In situ analysis of solvent/nonsolvent exchange and phase separation processes during the membrane formation of polylactides

P. van de Witte, J.W.A. van den Berg, J. Feijen, J.L. Reeve, A.J. Mchugh

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Abstract

Membrane formation of polylactides has been studied using in situ analysis techniques. An experimental method based on the use of dark ground optics and reflected light illumination is used to monitor the mass transfer and phase separation dynamics during for mation. Additionally, the phase separation and structure formation has been studied using optical microscopy. The results of the dark ground optics technique for the polymer/solvent/nonsolvent systems poly-L-lactide/chloroform/methanol and poly-DL-lactide/chloroform/methanol showed that the diffusion kinetics were similar for the semicrystalline poly-L-lactide (PLLA) and the amorphous poly-DL-lactide. The influence of the molecular weight of the polymers on the diffusion kinetics was found to be negligible. Increasing the polymer concentration of the casting solution decreased the rate of diffusion. The phase separation of poly-DL-lactide was studied with optical microscopy and found to proceed via liquid-liquid demixing. For poly-L-lactide solutions of relatively low concentration (5-6% w/w), phase separation proceeded via liquid-liquid demixing followed by crystallization. For more concentrated PLLA solutions, phase separation proceeded directly via solid-liquid demixing processes. Additionally, for 6% w/w solutions of poly-L-lactide in dioxane immersed in methanol, precipitation also occurred solely via solid-liquid demixing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-695
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of applied polymer science
Volume61
Issue number61
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1996

Keywords

  • METIS-105393
  • IR-71285

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