Degradable polymer matrices with antibacterial, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties

Micromechanical design to optimise materials for tools
December 31, 2019
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December 31, 2019

The research group Synthetic Polymers: Structure and Properties (PSEP) of the UPC participated in the SYNBIOPRO (synthesis, biology and processing) project, in which the aim was to design new biodegradable polymer systems with antibacterial, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties.

The project works on new polymer materials, the study of specialised medical applications and the use and development of new, innovative processing methodologies. The aim is to synthesise new polymers using click chemistry and green (or sustainable) chemistry. The focus is to develop biodegradable polymers comprised of natural amino acids that form part of families of polysteramide and polyester ureas.


The applications are centred on encapsulation strategies that enable pharmacological agents to be maintained in an amorphous state, to avoid crystallisation during storage and the loss of associated activity. Specific systems of materials with antibacterial properties will also be developed. For example, encapsulation and administration of bacteriophages will be studied to achieve an alternative treatment pathway to the widespread use of antibiotics.

The project also addresses the use of new processing technologies at micro scale or less. In particular, work is done on the nanotexturing of surfaces to improve, for example, the antibacterial properties and the application of micromoulding by ultrasound for the preparation of microparts for use in the biomedical field. These preparation methodologies are ideal to advance in knowledge of the relations between processing, microstructure and mechanical properties. The new technologies enable the preparation of scaffolding with the final form of the implant and controlled porosity, and the use of hybrid materials as constituents of biodegradable polymers and hydroxyapatite.

The project will last for three years. To date, the results have led to around forty scientific publications and a patent. The project has been supported by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, through the Spanish National Research, Development and Innovation Programme oriented at Social Challenges (RTI2018-101827-B-I00), with a budget of 157,000 euros.

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