Elastomeric polyamide biomaterials with stereochemically tuneable mechanical properties and shape memory

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Biocompatible polymers are widely used in tissue engineering and biomedical device applications. However, few biomaterials are suitable for use as long-term implants and these examples usually possess limited property scope, can be difficult to process, and are non-responsive to external stimuli. Here, we report a class of easily processable polyamides with stereocontrolled mechanical properties and high-fidelity shape memory behaviour. We synthesise these materials using the efficient nucleophilic thiol-yne reaction between a dipropiolamide and dithiol to yield an α,β - unsaturated carbonyl moiety along the polymer backbone. By rationally exploiting reaction conditions, the alkene stereochemistry is modulated between 35-82% cis content and the stereochemistry dictates the bulk material properties such as tensile strength, modulus, and glass transition. Further access to materials possessing a broader range of thermal and mechanical properties is accomplished by polymerising a variety of commercially available dithiols with the dipropiolamide monomer.


Original languageEnglish
Article number3250
Number of pages11
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Early online date26 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020