Degradable polymers are used widely in medical devices and regenerative medicine. Maturing capabilities in additive manufacturing coupled with advances in orthogonal chemical functionalization methodologies have enabled a rapid evolution of defect specific form factors and strategies for designing and creating bioactive scaffolds. However, these defect specific scaffolds, especially when utilizing degradable polymers as the base material, present challenges that are distinct and unique from other classes of materials. We will highlight our thought process for materials design that includes the complete pathway starting from material selection, choosing the correct fabrication method, and considering the requirements for tissue specific applications of the scaffold.
Matthew L. Becker is the Hugo L. Blomquist Distinguished Professor at Duke University with appointments in the Departments of Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Biomedical Engineering and Orthopaedic Surgery. He received his PhD in organic chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis in 2003 as an NIH Chemistry-Biology Interface Fellow. He was an NRC Postdoctoral Fellow and then staff member in the Polymers Division at NIST from 2003-2009. From 2009-2019 he was the W. Gerald Austen Endowed Chair in Polymer Science and Engineering at the University of Akron. Dr. Becker was awarded the Carl S. Marvel Award in Creative Polymer Chemistry in 2018 and he is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Medical and Biomedical Engineering and the Royal Society of Chemistry. His research team is focused on developing novel building blocks and polymeric materials for addressing unmet needs at the intersection of chemistry, materials and medicine.