Synthetic polymers: Structure and properties. Biodegradable polymers :

imatge grup psep 2The group owns expertise in the design of new polymers, nanocomposites and hybrid materials. The main research aim focuses on biodegradable and biocompatible polymers with potential applications in the field of biomedicine. In this sense, efforts are devoted towards the development of hydrogels, nanomembranes and nanoparticles for the encapsulation and controlled release of drugs as well as biomedical devices such as bioabsorbable fibers, prostheses and temporary scaffolds for tissue regeneration. Different techniques such as electrospinning, electrospraying, phase separation, microemulsion, ultrasonic micromolding, and 3D printing are used.

In order to achieve the objectives, the PSEP group carries out its activity in three main fields: i) study of degradation processes of polymers (hydrolytic, enzymatic or thermal), ii) evaluation of drug release kinetics and iii) study of pharmacological effects. The research laboratory has equipment to allow the preparation and validation of the synthesized materials (IR and NMR spectroscopy and GPC and HPLC chromatography) and subsequently the evaluation of their surface, thermal and mechanical properties.

Polymer properties depend on how macromolecules are organized, and therefore it is crucial to study the distribution between amorphous and crystalline phases. The crystalline structure is investigated by combining X-ray diffraction techniques (powder or fiber) and electron microscopy (single crystal). The structural studies are completed with granted projects that allow a regular access to the infrared spectroscopy and microscopy (BL1-MIRAS) and non-crystalline diffraction (BL11-NCD-SWEET) beamlines at the ALBA Synchrotron in Cerdanyola del Vallès.

Finally, the group is specialized in the use of calorimetric techniques which allow the determination of kinetics and models for crystallization and thermal decomposition. Crystallization under isothermal and dynamic conditions, are also monitored by optical microscopy observations.

The materials usually studied are prepared by condensation and ring opening polymerizations and belong to the polyester family (mainly derivatives of glycolide or lactide, polyhydroxyalkanoates and polyalkylenedicarboxylates), polyesteramides, polyesterureas and polyamides.

Specific services :

  • Polymer synthesis.
  • Analysis and identification of polymers.
  • Evaluation of molecular weights using GPC.
  • Structural characterization.
  • Morphological analysis of polymers (OM, TEM, AFM).
  • Studiy of multiphase systems.
  • Study of crystallization kinetics.
  • Evaluation of mechanical properties.
  • Evalation of thermal properties.
  • Degradability and biocompatibility studies. 

Relevant equipment :

  • Polymer synthesis laboratory.
  • Chromatography laboratory (GPC, HPLC preparative and analytical).
  • FTIR spectrometer with ATR and temperature controller (up to 200 ºC).
  • Transmission Electron Microscope (100 kV).
  • Laboratory for the study of polymer degradation.
  • Laboratory for the study of polymer biocompatibility.
  • Optical microscope with LINKAN thermal controller.
  • Laboratory for the study of thermal properties (DSC and TGA).
  • Equipment for the determination of mechanical properties.
  • Electrospinning equipment for the preparation of fibers and scaffolds.
  • Access to BRCMSE equipment (

                        Microscopi electrònic de transmissió Phillips TECNAI10

                       Transmission electron microscope (FEI TECNAI 10)

Contacts :


Scientific output :

Group website :



PSEP joined forces with the research group e-PLASCOM in order to establish the SGR group, Eb-POLICOM