Injectable biodegradable polymer composites based on poly(propylene fumarate) crosslinked with poly(ethylene glycol)-dimethacrylate

Shulin He, Michael J. Yaszemski, Alan W. Yasko, Paul S. Engel, Antonios G. Mikos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations


New injectable, in situ crosslinkable biodegradable polymer composites were investigated consisting of poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF), poly(ethylene glycol)-dimethacrylate (PEG-DMA), and β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP). We examined the effects of the PEG-DMA/PPF double-bond ratio and β-TCP content on the crosslinking characteristics of the composites including the maximum crosslinking temperature and the gel point, as well as the properties of the crosslinked composites such as the compressive strength and modulus, and the water-holding capacity. The maximum crosslinking temperature was constant averaging 39.7 °C for the composite formulations tested. The gel points varied from 8.0±1.0 to 12.6±2.5 min and were not affected by the relative amounts of PEG-DMA. The compressive strength at yield of PEG-DMA/PPF composites without β-TCP increased from 5.9±1.0 to 11.2±2.2 MPa as the double-bond ratio of PEG-DMA/PPF increased from 0.38 to 1.88. An increase in compressive modulus was also observed from 30.2±3.5 to 58.4±6.2 MPa for the same range of the PEG-DMA/PPF double-bond ratio. Also, the addition of β-TCP (33wt%) enhanced the mechanical properties of all composites. The equilibrium water content of networks without β-TCP increased from 21.7±0.2 to 30.6±0.2% for a double-bond ratio of PEG-DMA/PPF ranging from 0.38 to 1.88. However, the mechanical properties of the swollen composites under compression were smaller than the dry ones. These data demonstrate the feasibility of fabricating injectable biodegradable polymer composites with engineered mechanical properties for orthopedic tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2389-2394
Number of pages6
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000


  • In situ polymerization
  • Injectable biomaterials
  • Orthopedic biomaterials
  • Poly(ethylene glycol)
  • Poly(propylene fumarate)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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