Benjamin Nottelet

Benjamin Nottelet

Professor, Faculty of pharmacy, University of Montpellier

Benjamin initially graduated as a chemical engineer from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie of Montpellier (ENSCM), France before completing an industrial PhD on degradable polymers from the University of Montpellier (UM) in 2005 in contract with RHODIA in the group of Prof. Vert. He then worked in the Macromolecular Engineering and Architectures group of ENSCM in the group of Prof. Boutevin before joining the Department of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics of Prof. Gurny at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) to develop scaffolds for tissue engineering and drug delivery systems. In 2008, he became Associate Professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy at UM and joined the Department of Artificial Biopolymers of IBMM of Prof. Coudane, where he was appointed Full Professor in 2018.  His research activities focus on the synthesis and modification of degradable polymers for advanced biomedical applications and include hybrid biomaterials, bioactive surfaces, and multifunctional polymers.

Part of his recent work focuses on the synthesis and design of (1) innovative multifunctional degradable polymers for use in the field of drug delivery with smart and stimuli-responsive systems or (2) macromolecular contrast agents in the field of diagnostic allowing for MRI or X-ray imaging in of medical devices, or of theranostic approaches.

Another part of his research focuses on (3) hybrid biomaterials including peptide-based polymers or nanocomposites,  and degradable elastomers for tissue engineering applications, as well as the development of  (4) surface modification strategies to yield active surfaces in the frame of antibacterial and of imaging applications.

Benjamin is member of the editorial board of Multifunctional Materials and is co-author of over 70 papers and 3 patents.


Orcid n°: 0000-0002-8577-9273

5  recent papers :

A. El Jundi, M. Morille, N. Bettache, A. Bethry, J. Berthelot, J. Salvador, S. Hunger, Y. Bakkour, E. Belamie, B. Nottelet. Degradable double hydrophilic block copolymers and tripartite polyionic complex micelles thereof for small interfering ribonucleic acids (siRNA) delivery J. Colloid. Interface Sci. 2020,580, 449.

Girard E., Chagnon G., Broisat A., Dejean S., Soubies A., Gil H., Sharkawi T., Boucher F. Roth G.S., Trilling B., Nottelet B.From in vitro evaluation to human post-mortem pre-validation of a radiopaque and resorbable internal biliary stent for liver transplantation applications. Acta Biomater. 2020, 106, 66.

Hussein Awada, Assala Al Samad, Danielle Laurencin,* Ryan Gilbert, Xavier Dumail, Ayman El Jundi, Audrey Bethry, Rebecca Pomrenke, Christopher Johnson, Laurent Lemaire, Florence Franconi, Gautier Félix, Joulia Larionova, Yannick Guari, Benjamin Nottelet*, Controlled Anchoring of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles on Polymeric Nanofibers: Easy Access to Core@Shell Organic−Inorganic Nanocomposites for Magneto-Scaffolds ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2019, 11, 9519.

Anita Schulz, Laurent Lemaire, Audrey Bethry, Lucie Allègre, Maïda Cardoso, Florence Bernex, Florence Franconi, Christophe Goze-Bac, Hubert Taillades, Xavier Garric, Benjamin Nottelet. UV-triggered photoinsertion of contrast agent onto polymer surface for in vivo MRI-visible medical devices. Multifunctional Materials 2019, 2, 0240012019.

Louis Gangolphe, Stéphane Déjean, Audrey Bethry, Sylvie Hunger, Coline Pinese, Xavier Garric, Frédéric Bossard, Benjamin Nottelet. Degradable multi(aryl-azide) star copolymer as universal photo-crosslinker for elastomeric scaffolds Mat. Today Chem. 2019, 12, 209.

Dynamic and degradable imine-based networks for 3D-printing of soft elastomeric self-healable devices

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Adv. Mater. Interf. 2300066 (2023)

Mathilde Grosjean, Lucien Guth, Stéphane Déjean, Cédric Paniagua, Benjamin Nottelet


Self-healable degradable networks encounter a growing popularity for biomedical applications due to their ability to recover their properties after damage. Self-healable hydrogels dominate with applications in tissue engineering and drug delivery. On the opposite and despite their potential for medical devices, self-healable elastomers remain scarce, especially if they must be compatible with fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D-printing and self-heal at physiological temperature under hydrated state. These unmet challenges are addressed in this work with degradable elastomeric networks based on dynamic imine bonds prepared from multi(aldehyde) and multi(amine) hydrophobic PEG-PLA star-shaped copolymers. The star topology of these copolymers is the key feature of our strategy as it allows the design of multifunctional high molecular weights pre-polymers that ensure an efficient dynamic chemical crosslinking while guarantying access to the FDM process generally restricted to thermoplastics. The proposed elastomeric networks combine high self-healing efficiencies at 37°C (> 97 %) with mechanical properties compatible with soft tissues and a linear degradation profile. Their FDM processing to produce self-healable tubular devices is demonstrated. Finally, their cytocompatibility is assessed and confirm their potential as biodegradable elastomeric networks to be used for the design of self-healable 3D-printed devices for biomedical applications.

