A novel biodegradable poly(amide-imide) (PAI) with good hydrophilicity was synthesized by incorporation of l
-glycine into the polymer chain. For comparison purposes, a pure PAI containing no l
-glycine was also synthesized with a three-step method. In this study, we evaluated the novel PAI’s thermal stability, hydrophilicity, solubility, biodegradability and ability to support bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell (BMSC) adhesion and growth by comparing with the pure PAI. The hydrophilic tests demonstrated that the novel PAI has possible hydrophilicity at a 38° water contact angle on the molecule surface and is about two times more hydrophilic than the pure PAI. Due to an extra unit of l
-glycine in the novel PAI, the average degradation rate was about 2.4 times greater than that of the pure PAI. The preliminary biocompatibility studies revealed that all the PAIs are cell compatible, but the pure PAI exhibited much lower cell adhesion than the l
-glycine-incorporated novel PAI. The hydrophilic surface of the novel PAI was more suitable for cell adhesion, suggesting that the surface hydrophilicity plays an important role in enhancing cell adhesion and growth.
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