The development of instructive substrates with applications in tissue regeneration has become the focus of intensive research in the recent years. The term ‘instructive’ is applied to responsive polymeric substrates that are able to regulate cell behavior in response to external factors. This chapter will describe reported strategies to combine material responses to environmental changes with signaling molecules for generating well-controlled cellular microenvironments. Biomaterials that respond to temperature, pH, light, electrical or magnetic fields, or to the presence of biochemical signals are highlighted, together with their application in tissue engineering strategies.
Smart polymers are polymers that respond to different stimuli or changes in the environment. Smart Polymers and their Applications reviews the types, synthesis, properties, and applications of smart polymers.
Chapters in part one focus on types of polymers, including temperature-, pH-, photo-, and enzyme-responsive polymers. Shape memory polymers, smart polymer hydrogels, and self-healing polymer systems are also explored. Part two highlights applications of smart polymers, including smart instructive polymer substrates for tissue engineering; smart polymer nanocarriers for drug delivery; the use of smart polymers in medical devices for minimally invasive surgery, diagnosis, and other applications; and smart polymers for bioseparation and other biotechnology applications. Further chapters discuss the use of smart polymers for textile and packaging applications, and for optical data storage.
Smart Polymers and their Applications is a technical resource for chemists, chemical engineers, mechanical engineers, and other professionals in the polymer industry; manufacturers in such sectors as medical, automotive, and aerospace engineering; and academic researchers in polymer science.