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Modular Biodegradable Biomaterials from Surfactant and Polyelectrolyte Mixtures

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Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto, 200 College Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3E5, Canada, Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto, 80 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3H6, Canada, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, 164 College Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3G9, Canada
* Corresponding author. E-mail address: [email protected]. Telephone: 1-416-978-1460 . Fax: 1-416-978-4317. Address: 514 Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, 160 College Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E1, Canada.
†Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto.
‡Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto.
§Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto.
Cite this: Biomacromolecules 2008, 9, 1, 166–174
Publication Date (Web):December 19, 2007
Copyright © 2008 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract Image

    Polymeric assemblies are used in many biomaterials applications, ranging from drug-bearing nanoparticles to macroscopic scaffolds. Control over their biodegradation rates is usually achieved through synthetic modification of their molecular structure. As a simpler alternative, we exploit the associative phase separation in mixtures of bioderived surfactants and polyelectrolytes. The gel fiber scaffolds are formed via phase inversion, using a homologous series of fatty acid salts−sodium caprate (NaC10), laurate (NaC12), and myristate (NaC14), and a water-soluble chitosan derivative, N-[(2-hydroxy-3-trimethylammonium)propyl] chitosan chloride (HTCC). Their dissolution times are modulated through the selection of the fatty acid molecule and vary in a predictable manner from minutes (for NaC10−HTCC), to hours (for NaC12−HTCC), to days (for NaC14−HTCC). These variations are linked to differences in surfactant−polyelectrolyte binding strength and scale with the equilibrium binding constants of their mixtures. These fibers were found to be both cytocompatible and cell-adhesive using neural stem/progenitor cells, suggesting their potential for utility in biomedical applications.

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