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Poly(ether ester) and related block copolymers via organocatalytic ring?opening polymerization

Poly(p?dioxanone) (PPDO) produced by ring?opening polymerization (ROP) of p?dioxanone (PDO) has been attracted intensive attention in bioengineering and environmental materials due to the coexistence of ester and ether bonds in the repeating units. Herein, we systematically study the ROP behavior of PDO using classical organic amidine and guanidine compounds. The cyclic and linear PPDO homopolymers are efficiently produced and confirmed by the combination of 1H, 13C NMR and MALDI?TOF MS spectra. Furthermore, triblock copolymers (PPDO?b?PCL?b?PPDO) containing poly(??caprolactone) (PCL) as the soft segment and PPDO as the hard segment are prepared in the presence of ethylene glycol. The resultant block copolymers are well characterized using NMR, gel permeation chromatography, differential scanning calorimetry, and thermogravimetric analysis. It is found that the prepared triblock copolymers exhibit tunable flexibility, stabilization, hydrophilicity, and mechanical strength, which could be used as thermoplastic materials in biological and tissue engineering areas.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.