Controlled Drug Release from Biodegradable Shape-Memory Polymers


Biodegradable shape-memory polymers (SMPs) have attracted significant interest for biomedical applications. Modern concepts for biofunctional implants often comprise the controlled release of bioactive compounds to gain specific biofunctionalities. Therefore, a general strategy has been suggested for polymer systems combining degradability and shape-memory capability with controlled release of drugs. This chapter provides a detailed description of the molecular basis for such multifunctional SMPs including the selection of building blocks, the polymer morphology, and the three dimensional architecture. Moreover, drug loading and release, drug effects on thermomechanical properties of SMPs, and drug release patterns in a physiological environment are described and potential applications in minimally-invasive surgery are discussed.
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