Additive Manufacturing Technologies (AMTs) have become an appealing method for the fabrication of 3D cellular scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. To circumvent the use of (meth)acrylate based photopolymers, that suffer from skin irritation and sometimes cytotoxicity, new monomers based on vinyl esters, carbonates and carbamates were prepared. The new materials, giving poly(vinyl alcohol) upon hydrolysis, showed similar results compared to (meth)acrylate references concerning the photoreactivity and mechanical properties, yet being significantly less cytotoxic.
To study the kinetics of hydrolytic degradation, the influence of the different polymerizable groups was investigated by hydrolysis of model compounds under alkaline conditions. We were able to show that the ester moiety of a vinyl ester based polymer could be used to immobilize alkaline phosphatase, therefore they exhibit the ability to immobilize enzymes for selective cell adhesion.
Finally, 3D test structures by AMT techniques could be fabricated and in-vivo testing thereof proofed the biocompatibility of vinyl ester-based scaffolds.