Supramolecular motifs in elastomeric biomaterials facilitate the modular incorporation of additives with corresponding motifs. The influence of the elastomeric supramolecular base polymer on the presentation of additives has been sparsely examined, limiting the knowledge of transferability of effective functionalization between polymers. Here it was investigated if the polymer backbone and the additive influence biomaterial modification in two different types of hydrogen bonding supramolecular systems, that is, based on ureido-pyrimidinone or bis-urea units. Two different cell-adhesive additives, that is, catechol or cyclic RGD, were incorporated into different elastomeric polymers, that is, polycaprolactone, priplast or polycarbonate. The additive effectiveness was evaluated with three different cell types. AFM measurements showed modest alterations on nano-scale assembly in ureido-pyrimidinone materials modified with additives. On the contrary, additive addition was highly intrusive in bis-urea materials. Detailed cell adhesive studies revealed additive effectiveness varied between base polymers and the supramolecular platform, with bis-urea materials more potently affecting cell behavior. This research highlights that additive transposition might not always be as evident. Therefore, additive effectiveness requires re-evaluation in supramolecular biomaterials when altering the polymer backbone to suit the biomaterial application.
Full Access Link: Journal of Polymer Science