Biodegradation Pattern of Glycopolymer Based on D-Mannose Oligomer and Hydroxypropyl Acrylate
Glycopolymers are polymers with sugar moieties which display biodegradable and/or biocompatible character. They have emerged as an environmentally-friendly solution to classical synthetic polymers and have attracted significant research interest in the past years. Herein, we present the synthesis of a D-mannose based glycopolymer with biodegradable features. The glycopolymer was synthesized by radical copolymerization between a D-mannose oligomer bearing polymerizable double bonds and 2-hydroxypropyl acrylate, in a weight ratio of 1:2. The copolymerization kinetics was investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and the activation energy of the process was comparatively assessed by Kissinger&ndash;Akahira&ndash;Sunose and Flynn&ndash;Wall&ndash;Ozawa methods. The obtained glycopolymer displayed good thermal behavior, fact proven by thermogravimetrical (TG) analysis and it was submitted to biodegradation inside a bioreactor fed with water from the Bega River as the source of microbial inoculum. The glycopolymer sample degraded by approximately 60% in just 23 days. The biodegradation pattern of the glycopolymer was successfully fitted against a modified sigmoidal exponential function. The kinetic model coefficients and its accuracy were calculated using Matlab and the correlation coefficient is more than promising. The changes inside glycopolymer structure after biodegradation were studied using TG and FTIR analyses, which revealed that the sugar moiety is firstly attacked by the microbial consortia as nutrient source for proliferation.