Backbone-Degradable Polymers Prepared by Chemical Vapor Deposition, Fan Xie1,2,†, Dr. Xiaopei Deng1,†, Dr. Domenic Kratzer3, Kenneth C. K. Cheng1, Dr. Christian Friedmann3, Dr. Shuhua Qi2, Dr. Luis Solorio1 andProf. Dr. Joerg Lahann1,3,*， Angewandte Chemie International Edition (2016). DOI: 10.1002/anie.201609307
Polymers prepared by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) polymerization have found broad acceptance in research and industrial applications. However, their intrinsic lack of degradability has limited wider applicability in many areas, such as biomedical devices or regenerative medicine. Herein, we demonstrate, for the first time, a backbone-degradable polymer directly synthesized via CVD. The CVD co-polymerization of [2.2]para-cyclophanes with cyclic ketene acetals, specifically 5,6-benzo-2-methylene-1,3-dioxepane (BMDO), results in well-defined, hydrolytically degradable polymers, as confirmed by FTIR spectroscopy and ellipsometry. The degradation kinetics are dependent on the ratio of ketene acetals to [2.2]para-cyclophanes as well as the hydrophobicity of the films. These coatings address an unmet need in the biomedical polymer field, as they provide access to a wide range of reactive polymer coatings that combine interfacial multifunctionality with degradability.