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  1. Abstract Polymers are ubiquitous to almost every aspect of modern society and their use in medical products is similarly pervasive. Despite this, the diversity in commercial polymers used in medicine is stunningly low. Considerable time and resources have been extended over the years towards the development of new polymeric biomaterials which address unmet needs left by the current generation of medical-grade polymers. Machine learning (ML) presents an unprecedented opportunity in this field to bypass the need for trial-and-error synthesis, thus reducing the time and resources invested into new discoveries critical for advancing medical treatments. Current efforts pioneering applied ML in polymer design have employed combinatorial and high throughput experimental design to address data availability concerns. However, the lack of available and standardized characterization of parameters relevant to medicine, including degradation time and biocompatibility, represents a nearly insurmountable obstacle to ML-aided design of biomaterials. Herein, we identify a gap at the intersection of applied ML and biomedical polymer design, highlight current works at this junction more broadly and provide an outlook on challenges and future directions. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. The objective of this research was to create and appraise biodegradable polymer-based nanofibers containing distinct concentrations of calcium trimetaphosphate (Ca-TMP) for periodontal tissue engineering. Poly(ester urea) (PEU) (5% w/v) solutions containing Ca-TMP (15%, 30%, 45% w/w) were electrospun into fibrous scaffolds. The fibers were evaluated using SEM, EDS, TGA, FTIR, XRD, and mechanical tests. Degradation rate, swelling ratio, and calcium release were also evaluated. Cell/Ca-TMP and cell/scaffold interaction were assessed using stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHEDs) for cell viability, adhesion, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and post-hoc tests were used (α = 0.05). The PEU and PEU/Ca-TMP-based membranes presented fiber diameters at 469 nm and 414–672 nm, respectively. Chemical characterization attested to the Ca-TMP incorporation into the fibers. Adding Ca-TMP led to higher degradation stability and lower dimensional variation than the pure PEU fibers; however, similar mechanical characteristics were observed. Minimal calcium was released after 21 days of incubation in a lipase-enriched solution. Ca-TMP extracts enhanced cell viability and ALP activity, although no differences were found between the scaffold groups. Overall, Ca-TMP was effectively incorporated into the PEU fibers without compromising the morphological properties but did not promote significant cell function. 
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