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Synthesis and degradation behaviors of PEO/PL/PEO tri-block copolymers

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Poly(ethylene oxide)/polylatide/poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO/PL/PEO) tri-block copolymers, which each block is connected by ester bond, were synthesized by coupling reaction of PL with PEO in the presence of pyridine. PL/PEO/PL tri-block copolymer was synthesized by ring opening polymerization of L-lactide initiated by PEO in the presence of stannous octoate. Degradation behavior of the copolymers was investigated in a pH 7.4 phosphate buffer saline (PBS) at 37±1°C. Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and1H-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) were used to monitor the change of mass loss, molecular weight and composition of copolymers. In hydrolytic degradation, the PEO/PL/PEO tri-block copolymer with high PEO contents affected the increase of its mass loss, and resulted in the decrease of its molecular weight as well as PEO composition. However, when PL/PEO/PL and PEO/PL/PEO tri-block copolymers had similar PEO contents, PEO/PL/PEO decreased faster in molecular weight and PEO composition than PL/PEO/PL.

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Dedicated to Dr. Un Young Kim on the occasion of his retirement.

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Lee, S., Kim, S.H., Kim, Y.H. et al. Synthesis and degradation behaviors of PEO/PL/PEO tri-block copolymers. Macromol. Res. 10, 85–90 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03218295

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  • polylactide
  • poly(ethylene oxide)
  • biodegradable polymer
  • tri-block copolymer
  • hydrolytic degradation