Polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) suppresses enzymatic degradation of PCL-based polyurethanes

Xinzhu Gu, Jian Wu, Patrick T. Mather

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


In this Article, we studied the enzymatic hydrolytic biodegradation behavior of a novel multiblock thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) system, which incorporates polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) into linear biodegradable thermoplastic polyurethanes containing poly(ε-caproactone) (PCL) and polyethylene glycol (PEG) blocks. The biodegradation behavior of POSS-PCL-PEG TPUs was characterized by proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy ( 1H NMR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), tensile tests, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and wavelength dispersive X-ray spectrometry (WDS) after enduring 22-day accelerated enzymatic hydrolytic degradation tests. POSS incorporation significantly suppressed in vitro enzymatic hydrolytic degradation of PCL-PEG-based multiblock TPUs by a surface passivation mechanism. WDS observations revealed that the covalently bonded POSS moieties developed a near-continuous and robust POSS-layer after initial degradation, which prevented ester bonds of PCL from enzymatic attack, thereby inhibiting further degradation. These striking results provide a new strategy to fabricate the polyester-based biostable thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs) of potential use in long-term surgical implants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3066-3077
Number of pages12
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 8 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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