Novel synthesis of biodegradable star poly(ethylene glycol)-block- poly(lactide) copolymers

Yahia Lemmouchi, Michael C. Perry, Allant J. Amass*, Khirud Chakraborty, Etienne Schacht

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Biodegradable star-shaped poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(lactide) copolymers were synthesized by ring-opening polymerization of lactide, using star polyethylene glycol) as an initiator and potassium hexamethyldisilazide as a catalyst. Polymerizations were carried out in toluene at room temperature. Two series of threeand four-armed PEG-PLA copolymers were synthesized and characterized by gel permeation chromatography (GPC) as well as 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy. The polymerization under the used conditions is very fast, yielding copolymers of controlled molecular weight and tailored molecular architecture. The chemical structure of the copolymers investigated by 1H and 13C NMR indicates the formation of block copolymers. The monomodal profile of molecular weight distribution by GPC provided further evidence of controlled and defined star-shaped copolymers as well as the absence of cyclic oligomeric species. The effects of copolymer composition and lactide stereochemistry on the physical properties were investigated by GPC and differential scanning calorimetry. For the same PLA chain length, the materials obtained in the case of linear copolymers are more viscous, whereas in the case of star copolymer, solid materials are obtained with reduction in their T g and T m temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3966-3974
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2007


  • Biodegradable
  • Poly(ethylene glycol)
  • Poly(lactide)
  • Polyesters
  • Ring-opening polymerization
  • Star copolymers


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