Magnesium Catalyzed Polymerization of End Functionalized Poly(propylene maleate) and Poly(propylene fumarate) for 3D Printing of Bioactive Scaffolds

The ring-opening copolymerization of maleic anhydride and propylene oxide, using a functionalized primary alcohol initiator and magnesium 2,6-di-tert-butyl phenoxide as a catalyst, was investigated in order to produce high end-group fidelity poly­(propylene maleate). Subsequent isomerization of the material into 3D printable poly­(propylene fumarate) was utilized to produce thin films and scaffolds possessing groups that can be modified with bioactive groups postpolymerization and postprinting. The surface concentration of these modifiable groups was determined to be 30.0 ± 3.3 pmol·cm–2, and copper-mediated azide–alkyne cycloaddition was used to attach a small molecule dye and cell adhesive GRGDS peptides to the surface as a model system. The films were then studied for cytotoxicity and found to have high cell viability before and after surface modification.