Title

Synthesis of novel hydrophilic poly(ester-carbonates) containing pendent carboxylic acid groups

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2001

Department

Polymers and High Performance Materials

Abstract

A functional cyclic carbonate, 5-methyl-5-benzyloxycarbonyl-1,3-dioxan-2-one (MBC), was utilized in the synthesis of novel poly(ester-carbonates) containing pendent carboxylic acid groups. Copolymers with epsilon -caprolactone (CL) and L-lactide (LLA) were synthesized by ring-opening polymerization (ROP) using either an Al-alkoxide (solution) or Sn(Oct)(2)-alcohol (bulk) initiating system. Analysis of the copolymers revealed a random distribution of the comonomer units along the polymer chain. The copolymers exhibited amorphous character at low MBC incorporations despite the crystalline nature of homo-poly(epsilon -caprolactone) (PCL) and homo-poly(L-lactide) (PLLA). Removal of the benzyl protecting group by hydrogenolysis yielded carboxylic acid-functional copolymers. It was observed that the benzyl ester group of MBC became susceptible to transesterification reactions at ROP temperatures greater than or equal to 1350 degreesC, and the corresponding copolymers were insoluble in both organic and aqueous solvents. It is proposed that carboxylic acid functionality will allow an improvement in the biodegradability and physical properties of PCL and PLLA and possibly improve their utility for biomedical applications such as time-released drug delivery. Moreover, polymerization of comonomers at high temperature may present a pathway toward the synthesis of new biodegradable hydrogels.

Publication Title

JOURNAL OF MACROMOLECULAR SCIENCE-PURE AND APPLIED CHEMISTRY

Volume

38

Issue

9

First Page

897

Last Page

917