Enzyme induced biodegradation of polycarbonate-polyurethanes: dose dependence effect of cholesterol esterase
The current study has investigated the influence of esterase activity (80−400 units/ml) on the biodegradation of polycarbonate-urethanes (PCNUs) by cholesterol esterase (CE), with a particular interest in studying the influence of different hard segment structures and their contribution to sensitizing the polymer towards enzyme catalyzed hydrolysis. Polycarbonate based polyurethanes were synthesized with varying hard segment content as well as hard segment chemistry based on three different diisocyanates, 1,6-hexane diisocyanate (HDI), 4,4′-methylene bisphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and 4,4-methylene biscyclohexyl diisocyanate (HMDI). The effect of different chemistry on surface contact angle was measured in order to define the relative chemical nature of the surfaces. The enzyme dose response was found to be lower when hard segment content in the polymer was high. There was a very strong dependence on enzyme concentration for polyurethanes with different hard segment chemistry, despite the fact that the nature of the hydrolysable polycarbonate segment remained the same. The PCNU which showed the most dramatic dependence on enzyme concentration was synthesized with HMDI. At low enzyme concentration (80 units/ml) this material was the most stable of the polymers while at elevated CE concentration (400 units/ml) the polymer underwent a catastrophic breakdown. The findings suggested that protein binding on the surfaces was saturated even though enzyme degradation did not achieve saturation on any of the surfaces. The role of protein binding in modulating the hydrolytic action of the enzymes at different activity levels highlights a need for further study in this area.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 24, Issue 12, May 2003, Pages 2003–2011