Dynamic PEG−PLA/Hydroxyurethane Networks Based on Imine Bonds as Reprocessable Elastomeric Biomaterials

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Biomacromolecules 24,3472–3483 (2023)

Mathilde Grosjean, Dimitri Berne, Sylvain Caillol, Vincent Ladmiral, Benjamin Nottelet


The development of dynamic covalent chemistry opens the way to the design of materials able to be reprocessed by an internal exchange reaction under thermal stimulus. Imine exchange differs from other exchange reactions by its relatively low temperature of activation. In this study, amine-functionalized star-shaped PEG–PLA and an aldehyde-functionalized hydroxyurethane modifier were combined to produce PEG–PLA/hydroxyurethane networks incorporating imine bonds. The thermal and mechanical properties of these new materials were evaluated as a function of the initial ratio of amine/aldehyde used during synthesis. Rheological analyses highlighted the dynamic behavior of these vitrimers at moderate temperature (60–85 °C) and provided the flow activation energies. Additionally, the reprocessability of these PEG–PLA/hydroxyurethane vitrimers was assessed by comparing the material properties before reshaping and after three reprocessing cycles (1 ton, 1 h, 70 °C). Hence, these materials can easily be designed to satisfy a specific medical application without properties loss. This work opens the way to the development of a new generation of dynamic materials combining degradable PEG–PLA copolymers and hydroxyurethane modifiers, which could find applications in the shape of medical devices on-demand under mild conditions.

Degradable Self-healable Networks for Use in Biomedical Applications

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Adv. Funct. Mater 2205315 (2023)

Mathilde Grosjean, Louis Gangolphe, Benjamin Nottelet


Among biomaterials, 3D networks with capacities to absorb and retain large quantities of water (hydrogels) or withstand significant deformation and stress while recovering their initial structures at rest (elastomers) are largely used in biomedical applications. However, when damaged, they cannot recover their initial structures and properties. To overcome this limitation and satisfy the requirements of the biomedical field, self-healable hydrogels and

elastomers designed using (bio)degradable or bioeliminable polymer chains have been developed and are becoming increasingly popular. This review presents the latest advances in the field of self-healing degradable/bioeliminable networks designed for use in health applications. The strategies used to develop such networks based on reversible covalent or physical cross-linking or their combination via dual/multi-cross-linking approaches are analyzed in detail. The key parameters of these hydrogels and elastomers, such as mechanical properties, repair and degradation times, and healing efficiencies, are critically considered in terms of their suitabilities in biomedical applications. Finally, their current and prospective uses as biomaterials in the fields of tissue engineering, drug/cell delivery, and medical devices are presented, followed by the remaining challenges faced to ensure the further success of degradable self-healable networks.

Mechanical Evaluation of Hydrogel–Elastomer Interfaces Generated through Thiol–Ene Coupling

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ACS Appl. Polym. Mater 5, 1364-1373 (2023)

Khai D. Q. Nguyen, Stéphane Dejean, Benjamin Nottelet, Julien E. Gautrot


The formation of hybrid hydrogel–elastomer scaffolds is an attractive strategy for the formation of tissue engineering constructs and microfabricated platforms for advanced in vitro models. The emergence of thiol–ene coupling, in particular radical-based, for the engineering of cell-instructive hydrogels and the design of elastomers raises the possibility of mechanically integrating these structures without relying on the introduction of additional chemical moieties. However, the bonding of hydrogels (thiol–ene radical or more classic acrylate/methacrylate radical-based) to thiol–ene elastomers and alkene-functional elastomers has not been characterized in detail. In this study, we quantify the tensile mechanical properties of hybrid hydrogel samples formed of two elastomers bonded to a hydrogel material. We examine the impact of radical thiol–ene coupling on the crosslinking of both elastomers (silicone or polyesters) and hydrogels (based on thiol–ene crosslinking or diacrylate chemistry) and on the mechanics and failure behavior of the resulting hybrids. This study demonstrates the strong bonding of thiol–ene hydrogels to alkene-presenting elastomers with a range of chemistries, including silicones and polyesters. Overall, thiol–ene coupling appears as an attractive tool for the generation of strong, mechanically integrated, hybrid structures for a broad range of applications.

