3D printable non-isocyanate polyurethanes with tunable material properties

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Green chemistry-based non-isocyanate polyurethanes (NIPU) are synthesized and 3D-printed via rapid, projection photopolymerization into compliant mechanisms of 3D structure with spatially-localized material properties. Trimethylolpropane allyl ether-cyclic carbonate is used to couple the unique properties of two types of reaction chemistry: (1) primary diamine-cyclic carbonate ring-opening conjugation for supplanting conventional isocyanate-polyol reactions in creating urethane groups, with the additional advantage of enabling modular segment interchangeability within the diurethane prepolymers; and (2) thiol-ene (click) conjugation for non-telechelic, low monodispersity, quasi-crystalline-capable, and alternating step-growth co-photopolymerization. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy is used to monitor the functional group transformation in reactions, and to confirm these process-associated molecular products. The extent of how these processes utilize molecular tunability to affect material properties were investigated through measurement-based comparison of the various polymer compositions: frequency-related dynamic mechanical analysis, tension-related elastic-deformation mechanical analysis, and material swelling analysis. Stained murine myoblasts cultured on NIPU slabs were evaluated via fluorescent microscopy for "green-chemistry" affects on cytocompatibility and cell adhesion to assess potential biofouling resistance. 3D multi-material structures with micro-features were printed, thus demonstrating the capability to spatially pattern different NIPU materials in a controlled manner and build compliant mechanisms.


  • John J. Warner
  • Pengrui Wang
  • William M. Mellor
  • Henry H. Hwang
  • Ji Hoon Park
  • Sang Hyun Pyo
  • Shaochen Chen
External organisations
  • University of California, San Diego
  • Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT)
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Polymer Chemistry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4665-4674
Number of pages10
JournalPolymer Chemistry
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch