Designing Multi-component Biodegradable/Biocompatible Amphiphilic Polymer Co-networks for Biomedical Applications
This chapter presents novel, multi-component amphiphilic polymer co-networks (APCNs), which, in addition to the hydrophilic, typically poly(ethylene glycol) or poly[(2-dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate], and hydrophobic, typically poly(ε-caprolactone), polymeric components, a hydrophilic polysaccharide is also incorporated. These polysaccharides are agarose and dextran. The biocompatibility and biodegradability of the APCNs are investigated, as well as their drug loading capacity and release behaviour. The results indicate that the present APCNs represent excellent choices as materials for biomedical applications. Furthermore, this chapter compares the properties of common polymeric hydrogels with those of amphiphilic polymer co-networks, and provides our vision regarding the potential of degradable APCNs in biomedical applications.