Biodegradable lactone copolymers. II. Hydrolytic study of ε-caprolactone and lactide copolymers

M. Malin, M. Hiljanen-Vainio, T. Karjalainen, J. Seppälä*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    104 Citations (Scopus)


    Copolymers of ε-CL/L-LA and ε-CL/DL-LA were allowed to age in a buffer solution of pH 7 at 23 and 37°C. The effects of time and temperature on the rate of hydrolysis were examined by various techniques including weighing (water absorption and weight loss), SEC (molecular weight and polydispersity), and DSC (thermal properties). For comparison, the hydrolytic behavior of PLLA, PDLLA, and commercial PCL homopolymers was investigated by the same methods. SEC measurements showed that molecular weights of the copolymers and PLA homopolymers started to decrease during the first week of hydrolysis, but significant mass losses occurred only much later. As expected, there was no change in either molecular weight or mass of PCL during the hydrolysis study. The kinetic results for copolymers and homopolymers were calculated to study the degradation mechanism. During hydrolysis, the crystallinity of the initially semicrystalline copolymers increased and some crystallinity appeared in the initially amorphous L-LA-containing copolymers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1289-1298
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 1996
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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