Release kinetics of dexamethasone phosphate from porous chitosan: comparison of aerogels and cryogels

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Biomacromolecules XXX, XXX (2023)

Coraline Chartier, Sytze Buwalda, Blessing C. Ilochonwu, Hélène Van Den Berghe, Audrey Bethry, Tina Vermonden, Martina Viola, Benjamin Nottelet, Tatiana Budtova


Porous chitosan materials as potential wound dressings were prepared via dissolution of chitosan, nonsolvent-induced phase separation in NaOH−water, formation of a hydrogel, and either freeze-drying or supercritical CO2 drying, leading to “cryogels” and “aerogels”, respectively. The hydrophilic drug dexamethasone sodium phosphate was loaded by impregnation of chitosan hydrogel, and the release from cryogel or aerogel was monitored at two pH values relevant for wound healing. The goal was to compare the drug-loading efficiency and release behavior from aerogels and cryogels as a function of the drying method, the materials’ physicochemical properties (density, morphology), and the pH of the release medium. Cryogels exhibited a higher loading efficiency and a faster release in comparison with aerogels. A higher sample density and lower pH value of the release medium resulted in a more sustained release in the case of aerogels. In contrast, for cryogels, the density and pH of the release medium did not noticeably influence release kinetics. The Korsmeyer−Peppas model showed the best fit to describe the release from the porous chitosan materials into the different media.

Dual-crosslinked degradable elastomeric networks with self-healing properties: bringing multi(catechol) star block copolymers into play

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ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 15, 2077-2091 (2023)

Mathilde Grosjean, Louis Gangolphe, Stéphane Dejean, Sylvie Hunger, Audrey Bethry, Frédéric Bossard, Xavier Garric, Benjamin Nottelet


In the biomedical field, degradable chemically crosslinked elastomers are interesting materials for tissue engineering applications since they present rubber-like mechanical properties matching with those of soft tissues and are able to preserve their 3D structure over degradation. Their use in biomedical applications requires surgical handling and implantation that can be source of accidental damages responsible for loss of properties. Therefore, their inability to be healed after damage or breaking can be a major drawback. In this work, biodegradable dual-crosslinked networks that exhibit fast and efficient self-healing properties at 37 °C are designed. Self-healable dual-crosslinked (chemically and physically) elastomeric networks are prepared from two methods. The first approach is based on the mix of hydrophobic PEG-PLA star-shaped copolymers functionalized either with catechol or methacrylate moieties. In the second approach, hydrophobic bifunctional PEG-PLA star-shaped copolymers with both catechol and methacrylate on their structure are used. In the two systems the supramolecular network is responsible for the self-healing properties thanks to the dynamic dissociation/re-association of the numerous hydrogen bonds between the catechol groups, whereas the covalent network ensures mechanical properties similar to pure methacrylate networks. The self-healable materials display mechanical properties that are compatible with soft tissues and exhibit linear degradation because of the chemical crosslinks. The performances of networks from mix copolymers vs. bifunctional copolymers are compared and demonstrate the superiority of the later. The biocompatibility of the materials is also demonstrated and confirm the potential of these degradable self-healable elastomeric networks to be used for the design of temporary medical devices.

Degradable Bioadhesives Based on Star PEG–PLA Hydrogels for Soft Tissue Applications

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Biomacromolecules XX, XX (2022)

Mathilde Grosjean, Edouard Girard, Audrey Bethry, Grégory Chagnon, Xavier Garric, Benjamin Nottelet


Tissue adhesives are interesting materials for wound treatment as they present numerous advantages compared to traditional methods of wound closure such as suturing and stapling. Nowadays, fibrin and cyanoacrylate glues are the most widespread commercial biomedical adhesives, but these systems display some drawbacks. In this study, degradable bioadhesives based on PEG–PLA star-shaped hydrogels are designed. Acrylate, methacrylate, and catechol functional copolymers are synthesized and used to design various bioadhesive hydrogels. Various types of mechanisms responsible for adhesion are investigated (physical entanglement and interlocking, physical interactions, chemical bonds), and the adhesive properties of the different systems are first studied on a gelatin model and compared to fibrin and cyanoacrylate references. Hydrogels based on acrylate and methacrylate reached adhesion strength close to cyanoacrylate (332 kPa) with values of 343 and 293 kPa, respectively, whereas catechol systems displayed higher values (11 and 19 kPa) compared to fibrin glue (7 kPa). Bioadhesives were then tested on mouse skin and human cadaveric colonic tissue. The results on mouse skin confirmed the potential of acrylate and methacrylate gels with adhesion strength close to commercial glues (15–30 kPa), whereas none of the systems led to high levels of adhesion on the colon. These data confirm that we designed a family of degradable bioadhesives with adhesion strength in the range of commercial glues. The low level of cytotoxicity of these materials is also demonstrated and confirm the potential of these hydrogels to be used as surgical adhesives.

