chapter  16
14 Pages

Biodegradable Polymers for Biomedical Applications

WithSamuel J. Huang

Traditionally synthetic polymers were designed and manufactured with long term stability, as they were mostly used as coatings, packagings and structures. Since 1970s biodegradable polymers with controllable lifetime have received attentions as biomedical and environmentally compatible consumer products materials [1-7]. Biodegradable polymers are essential in the design, synthesis and applications of biomedical implants and drug delivery system whereas biodegradable polymers prepared from renewable and sustainable resources can be generally disposed through composting. These polymers share many similar structural units but they are different in manner in how they are degraded. Biomedical materials are used and degraded in comparatively narrow range of environments whereas consumer products materials are used and degraded, by contrast, in board environments. This chapter describes synthetic biodegradable polymers for biomedical applications.