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Thiol-ene photopolymerization for efficient curing of vinyl esters



Monomers for radical photopolymerization based on vinyl esters (VEs) have recently been identified as suitable alternatives to (meth)acrylates on account of their low irritancy and cytotoxicity. The drawback of most VEs with abstractable hydrogens is their relatively low reactivity compared with (meth)acrylates. Within this article, we proved by photo-differential scanning calorimetry measurements and real-time Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy that the thiol-ene concept is able to improve the photoreactivity of these VEs to a large extent to a level between those of acrylates and methacrylates. Other VEs have now a reactivity of at least the level of similar acrylates. Mechanical properties as determined by Dynamic Mechanical Analysis and Charpy impact tests showed significant toughening of these materials. Furthermore, we were able to confirm low toxicity of all components by osteoblast cell culture experiments. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem, 2013