Chapter 21 – Biodegradable polyesters: from monomer to application

Geert-Jan Graulus, Thomas Billiet, Sandra Van Vlierberghe, Hugo Thienpont, Heidi Ottevaere, Peter Dubruel, Vijay Kumar Thakur (Editor), Manju Kumari Thakur (Editor)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Biodegradable polymers form a group of materials that are able to decompose in small, harmless compounds under the influence of biological actors and/or physico-chemical stimuli. In the biomedical and biophotonics research field, biodegradable polyesters have gained a lot of interest due to their added value offered to such applications. After a general introduction to biodegradable polyesters, this review will discuss the most important classes of these macromolecules. For each class, the common synthesis routes as well as the current applications of the respective materials will be tackled. Additionally, the possible degradation mechanisms will be elucidated. Besides the relatively well known biodegradable polyesters (i.e. poly(glycolide), poly(lactide) and poly(ε-caprolactone)), some less known analogues will be included, since the polymerisation of such engineered monomers allows to further broaden the applicability of this class of polymers. This review therefore aims to offer the reader a broad understanding in the synthesis, biodegradation and application of various biodegradable polyesters.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of sustainable polymers: processing and applications
PublisherPan Stanford Publishing
Number of pages50
ISBN (Print)978-981-4613-54-5
Publication statusPublished - 2016




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