Amphiphilic poly(ether ester amide) multiblock copolymers as biodegradable matrices for the controlled release of proteins

J.M. Bezemer, P. Oude Weme, Dirk W. Grijpma, Pieter J. Dijkstra, Clemens van Blitterswijk, Jan Feijen

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Amphiphilic poly(ether ester amide) (PEEA) multiblock copolymers were synthesized by polycondensation in the melt from hydrophilic poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), 1,4-dihydroxybutane and short bisester-bisamide blocks. These amide blocks were prepared by reaction of 1,4-diaminobutane with dimethyl adipate in the melt. A range of multiblock copolymers were prepared, with PEG contents varying from 23-66 wt %. The intrinsic viscosity of the PEEA polymers varied from 0.58-0.78. Differential scanning calorimetry showed melting transitions for the PEG blocks and for the amide-ester blocks, suggesting a phase separated structure. Both the melting temperature and the crystallinity of the hard amide-ester segments decreased with increasing PEG content of the polymers. The equilibrium swelling ratio in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) increased with increasing amount of PEG in the polymers and varied from 1.7 to 3.7, whereas the polymer that contained 66 wt % PEG was soluble in PBS. During incubation of PEEA films in PBS, weight loss and a continuous decrease in the resulting inherent polymer viscosity was observed. The rate of degradation increased with increasing PEG content. The composition of the remaining matrices did not change during degradation. A preliminary investigation of the protein release characteristics of these PEEA copolymers showed that release of the model protein lysozyme was proportional to the square root of time. The release rate was found to increase with increasing degree of swelling of the polymers.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)8-17
JournalJournal of biomedical materials research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • METIS-106582
  • IR-71605
  • Block copolymer
  • poly(ether ester amide)
  • Swelling
  • Protein release
  • Degradation

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