Biodegradable polymers are not only important to protect our environment but are also used in medicine. For example, surgical sutures can dissolve when the wound has healed or depots can release pharmaceutical actives over an extended time period. The duration can be influenced by the polymer type. However, precise predictions are hard to make because of the variety of properties playing a role in degradation processes. The aim of the SFB 1278 PolyTarget project A06 is to maintain all properties except for the crystallinity in order to determine exactly how the crystallinity influences the degradation behavior.
In an article recently published in the journal "Polymer Chemistry", scientists of the research group headed by Prof. Dr. Ulrich S. Schubert describe a new isomer of dimeric lactic acid, which was used as a building block for the development of polymers. These feature exactly the same solubility as poly(lactic acid). Apart from the crystallinity, all other tested properties of the new materials are also the same as in the reference material. This enabled to specifically investigate how the crystallinity influences the degradation behavior of the polymers, since other influences can now be ruled out.
The original publication entitled „Poly(ethylglycolide): A well-defined polyester matching the hydrophilic hydrophobic balance of PLA” can be found here.