VIII Congreso Internacional de Investigación REDU

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Polímeros Reforzados en Aplicaciones Biomédicas: Un Análisis

Reinforced Polymers in Biomedical Applications: An Analysis

Desarrollo tecnológico y procesos energéticos 

Palabras clave
Electrolitos poliméricos tipo gel, biopolímeros, quitosano, conductividad iónica, caracterización estructural


Reinforced polymers are used in medical applications to replace, enhance, or support an organ or tissue. In this area, traditional materials have inherent drawbacks related to their elevated costs, minimal biocompatibility, degradation of the cellular membrane, generation of reactive species and, unlike reinforced polymers, they can´t be functionalized.
One of the main aspects of the reinforced polymers to consider in biomedical applications is the similarity concerning the extracellular matrix. On the other hand, these materials provide mechanical stability, biocompatibility, and non-toxicity properties. Therefore, reinforcement is essential to achieve the features aforementioned.


This study aims to present how the modifications (crosslinking, coatings or chemical agents, etc.) improve the functionality of polymeric materials by exploring their applications in areas such as tissue regeneration, suture threads, implants, and orthopedic prosthesis. 


The study explores recent medical applications of reinforced polymers through a selection of accurate keywords using the SCOPUS database. For this purpose, the following keywords have been used: “biomedicine”, “polymers”, “prosthesis”, “reinforcement” and “sutures”. Only the studies which have not been included in a published review paper have been considered. Representations of chemical structures of and also, polymerization mechanism were included to relate the structure to the material´s performance in human environment.

Principales Resultados

In tissue engineering, mechanical properties depend on the morphology of the reinforcement. For example, some of the systems included dispersed ceramic particles in bone regeneration scaffolds such as hydroxyapatite to increase compressive strength and make it homogenous. Moreover, photo-crosslinking is one of the techniques used for mechanical stable materials such as crosslinked gel methacrylate (gelMA) and polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PEGDA) for bone and cartilage extracellular matrix applications. Also, coupling agents as phosphonic acid and graphene oxide were used to reduce interfacial tension with inorganic compounds based on oxygen functional groups and π bonds.
For implants, cell proliferation is essential for their viability. In general, the most used biopolymers were polylactic acid, poly ε-caprolactone (PCL), chitosan, as well as synthetic polymers such as polypropylene and high-density polyethylene, because of their affinity. In addition, hemocompatibility determined suitability for the selection of materials with properties that inhibit the action of platelets, as seen in the heparin/carboxymethyl chitosan coating on implants.  Alternatively, blending is highly crucial for the strength and drug release efficacy in the case of suture threads. For instance, the PCL and natural polymer equally proportionated blend enhanced the bioactivity of the suture material. Additionally, blending improved singular properties such as mechanical tensile strength, non-toxicity, biodegradability, wound healing and bacteria inhibition. For hydrogels, the swelling capacity and different strategies of the drug delivery are the main concerns to entail based on tissue type.


This examination showed that charged hydrogels and scaffolds are one of the most viable options for tissue regeneration due to their similarity with the tissues´ extracellular matrix. In the case of implants and prostheses, hemocompatibility was the main factor to avoid thrombus formation. Then, polymeric suture threads' feasibility depends on blending. Therefore, the analysis shows that these materials' synergistic character and adaptability are the solutions for upcoming health issues.