Design and development of low cost polyurethane biopolymer
A. C. W. Tan
B. J. Polo-Cambronell
G. E. Ramirez-Caballero
V. G. Baldovino-Medrano
D. M. Kalaskar
UCL Division of Medicine, University College London, London, United Kingdom
GIP Grupo de Investigaci
on en Polímeros, UIS Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia
UCL Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science, Division of Surgery & Interventional Science, University College London, London, United Kingdom
Laboratorio de Ciencias de Superficies (#SurfSciSchoolCo), Universidad Industrial de Santander, Piedecuesta (Santander) 681011, Colombia
Dr. Deepak M Kalaskar, Lecturer in
Nanotechnology and Biomedical
Engineering, Institute of Orthopaedics and
Musculoskeletal Science, Division of
Surgery and Interventional Science,
University College London, Royal National
Orthopaedic Hospital, Brockley Hill,
Stanmore, Middlesex HA7 4LP, United
Santander Universities (Research Catalyst
Award); Fondo Nacional De Financiamiento
Para La Ciencia, Grant Number: Project
9450; La Tecnología Y La Innovaci
e De Caldas, Grant number:
Project 1322; and Vicerrectoría de
Investigaciones UIS, Grant Number: Project
In the current study, we present the synthesis of novel low cost bio-polyurethane compositions
with variable mechanical properties based on castor oil and glycerol for biomedical applications. A
detailed investigation of the physicochemical properties of the polymer was carried out by using
mechanical testing, ATR-FTIR, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Polymers were also
tested in short term in-vitro cell culture with human mesenchymal stem cells to evaluate their bio-
compatibility for potential applications as biomaterial. FTIR analysis confirmed the synthesis of
castor oil and glycerol based PU polymers. FTIR also showed that the addition of glycerol as co-
polyol increases crosslinking within the polymer backbone hence enhancing the bulk mechanical
properties of the polymer. XPS data showed that glycerol incorporation leads to an enrichment of
oxidized organic species on the surface of the polymers. Preliminary investigation into in vitro bio-
compatibility showed that serum protein adsorption can be controlled by varying the glycerol
content with polymer backbone. An alamar blue assay looking at the metabolic activity of the cells
indicated that castor oil based PU and its variants containing glycerol are non-toxic to the cells.
This study opens an avenue for using low cost bio-polyurethane based on castor oil and glycerol
for biomedical applications.
biomaterials, biopolymer, castor oil, glycerol, molecular structure analysis, polyurethane
Polyurethanes (PU) are the most common synthetic polymers used for
various medical devices and implants.
They are used in the produc-
tion of medical devices and implants such as catheters, heart valves,
cardiovascular devices, and artificial organs.
This is possible because
of their excellent structural properties, elasticity, fatigue resistance,
compliance and tolerance when used in the body.
In addition, they
are the most blood and biocompatible polymers available today.
Structurally, polyurethanes are formed by the chemical reaction of pol-
yols and diisocyanate, which results in a copolymer comprising soft and
hard segments. Urethane and urea linkages that associate by hydrogen
bonds are polyurethane hard segments, whereas high mobile polyols
chains are polyurethane soft segments.
Usually, the polyols used for
the process are hydroxyl or amine terminated polyesters, polyethers,
polycarbonates, and in some cases polyolefin or hydrocarbons.
of these polyols are products from the petrochemical industry. The high
demand for petrochemical-based raw materials has led to their steadily
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2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Received: 14 June 2017
Revised: 28 September 2017
Accepted: 17 October 2017