A polymer is a substance made up of repeated, small and simple chemical units called monomers. A typical polymer may include tens of thousands of monomers. Because of their large size, polymers are classied as macromolecules. The terms “polymer” and “monomer” are derived from Greek words; poly meaning many, mono meaning one, and meros meaning units. The name of the polymer is often based on its repeating units. Some of the repeat structures of widely used biomedical polymers are listed in Table 8.1.
8.1.1 Polymerization Process