Fluoropolymers in biomedical applications: state-of-the-art and future perspectives
Fluoropolymers have unique physicochemical properties such as hydrophobicity and lipophobicity, good chemical stability and bio-inertness, low surface energy and phase segregation. Owing to these properties, fluoropolymers have been widely used to prepare high performance materials. Especially, the use of fluoropolymers in biomedical applications has grown rapidly during the past decade. This critical review focuses on the recent advances of fluoropolymers in gene delivery, cytosolic protein delivery, drug delivery, magnetic resonance imaging, photodynamic therapy, anti-fouling and anti-bacterial applications, and tissue engineering. The mechanisms and features of fluoropolymers in these specific applications are discussed. Besides, we have reviewed the methods to synthesize water-soluble fluoropolymers for the applications and explained their supramolecular assembly behaviors in solutions. Finally, the opportunities and challenges of fluoropolymers in biomedical applications are discussed.