Natural-Based Polymers for Biomedical Applications


  • R L Reis
  • N M Neves
  • J F Mano
  • M E Gomes
  • A P Marques
  • H S Azevedo, University of Minho, Portugal

Polymers from natural sources are particularly useful as biomaterials and in regenerative medicine, given their similarity to the extracellular matrix and other polymers in the human body. This important book reviews the wealth of research on both tried and promising new natural-based biomedical polymers, together with their applications as implantable biomaterials, controlled-release carriers or scaffolds for tissue engineering.

The first part of the book reviews the sources, processing and properties of natural-based polymers for biomedical applications. Part two describes how the surfaces of polymer-based biomaterials can be modified to improve their functionality. The third part of the book discusses the use of natural-based polymers for biodegradable scaffolds and hydrogels in tissue engineering. Building on this foundation, Part four looks at the particular use of natural-gelling polymers for encapsulation, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The penultimate group of chapters reviews the use of natural-based polymers as delivery systems for drugs, hormones, enzymes and growth factors. The final part of the book summarises research on the key issue of biocompatibility.

Natural-based polymers for biomedical applications is a standard reference for biomedical engineers, those studying and researching in this important area, and the medical community.
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Biomedical engineers; Those studying and researching in this important area; The medical community


Book information

  • Published: August 2008
  • Imprint: Woodhead Publishing
  • ISBN: 978-1-84569-264-3

Table of Contents

Part 1 Sources, properties, modification and processing of natural-based polymers: Polysaccharides as carriers of bioactive agents for medical applications; Purification of naturally-occurring biomaterials; Processing of starch-based blends for biomedical applications; Controlling the degradation of natural polymers for biomedical applications; Smart biomedical systems based on polysaccharides. Part 2 Surface modification and biomimetic coatings: Surface modification of natural-based biomedical polymers; New biomineralization strategies for the use of natural-based polymeric materials in bone-tissue engineering; Natural-based multilayer films for biomedical applications; Peptide modification of polysaccharide scaffolds in tissue engineering. Part 3 Biodegradable scaffolds and hydrogels for tissue regeneration: Scaffolds based on hyaluronan derivatives in biomedical applications; Electro-spun elastin and collagen nano-fibers and their application as biomaterials; Starch-polycaprolactone based scaffold for bone tissue engineering; Chitosan-based scaffolds in orthopaedic applications; Elastin-like systems for tissue engineering; Collagen-based scaffolds for tissue engineering; Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) and its potential for biomedical applications; Electrospinning of natural proteins for tissue engineering. Part 4 Naturally-derived hydrogels in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine: Naturally-derived gel-forming materials: Fundamentals, applications and challenges in tissue engineering; Alginate hydrogels as matrices for tissue engineering; Fibrin matrices in tissue engineering; Natural-based polymers for encapsulation of living cells: Fundamentals, applications and challenges; Hydrogels for neuronal regeneration. Part 5 Systems for the sustained release of molecules: Particles for controlled drug delivery; Thiolated chitosans in non-invasive drug delivery; Chitosan-polysaccharide blended nanoparticles for controlled drug delivery. Part 6 Biocompatibility of natural-based polymers: In vivo tissue response to natural-origin biomaterials; Immunological issues in tissue engineering; Biocompatibility of hyaluronic acid: From cell recognition to therapeutic applications; Biocompatibility of starch-based polymers; Vascularisation strategies in tissue engineering.