Crossing kingdoms: Using decellularized plants as perfusable tissue engineering scaffolds.
Vegetable oils are one of the most important classes of bio-resources for producing polymeric materials. The main components of vegetable oils are triglycerides - esters of glycerol with three fatty acids. Several highly reactive sites including double bonds, allylic positions and the ester groups are present in triglycerides from which a great variety of polymers with different structures and functionalities can be prepared. Vegetable-oil-based polyurethane, polyester, polyether and polyolefin are the four most important classes of polymers, many of which have excellent biocompatibilities and unique properties including shape memory. In view of these characteristics, vegetable-oil-based polymers play an important role in biomaterials and have attracted increasing attention from the polymer community. Here we comprehensively review recent developments in the preparation of vegetable-oil-based polyurethane, polyester, polyether and polyolefin, all of which have potential applications as biomaterials.