiol–yne reaction in the presence of pentaerythritol tetrakis(3-mercaptopropionate) and various photoinitiators. The thermal properties and stabilities of the obtained networks have been evaluated before assessment of their mechanical properties. Finally, biocompatibility studies are reported with evaluation of the proliferation of L929 fibroblasts on the materials.