Branched polyesters based on poly[vinyl-3-(dialkylamino)alkylcarbamate-co-vinyl acetate-co-vinyl alcohol]-graft-poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide): Effects of polymer structure on in vitro degradation behaviour
Branched polyesters of the general structure poly[vinyl-3-(dialkylamino)alkylcarbamate-co-vinyl acetate-co-vinyl alcohol]-graft-poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) have shown potential for nano- and micro-scale drug delivery systems. Here the in vitro degradation behaviour with a special emphasis on elucidating structure–property relationships is reported. Effects of type and degree of amine substitution as well as PLGA side chain length were considered. In a first set of experiment, the weight loss of solvent cast films of defined size from 19 polymers was measured as a function of incubation in phosphate buffer (pH 7.4) at 37 °C over a time of 21 days. A second study was initiated focusing on three selected polymers in a similar set up, but with additional observation of pH influences (pH 2 and pH 9) and determination of water uptake (swelling) and molecular weights during degradation. Scanning electron micrographs have been recorded at selected time points to characterize film specimens morphologically after degradation. Our investigations revealed the potential to influence the degradation of this polymer class by the degree of amine substitution, higher degrees leading to faster erosion. The erosion rate could further be influenced by the type of amine functionality, DEAPA-modified polyesters degrading as fast as or slightly faster than DMAPA-modified polyesters and these degrading faster than DEAEA–PVA-g-PLGA. As a third option the degradation rate could be modified by the PLGA side chain length, shorter side chains leading to faster erosion. As compared to linear PLGA, remarkably shorter degradation times could be achieved by grafting short PLGA side chains onto amine-modified PVA backbones. Erosion times from less than 5 days to more than 4 weeks could be realized by selecting the type of amine functionality, the degree of amine substitution and the PLGA side chain length at the time of synthesis. In addition, the pathway of hydrolytic degradation can be tuned to be either mainly bulk or surface erosion.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 29, Issue 13, May 2008, Pages 2007–2014