Hyperbranched polyacetals with tunable degradation rates

Chatterjee, Saptarshi ; Ramakrishnan, S. (2011) Hyperbranched polyacetals with tunable degradation rates Macromolecules, 44 (12). pp. 4658-4664. ISSN 0024-9297

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Official URL: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ma2004663

Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ma2004663


We report the first synthesis of hyperbranched polyacetals via a melt transacetalization polymerization process. The process proceeds via the self-condensation of an AB2 type monomer carrying a hydroxyl group and a dimethylacetal unit; the continuous removal of low boiling methanol drives the equilibrium toward polymer formation. Because of the susceptibility of the acetal linkage to hydrolysis, the polymer degrades readily under mildly acidic conditions to yield the corresponding hydroxyl-aldehyde as the primary product. Furthermore, because of the unique topology of hyperbranched structures, the rate of polymer degradation was readily tuned by changing just the nature of the end-groups alone; instead of the dimethylacetal bearing monomer, longer chain dialkylacetals (dibutyl and dihexyl) monomers yielded hyperbranched polymers carrying longer alkyl groups at their molecular periphery. The highly branched topology and the relatively high volume fraction of the terminal alkyl groups resulted in a significant lowering of the ingress rates of the aqueous reagents to the loci of degradation, and consequently the degradation rates of the polymers were dramatically influenced by the hydrophobic nature of the terminal alkyl substituents. The simple synthesis and easy tunability of the degradation rates make these materials fairly attractive candidates for use as degradable scaffolds.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to American Chemical Society.
ID Code:67217
Deposited On:29 Oct 2011 12:07
Last Modified:29 Oct 2011 12:07

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