Clara Dourado Fernandes

Clara Dourado Fernandes

Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Chair of Material Science (Biomaterials)

PhD-student (Federal University of Santa Catarina (FUSC) (Brazil) (in co-tutoring))

Enzymatic Polycondensation and Functionalization of Alipahtic Copolyester for Biomedical Applications


Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Pedro Henrique Hermes de Araújo (FUSC); Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Dr. h.c. Aldo R. Boccaccini (FAU)

Biopolymers and polymeric additives derived from biomaterials are of increasing interest due to concerns about potential toxicity, human health and safety impacts, and environmental contamination during and after processing [1]. These concerns become even greater when plasticizers must be added to the polymer matrix for tissue engineering applications. For most polymers to be processed, plasticization is required to achieve properties such as higher tensile strength, higher elongation at break, and elasticity, allowing the material to better mimic the mechanical response of natural tissue [2,3]. Although phthalate esters are traditionally used as plasticizers, they are not particularly suitable for biomedical applications. In this sense, branched polyesters have attracted much attention due to their unique structures, a large number of end groups, viscosity, hydrophilicity, good solubility, and simple synthesis procedures. Therefore, this study proposes to use an enzymatic synthetic oligomer Poly (propylene succinate-co-glycerol succinate) as an additive for synthetic biodegradable polymers as a first step to produce environmentally friendly fibers for medical applications. The effects of the oligomer on the structure formation, morphology, crystallization behavior, and mechanical properties of electrosping bicomponent fibers will be investigated. The fibers will be studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and mechanical testing. In addition, degradability and biocompatibility studies are being conducted.

[1]       D. Kolbuk, O. Jeznach, M. Wrzecionek, A. Gadomska-Gajadhur, Poly(Glycerol Succinate) as an Eco-Friendly Component of PLLA and PLCL Fibres towards Medical Applications, Polym. 2020, Vol. 12, Page 1731. 12 (2020) 1731

[2]       S.L. Liang, W.D. Cook, G.A. Thouas, Q.Z. Chen, The mechanical characteristics and in vitro biocompatibility of poly(glycerol sebacate)-Bioglass® elastomeric composites, Biomaterials. 31 (2010) 8516–8529.

[3]       R.K. Ghanta, A. Pugazenthi, Y. Zhao, C. Sylvester, M.J. Wall, R.A. Mazur, L.N. Russell, K.J. Lampe, Influence of Supraphysiologic Biomaterial Stiffness on Ventricular Mechanics and Myocardial Infarct Reinforcement, Acta Biomater. 149 (2022) 30–39.