The wide use of polyurethanes in the biomedical field is essentially related to their unique molecular structure from which both their elastomeric features and excellent biocompatibility stem. Properties like flexural endurance, fatigue resistance, compliance and biodegradability can be easily tuned in polyurethanes by properly varying their constituents. For more than 50 years, biostable polyurethanes have played a major role in the manufacturing of medical devices, particularly the intravascular ones. Since the early 1990s, the availability of biodegradable polyurethanes has extended their use also in tissue engineering and in drug delivery. In all these applications, the control of phenomena occurring at the biomaterial/biological tissue interface is of crucial importance to fulfill the required tasks. In the last two decades, by using inspiration from nature, a range of biomimetic materials with remarkable functional properties have been developed. These materials have the potential to elicit a desired cellular response by mimicking a specific biological environment. This chapter is focused on the recent achievements obtained in the development of biomimetic polyurethanes. First, the polyurethane chemistry will be illustrated to highlight how the selection of monomers and polymerization conditions allow synthesis of materials with a specific set of properties to enhance performance for a given application. Then, the role of biomimetic polyurethanes in preventing medical device-related infections or as scaffolding materials in tissue engineering will be presented and discussed.
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PIOZZI, Antonella (Corresponding author)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2014|
|Appare nella tipologia:||02a Capitolo, Articolo o Contributo|