The in vitro hydrolysis of poly(ester urethane)s consisting of poly[(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate] and poly(ethylene glycol)
This paper reports the study of the complete degradation process for a series of newly synthesized multi-block poly(ester urethane)s consisting of poly[(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate] (PHB) as hard and hydrophobic block and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) as soft and hydrophilic segment. The initial stages of degradation of the poly(PHB/PEG urethane)s were monitored by carrying out the degradation experiments at pH 7.4 and 37 °C. The weight loss of the copolymer films was traced, and the degraded copolymer films were characterized by GPC, 1H NMR, TGA, and SEM. The induction phase of the polymer degradation was characterized by a random chain scission of the ester backbone bonds of the PHB segments and an insignificant decline in the weight of the polymer films. An accelerated degradation process was carried out at pH 11.5 and 37 °C to investigate the long-term degradation behaviour. The characterization of the degraded polymer films was similar to that for the experiment at pH 7.4. In addition, the water-soluble degradation products were characterized by GPC, 1H NMR, and FTIR. The main components of the water-soluble degradation products were found to be PEG blocks (monomeric up to quadmeric), 3-hydroxybutyric acid, and crotonic acid. It was found that the copolymer incorporating the highest amount of PEG degraded at the highest rate of all the copolymers studied. The complete degradation of the poly(PHB/PEG urethane)s was monitored using a combination of the physiological and accelerated hydrolytic degradation.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 27, Issue 9, March 2006, Pages 1841–1850