Functional polymers for biomedical application : synthesis and applications

  • Mark E. Eccleston

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Aromatic and aliphatic diacid chlorides were used to condense naturally occurring
diamino acids and their esterified derivatives. It was anticipated the resulting functional polyamides would biodegrade to physiologically acceptable compounds and show pH dependant solubility could be used for biomedical applications ranging from enteric coatings to hydrosoluble drug delivery vehicles capable of targeting areas of low physiological pH. With these applications in mind the polymers were characterised by infra red spectroscopy, gel permeation chromatography and in the case of aqueous soluble polymers by potentiometric titration. Thin films of poly (lysine ethyl ester isophthalamide) plasticised with poly (caprolactone) were cast from DMSO/chloroform solutions and their mechanical properties measured on a Hounsfield Hti tensiometer.
Interfacial synthesis was investigated as a synthetic route for the production of linear functional polyamides. High molecular weight polymer was obtained only when esterified diamino acids were condensed with aromatic diacid chlorides. The method was unsuitable for the production of copolymers of free and esterified amino acids with a diacid chloride.
A novel miscible mixed solvent single phase reaction was investigated for production of copolymers of esterified and non-esterified amino acids with diacid chlorides. Aliphatic diacid chlorides were unsuitable for condensing diamino acids using this technique because of high rates of hydrolysis. The technique gave high molecular weight homopolymers from esterified diamino acids and aromatic diacid chlorides.
Date of AwardSept 1995
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorBrian Tighe (Supervisor)


  • Functional polymers
  • biomedical application
  • interfacial polymerization
  • drug delivery

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