Bone-tissue-engineering material poly(propylene fumarate): Correlation between molecular weight, chain dimension, and physical properties

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Poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF) is an important biodegradable and cross-linkable polymer designed for bone-tissue-engineering applications. For the first time we report the extensive characterization of this biomaterial including molecular weight dependences of physical properties such as glass transition temperature Tg, thermal degradation temperature Td, density ρ, melt viscosity η0, hydrodynamic radius RH, and intrinsic viscosity [η]. The temperature dependence of η0 changes progressively with molecular weight, whereas it can be unified when the temperature is normalized to Tg. The plateau modulus GN0, and entanglement molecular weight Me, have been obtained from the rheological master curves. A variety of chain microstructure parameters such as the Mark-Houwink-Sakurada constants K and α, characteristic ratio C, unperturbed chain dimension r02/M, packing length p, Kuhn length b, and tube diameter a have been deduced. Further correlation between the microstructure and macroscopic physical properties has been discussed in light of recent progress in polymer dynamics to supply a better understanding about this unsaturated polyester to advance its biomedical uses. The molecular weight dependence of Tg for six polymer species including PPF has been summarized to support that Me, is irrelevant for the finite length effect on the glass transition, whereas surprisingly these polymers can be divided into two groups when their normalized Tg is plotted simply against Mw, to indicate the deciding roles of inherent chain properties such as chain fragility, intermolecular cooperativity, and chain end mobility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1976-1982
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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