New Paradigm in the Design of Degradable Polymeric Materials – Macroscopic Performance Translated to all Levels of Order
This project aims to design a new generation of polymeric materials that behaves differently from traditional commodity plastics in terms of environmental interaction, degradation pattern, fragmentation tendency and biological persistency. By applying this new concept, it is possible to create materials with controlled degradation which do not leave behind long-lasting debris. Two areas are in focus, standing out as highly prioritized in maintaining or even raising our quality of life: sustainable materials for commodity applications and tissue engineering systems in biomaterials science.
Polymeric materials will be designed through a retro-structural approach where the macroscopic performance is translated to every scale level of structural order. Macromolecular systems are designed by 1) creating an interphase with an interfacial component displaying different interaction modes toward the different domains, or 2) creating an interfacial array of non-covalent bonding. Floating systems composed of micro or nanoparticles with changeable strength in the secondary bonds between the beads will be created, homogeneous yet heterogeneous systems similar to most of the materials created by nature. In addition to advanced synthesis, surface modification and processing, the materials and their degradation behaviour will be thoroughly characterized by using traditional characterization techniques in combination with the latest spectroscopic and imaging techniques.