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Biocompatibility of Resorbable Polymers: A Historical Perspective and Framework for the Future

Pappalardo, Daniela, Mathisen, Torbjörn, Finne-Wistrand, Anna
Biomacromolecules 2019 v.20 no.4 pp. 1465-1477
biocompatibility, carbonates, medical equipment, pharmacokinetics, polymers, toxicity, translational medical research
The history of resorbable polymers containing glycolide, lactide, ε-caprolactone and trimethylene carbonate, with a special emphasis being placed on the time frame of the 1960s–1990s is described. Reviewing the history is valuable when looking into the future perspectives regarding how and where these monomers should be used. This story includes scientific evaluations indicating that these polymers are safe to use in medical devices, while the design of the medical device is not considered in this report. In particular, we present the data regarding the tissue response to implanted polymers, as well as the toxicity and pharmacokinetics of their degradation products. In the translation of these polymers from “the bench to the bedside,” various challenges have been faced by surgeons, medical doctors, biologists, material engineers and polymer chemists. This Perspective highlights the visionary role played by the pioneers, addressing the problems that occurred on a case by case basis in translational medicine.