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Random l-lactide/ε-caprolactone copolymers as drug delivery materials

Abstract

In this work, the degradation phenomena and the release kinetics of an active molecule from matrices systems made of random copolymers of ε-caprolactone (CL) and l-lactide (LA) were investigated by exposing the matrices, shaped as thin films, to simulated physiological environments. α-tocopherol was incorporated into the films as hydrophobic model molecule with the aim to investigate both its release pattern and its effect on erosion phenomena. In particular, the films have been kept at controlled conditions (temperature, stirring, pH) and they were characterized in terms of weight loss, water uptake, thermal properties, and change of number average molecular weight, in order to explain the molecule release kinetics and the degradation pathways of the copolymers. The main findings of this study are that the erosion phenomena take place significantly only when a critical value of the molecular mass was obtained in the sample; that the presence of the drug stabilizes the matrix and it decreases the rate of molecular mass decrease; and that crystallinity, reducing the chain mobility, causes lower erosion rates.

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Notes

  1. Transesterification is the process of exchanging the alkoxy groups between polymer chains. There are two types of transesterification reaction: intramolecular leading to formation of cyclic oligomers and intermolecular leading to an increase in the range of chain lengths.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Ministero dell’Istruzione dell’Università e della Ricerca-MIUR (contract grant number PRIN 2010/2011-20109PLMH2). Annalisa Dalmoro’s research grant was supported by “Strategie Terapeutiche Innovative”—STRAIN, POR Campania FSE 2007/2013. The Authors thank dr Ilaria D’Auria for the GPC measurements.

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Correspondence to Anna Angela Barba.

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Dalmoro, A., Barba, A.A., Lamberti, M. et al. Random l-lactide/ε-caprolactone copolymers as drug delivery materials. J Mater Sci 49, 5986–5996 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10853-014-8317-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10853-014-8317-x

Keywords

  • Drug Release
  • Water Uptake
  • Block Copolymer
  • Ring Opening Polymerization
  • Melting Enthalpy