Mechanical performance of elastomeric PGS scaffolds under dynamic conditions
In developing novel scaffolds, addressing mechanical properties is essential especially when future applications involve cyclic mechanical loading. Therefore, it is important to understand the behaviour of its physical properties with the evolution of its weight loss. Poly(glycerol sebacate) (PGS) is a promising material for tissue and biomedical engineering applications due to its biocompatibility, biodegradability and mechanical properties. To understand the impact of the hydrolytic degradation on the density, cross-linking degree and porosity; scaffolds with an average porosity of 93 ± 2% were synthetized by salt leaching technique and submitted to hydrolytic degradation. The scaffold showed a Young modulus of 17.3 ± 3.4 kPa, with a negligible energy loss during the mechanical solicitation. Moreover, a weight loss of 28 ± 2% followed by an increase in the swelling ratio of the scaffold was observed after 8 weeks of hydrolytic degradation. When submitted to cyclic mechanical loading-unloading, the PGS scaffolds present an outstanding fatigue behaviour under dry and wet conditions, with a remarkable resilience to the cyclic mechanical solicitation, and even after 1000 mechanical cycles, the construct was able to recover to its initial geometry. Overall, the PGS scaffolds demonstrate promising mechanical properties for biomedical applications, especially under dynamic conditions.