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The Effect of Molecular Weight on the Physical Properties and In Vitro Enzymatic Degradation Behavior of Poly(ε-caprolactone)

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The poly(ε-caprolactone)s (PCLs) with different molecular weights were synthesized. The molecular weight played an important role in the physical properties of PCL. The results of thermal properties showed that as the molecular weight increased from 90 kDa to 210 kDa, the Tg and Td increased from –64.5 to –61.7 °C and from 292.4 to 354.0 °C, respectively, while the crystallinity decreased from 39.92 to 31.82% that caused a decrease in the mechanical properties of PCL. The results of the in vitro enzymatic degradation showed that PCL degraded in lipase via surface erosion, and the lipase could act as a surfactant to diffuse the degradation products into degradation medium. The effect of the molecular weight on the degradation rate of PCL was also investigated, and a lower degradation rate was seen for the high molecular weight PCL. The mass loss decreased from 73.19 to 65.06% due to the restricted movement of the PCL polymer segment, as the molecular weight increased from 90 kDa to 210 kDa. The results indicate that PCL is a promising candidate for bone defect reparation due to its tunable properties.
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Keywords: IN VITRO ENZYMATIC DEGRADATION; MECHANICAL PROPERTIES; MOLECULAR WEIGHT; POLY(ε-CAPROLACTONE); THERMAL PROPERTIES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2019

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  • Science of Advanced Materials (SAM) is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal consolidating research activities in all aspects of advanced materials in the fields of science, engineering and medicine into a single and unique reference source. SAM provides the means for materials scientists, chemists, physicists, biologists, engineers, ceramicists, metallurgists, theoreticians and technocrats to publish original research articles as reviews with author's photo and short biography, full research articles and communications of important new scientific and technological findings, encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all latest aspects of advanced materials.
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