In vitro degradation of nanoparticles prepared from polymers based on DL-lactide, glycolide and poly(ethylene oxide)

M.L.T. Zweers, G.H.M. Engbers, Dirk W. Grijpma, Jan Feijen

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Nanoparticles of poly(DL-lactic acid) (PDLLA), poly(DL-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) and poly(ethylene oxide)–PLGA diblock copolymer (PEO–PLGA) were prepared by the salting-out method. The in vitro degradation of PDLLA, PLGA and PEO–PLGA nanoparticles in PBS (pH 7.4) at 37 °C was studied. The particle size, molecular weight of the polymers and the amount of lactic and glycolic acids formed were followed in time. PDLLA nanoparticles gradually degraded over a period of 2 years and retain their size during that period. A faster degradation was observed for PLGA nanoparticles, which was nearly complete after 10 weeks. PLGA nanoparticles retained their size during that period. In PEO–PLGA nanoparticles, the ester bond connecting the PEO and the PLGA segments was preferentially cleaved, which led to a relatively fast decrease in molecular weight and to (partial) aggregation, as multimodal size distributions were observed. PEO–PLGA nanoparticles were almost completely degraded within 8 weeks.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)347-356
JournalJournal of controlled release
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • IR-71385
  • METIS-223547

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