Due to their various qualities, such as lightness, chemical and microbial stability, non-degradable polymeric materials are routinely used in a wide range of applications in everyday life. However, due to the growing concern for environmental and waste management issues, bio-based and biodegradable polymers have recently raised great interest. Produced from renewable or petroleum resources, these polymers are hydrolytically or enzymatically degraded. As a consequence, they have numerous advantages, so that they find applications in packaging and biomedical field, such as drug delivery, tissue engineering and as temporary implants. Nevertheless, their main drawbacks are a higher cost in comparison with commodity polymers, and inferior properties. Therefore, researches on bio-based and biodegradable polymers must be continued in order to improve their performances and penetrate new markets.
The aim of this book is to address advances in the field and proposes alternative ways for polymer degradation. Some chapters are dedicated to the synthesis of innovative biodegradable and bio-based polymers, while others focus on their properties improvement. Some examples of biopolymer expectations in biomedical or food applications are also discussed. Finally, biodegradability potential of vinyl polymers is approached.