Speaker: Dr. Alina Kirillova, Ph.D Chemistry, Dresden University of Technology, current postdoctoral researcher at Duke University.
Abstract: Biodegradable polymers are attractive materials for biomedical applications, such as tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, due to the opportunity to tune their degradation profile by tuning their composition, their ease of processing, as well as chemical, mechanical, and biological properties that more closely match those of many tissue types. Clinical uses of biodegradable polymers span across almost all parts of the human body, including orthopedic implants for bone reconstruction, wound dressings, vascular stents, conduits for neural tissue engineering, and others. 3D printing is widely investigated as a fabrication technique for medical devices due to its ability to produce complex, patient-specific architectures that are not attainable by other fabrication methods. Among the different 3D printing techniques, vat photopolymerization offers the advantages of high speed and resolution that aid in creating more complex structures. However, the choice of biodegradable materials for vat photopolymerization approaches is very limited.
Poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF) is a biodegradable polyester with an alkene bond in its backbone allowing for photochemical crosslinking. Its architecture can be tuned to produce star-shaped PPF, which possesses a reduced viscosity at very high molecular weights compared to linear PPF-based polymers. Rapid photopolymerization is achieved using PPF star polymers and the versatile thiol-ene crosslinking chemistry, resulting in highly defined 3D printed structures with tunable mechanical and degradation properties that are relevant to both soft and hard tissue engineering applications. The developed materials are fully degradable and are promising candidates as implant materials for various biomedical procedures, including scaffolds for bone engineering applications.
Bio: Dr. Alina Kirillova received her Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the Dresden University of Technology in 2016, while working at the Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research in Dresden, Germany. She her postdoctoral research on the topic of shape-morphing hydrogels at the University of Georgia, USA. Currently, she works as a postdoctoral researcher in the groups of Prof. Ken Gall and Prof. Matthew L. Becker at Duke University, USA. The focus of her current work are the mechanical properties of different biomaterials and biodegradable polymers. Her research interests include polymer-based materials and biomaterials, stimuli-responsive polymers, and mechanical behavior of materials.
Seminar Host: Jun Cui