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Biomacromolecules. 2005 Mar-Apr;6(2):891-6.

Preparation of a novel artificial bacterial polyester modified with pendant hydroxyl groups.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Recherche sur les Polymères, CNRS UMR 7581, 2 rue Henri Dunant, 94320 Thiais, France.


The Poly(hydroxyalkanoate) (PHA) chemical modifications represent an alternative route to introduce functional groups, which cannot be introduced by bioconversion. PHAs containing unsaturated chains were readily converted into polyesters containing a terminal hydroxyl group on the side chains. With the use of the borane-tetrahydrofuran complex, the pendant side chain alkenes were quantitatively transformed into hydroxyl functions. The conversion proceeded to completion without a significant decrease in molecular weight. The introduction of hydroxyl groups in the products was confirmed from Fourier transform infrared and 1H NMR analysis. The presence of repeating units containing pendant hydroxyl groups in the proportion 25 mol % caused an increase in hydrophilicity of these new PHAs because they were soluble in polar solvents such as ethanol. Besides, these reactive PHAs can be used to bind bio-active molecules or to prepare novel graft copolymers with desired properties.

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