Poly(ε-caprolactone)-Based Graft Copolymers: Synthesis Methods and Applications in the Biomedical Field: A Review

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Molecules 27, 7339 (2022)

 Jean Coudane, Benjamin Nottelet, Julia Mouton, Xavier Garric, Hélène Van Den Berghe


Synthetic biopolymers are attractive alternatives to biobased polymers, especially because they rarely induce an immune response in a living organism. Poly ε-caprolactone (PCL) is a well-known synthetic aliphatic polyester universally used for many applications, including biomedical and environmental ones. Unlike poly lactic acid (PLA), PCL has no chiral atoms, and it is impossible to play with the stereochemistry to modify its properties. To expand the range of applications for PCL, researchers have investigated the possibility of grafting polymer chains onto the PCL backbone. As the PCL backbone is not functionalized, it must be first functionalized in order to be able to graft reactive groups onto the PCL chain. These reactive groups will then allow the grafting of new reagents and especially new polymer chains. Grafting of polymer chains is mainly carried out by “grafting from” or “grafting onto” methods. In this review we describe the main structures of the graft copolymers produced, their different synthesis methods, and their main characteristics and applications, mainly in the biomedical field.

Bioresorbable bilayered elastomers/hydrogels constructs with gradual interfaces for the fast actuation of self-rolling tubes

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ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 14, 43719–43731 (2022)

Mathilde Grosjean, Sidzigui Ouedraogo, Stéphane Déjean, Xavier Garric, Valeriy Luchnikov, Arnaud Ponche, Noëlle Mathieu, Karine Anselme, Benjamin Nottelet

Degradable fast self-rolling biomaterials


In the biomedical field, self-rolling materials provide interesting opportunities to develop medical devices suitable for drug or cell encapsulation. However, to date a major limitation for medical applications is the use of non-biodegradable and non-biocompatible polymers that are often reported for such applications, or the slow actuation witnessed with degradable systems. In this work, biodegradable self-rolling tubes that exhibit a spontaneous and rapid actuation when immersed in water are designed. Photo-crosslinkable hydrophilic and hydrophobic PEG-PLA star-shaped copolymers are prepared and used to prepare bilayered constructs. Thanks to the discrete mechanical and swelling properties of each layer and the cohesive/gradual nature of the interface, the resulting bilayered films are able to self-roll in water in less than 30 seconds depending on the nature of the hydrophilic layer and on the shape of the sample. The cytocompatibility and degradability of the materials are demonstrated and confirm the potential of such self-rolling resorbable biomaterials in the field of temporary medical devices.

Polyester-polydopamine copolymers for intravitreal drug delivery: role of polydopamine drug-binding properties on extending drug release

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Biomacromolecules 23, 4388-4400, (2022)

Floriane Bahuon, Vincent Darcos, Sulabh Patel, Zana Marin, Jean Coudane, Grégoire Schwach, and Benjamin Nottelet


PCL-g-PDA drug binding copolymer


This work reports on a novel polyester copolymer containing poly(dopamine), a synthetic analogue of natural melanin, evaluated in sustained-release drug delivery system for ocular intravitreal administration of drugs. More specifically, a graft copolymer of poly(ε-caprolactone)-graft-poly(dopamine) (PCL-g-PDA) has been synthesized, and was shown to further extend the drug release benefits of state-of-the-art biodegradable intravitreal implants made of poly(lactide) and poly(lactide-co-glycolide). The innovative biomaterial combines the documented drug-binding properties of melanin naturally present in the eye, with the established ocular tolerability and biodegradation of polyester implants. The PCL-g-PDA copolymer was obtained by a two-step modification of PCL with a final PDA content around 2-3 wt.%, and was fully characterised by SEC, NMR, and DOSY NMR. The thermoplastic nature of PCL-g-PDA allowed its simple processing by hot-melt compression moulding to prepare small implants. The properties of unmodified PCL and PCL-g-PDA implants were studied and compared in terms of thermal properties (DSC), thermal stability (TGA), degradability and in vitro cytotoxicity. PCL and PCL-g-PDA implants exhibited similar degradation properties in vitro and were both stable under physiological conditions over 110 days. Likewise, both materials were non-cytotoxic towards L929 and ARPE-19 cells. The drug-loading and in vitro release properties of the new materials were investigated with dexamethasone (DEX) and ciprofloxacin hydrochloride (CIP) as representative drugs featuring low and high melanin binding affinities, respectively. In comparison to unmodified PCL, PCL-g-PDA implants showed significant extension of drug release most likely because of specific drug-catechol interaction with the PDA moieties of the copolymer. The present study confirms the advantages of designing PDA-containing polyesters as a class of biodegradable and biocompatible thermoplastics that can modulate and remarkably extend drug release kinetics thanks to their unique drug binding properties, especially, but not limited to, for ocular applications.

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