Concomitant control of mechanical properties and degradation in resorbable elastomer-like materials using stereochemistry and stoichiometry for soft tissue engineering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Mary-beth Wandel
  • Craig A Bell
  • Jiayi Yu
  • Nathan Dreger
  • Yen-Hao Hsu
  • Anaïs Pitto-barry
  • Matthew L Becker

Colleges, School and Institutes


Complex biological tissues are highly viscoelastic and dynamic. Efforts to repair or replace cartilage, tendon, muscle, and vasculature using materials that facilitate repair and regeneration have been ongoing for decades. However, materials that possess the mechanical, chemical, and resorption characteristics necessary to recapitulate these tissues have been difficult to mimic using synthetic resorbable biomaterials. Herein, we report a series of resorbable elastomer-like materials that are compositionally identical and possess varying ratios of cis:trans double bonds in the backbone. These features afford concomitant control over the mechanical and surface eroding degradation properties of these materials. We show the materials can be functionalized post-polymerization with bioactive species and enhance cell adhesion. Furthermore, an in vivo rat model demonstrates that degradation and resorption are dependent on succinate stoichiometry in the elastomers and the results show limited inflammation highlighting their potential for use in soft tissue regeneration and drug delivery.

Bibliographic note

Funding Information: We are grateful for financial support from the Biomaterials Division of the National Science Foundation (DMR-1507420), the W. Gerald Austen Endowed Chair in Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering via the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (MLB), ERC Grant (Number 681559) (APD), and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia (APP 1054569) (CAB). The authors would like to thank Gina M. Policastro for monomer synthesis, James A. Wilson for polymer precursor synthesis, Derek Luong for help with in vitro assessments, Dr. Christopher Klonk and Dr. Christopher Premanandan for assistance with histological assessments. Publisher Copyright: © 2021, The Author(s).


Original languageEnglish
Article number446
Number of pages13
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Early online date19 Jan 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jan 2021


  • degradation properties, cis:trans, resorption, concomitant control, stoichiometry