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α‐Amino acids as initiators of ‐caprolactone and L,L‐lactide polymerization

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Biodegradable polymers/oligomers were successfully synthesized through a ring‐opening polymerization of ‐caprolactone and L,L‐lactide, initiated by L‐arginine and L‐citrulline. The α‐amino acid initiators are natural, operationally simple, inexpensive, environmentally friendly and safe for human health. The polymerizations were performed with no solvents and without introducing any metal impurities. The chemical structures of the polymers obtained were elucidated using 1H NMR, 13C NMR and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopies. In addition, incorporation of α‐amino acid molecules into the polymer chain was confirmed using matrix‐assisted laser desorption ionization time‐of‐flight mass spectrometry. Due to the significant biological activity of L‐arginine and L‐citrulline, these α‐amino acid initiators may open a new route for the synthesis of functional polymers especially for pharmaceutical applications. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry
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Keywords: amino acids; biodegradable; initiator; polyesters; ring‐opening polymerization

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-05-01

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