Biodegradable polyester elastomers in tissue engineering

Antonio R. Webb, Jian Yang, Guillermo A. Ameer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

163 Scopus citations


Tissue engineering often makes use of biodegradable scaffolds to guide and promote controlled cellular growth and differentiation in order to generate new tissue. There has been significant research regarding the effects of scaffold surface chemistry and degradation rate on tissue formation and the importance of these parameters is widely recognised. Nevertheless, studies describing the role of mechanical stimuli during tissue development and function suggest that the mechanical properties of the scaffold will also be important. In particular, scaffold mechanics should be taken into account if mechanical stimulation, such as cyclic strain, will be incorporated into strategies to grow improved tissues or the target tissue to be replaced has elastomeric properties. Biodegradable polyesters, such as polyglycolide, polylactide and poly(lactide-co-glycolide), although commonly used in tissue engineering, undergo plastic deformation and failure when exposed to long-term cyclic strain, limiting their use in engineering elastomeric tissues. This review will cover the latest advances in the development of biodegradable polyester elastomers for use as scaffolds to engineer tissues, such as heart valves and blood vessels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)801-812
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2004


  • Biodegradable elastomer
  • Blood vessels
  • Caprolactone
  • Citric acid
  • Glycerol
  • Heart valves
  • Polyester
  • Polyhydroxyalkanoates
  • Scaffolds
  • Tissue engineering
  • Trimethylene carbonate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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