26 October 2022
Green Chemistry for Biomimetic Materials: Synthesis and Electrospinning of High-Molecular-Weight Polycarbonate-Based Nonisocyanate Polyurethanes
Conventional synthesis routes for thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPUs) still require the use of isocyanates and tinbased catalysts, which pose considerable safety and environmental hazards. To reduce both the ecological footprint and human health dangers for nonwoven TPU scaffolds, it is key to establish a green synthesis route, which eliminates the use of these toxic compounds and results in biocompatible TPUs with facile processability. In this study, we developed high-molecular-weight nonisocyanate polyurethanes (NIPUs) through transurethanization of 1,6hexanedicarbamate with polycarbonate diols (PCDLs). Various molecular weights of PCDL were employed to maximize the molecular weight of NIPUs and consequently facilitate their electrospinnability. The synthesized NIPUs were characterized by nuclear magnetic resonance, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, gel permeation chromatography, and differential scanning calorimetry. The highest achieved molecular weight (M w) was 58,600 g/mol. The NIPUs were consecutively electrospun into fibrous scaffolds with fiber diameters in the submicron range, as shown by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). To assess the suitability of electrospun NIPU mats as a possible biomimetic load-bearing pericardial substitute in cardiac tissue engineering, their cytotoxicity was investigated in vitro using primary human fibroblasts and a human epithelial cell line. The bare NIPU mats did not need further biofunctionalization to enhance cell adhesion, as it was not outperformed by collagen-functionalized NIPU mats and hence showed that the NIPU mats possess a great potential for use in biomimetic scaffolds.