Synthesis and aqueous phase behavior of thermoresponsive biodegradable poly(D,L-3-methylglycolide)-block-poly(ethyelene glycol)-block-poly(D,L-3-methylglycolide) triblock copolymers

Zhiyuan Zhong, Pieter J. Dijkstra, Jan Feijen, Young-Min Kwon, You Han Bae, Sung Wan Kim

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Novel biodegradable thermosensitive triblock copolymers of poly(D,L-3-methylglycolide)-block-poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(D,L-3-methylglycolide) (PMG-PEG-PMG) have been synthesized. Ring-opening polymerization of D,L-3-methyl-glycolide (MG) initiated with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and Ca[N(SiMe3)2]2(THF)2 provided triblock copolymers with alternating lactyl/glycolyl sequences of controlled molecular weight, low polydispersity index and uniform chain structure. At relatively low temperatures (≈10 °C) these copolymers formed clear solutions in water up to high concentrations (50 wt.-%). Depending on molecular mass ratios of PMG and PEG blocks, a sol-gel transition or an increase in viscosity without gel formation was observed upon increasing the temperature of the aqueous solutions. The temperature-induced gelation was ascertained by rheology and dynamic differential scanning calorimetry (DDSC).
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)1797-1803
JournalMacromolecular chemistry and physics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • sol-gel transition
  • METIS-210931
  • IR-71846
  • Biodegradable
  • Block copolymers
  • Ring-opening polymerization
  • stimuli-sensitive polymers

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