Controlled Change of Mechanical Properties during Hydrolytic Degradation of Polyester Urethane Networks
AbstractPolyester urethane networks are versatile polymer systems as it is possible to tailor their mechanical properties and their hydrolytic degradation profile. For biomedical applications, the biodegradability as well as the thermomechanical properties of the polymer networks during the course of degradation is of importance. Therefore, we investigated the change of thermomechanical properties of networks based on star-shaped precursors of rac-dilactide and diglycolide, -caprolactone, or p-dioxanone, respectively, during hydrolytic degradation. Degradation rate and mechanical properties of the polymer networks were tailored by crosslink density, comonomers, and by changing the glass transition temperature. Most importantly, the degradation of the networks led to a controlled, step-by-step change of the mechanical properties of the networks.