Alkaline degradation study of linear and network poly(ε-caprolactone)
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Alkaline hydrolysis of a polycaprolactone (PCL) network obtained by photopolymerization of a PCL macromer was investigated. The PCL macromer was obtained by the reaction of PCL diol with methacrylic anhydride. Degradation of PCL network is much faster than linear PCL; the weight loss rate is approximately constant until it reaches around 70%, which happens after approximately 60 h in PCL network and 600 h in linear PCL. Calorimetric results show no changes in crystallinity throughout degradation, suggesting that it takes place in the crystalline and amorphous phases simultaneously. Scanning electron microscopy microphotographs indicate that degradation is produced by a different erosion mechanism in both kinds of samples. The more hydrophilic network PCL would follow a bulk-erosion mechanism, whereas linear PCL would follow a surface-erosion mechanism. Mechanical testing of degraded samples shows a decline in mechanical properties due to changes in sample porosity as a consequence of the degradation process.
KeywordsDegradation Time Alkaline Degradation Heating Scan Compression Ramp Trimethylene Carbonate
The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Education through the MEC DPI2007-65601-C03-03 Project. The authors also would like to acknowledge the support of the CIBER-BBN, an initiative funded by the VI National R&D&i Plan 2008–2011, Iniciativa Ingenio 2010, Consolider Program, CIBER Actions and financed by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III with assistance from the European Regional Development Fund and the funding by the Centro de Investigación Principe Felipe in the field of regenerative medicine through the collaboration agreement from the Conselleria de Sanidad (Generalitat Valenciana). The translation of this paper was funded by the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain.
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