Science China Chemistry

, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 490–500 | Cite as

Synthetic biodegradable functional polymers for tissue engineering: a brief review

  • BaoLin Guo
  • Peter X. MaEmail author
Reviews Special Issue Recent Research Progress of Biomedical Polymers


Scaffolds play a crucial role in tissue engineering. Biodegradable polymers with great processing flexibility are the predominant scaffolding materials. Synthetic biodegradable polymers with well-defined structure and without immunological concerns associated with naturally derived polymers are widely used in tissue engineering. The synthetic biodegradable polymers that are widely used in tissue engineering, including polyesters, polyanhydrides, polyphosphazenes, polyurethane, and poly (glycerol sebacate) are summarized in this article. New developments in conducting polymers, photoresponsive polymers, amino-acid-based polymers, enzymatically degradable polymers, and peptide-activated polymers are also discussed. In addition to chemical functionalization, the scaffold designs that mimic the nano and micro features of the extracellular matrix (ECM) are presented as well, and composite and nanocomposite scaffolds are also reviewed.


synthetic biodegradable polymers functional polymers scaffolds tissue engineering 


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© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Frontier Institute of Science and TechnologyXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical EngineeringUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biologic and Materials SciencesUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Macromolecular Science and Engineering CenterUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  5. 5.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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