The present project focuses on the design of controlled and structurally stable model polymer blends having a co-continuous phase morphology as a starting material for the production of porous materials after a selective extraction of one of the two blend phases using appropriate solvents. As the porosity of these materials can be varied within 25-85 volume % by adjusting the blend composition and the pore size fine-tuned within 5-500µm by compatibilization and / or phase coarsening upon thermal annealing of uncompatible blends, this new generation of porous materials can be outstanding candidates for the production of scaffolds for tissue engineering in biomedical applications.
This investigation is of prime industrial importance as a support research for the design and development of scaffolds for tissue-regeneration starting from co-continuous polymer blends. Another fundamental and technological question, which will be addressed in the present project is the ability of forming films and down to which thickness from co-continuous blends via film blowing extrusion. No information is available in the open literature on the subject. The achievement of this objective will open a new area of applications of these porous materials as micro- and macroporous film s after the extraction of one the two blend phases.
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