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International Journal of Biomaterials
Volume 2016, Article ID 6273414, 10 pages
Research Article

Developing a Suitable Model for Water Uptake for Biodegradable Polymers Using Small Training Sets

1Department of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, Research Center for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials “CIEN-UC”, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Vicuña Mackenna 2860, Macul, 7820436 Santiago, Chile
2Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08854-8087, USA
3New Jersey Center for Biomaterials, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 145 Bevier Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA

Received 21 December 2015; Accepted 3 April 2016

Academic Editor: Rosalind Labow

Copyright © 2016 Loreto M. Valenzuela et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Prediction of the dynamic properties of water uptake across polymer libraries can accelerate polymer selection for a specific application. We first built semiempirical models using Artificial Neural Networks and all water uptake data, as individual input. These models give very good correlations ( for test set) but very low accuracy on cross-validation sets (less than 19% of experimental points within experimental error). Instead, using consolidated parameters like equilibrium water uptake a good model is obtained ( for test set), with accurate predictions for 50% of tested polymers. The semiempirical model was applied to the 56-polymer library of L-tyrosine-derived polyarylates, identifying groups of polymers that are likely to satisfy design criteria for water uptake. This research demonstrates that a surrogate modeling effort can reduce the number of polymers that must be synthesized and characterized to identify an appropriate polymer that meets certain performance criteria.