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Biomaterials. 1989 Aug;10(6):400-12.

Polymers for biodegradable medical devices. VI. Hydroxybutyrate-hydroxyvalerate copolymers: accelerated degradation of blends with polysaccharides.

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Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, Aston University, Birmingham, UK.


The hydrolytic degradation of poly(hydroxybutyrate)-poly(hydroxyvalerate) (PHB-PHV) copolymers in the form of blends with the polysaccharides amylose, dextran, dextrin and sodium alginate, has been studied under a range of conditions (pH 2.3, 7.4 and 10.6 and at 37 degrees C and 70 degrees C). The hydrolytic degradation of the PHB-PHV copolymers was found to be dramatically affected by the presence of polysaccharides. Its progress was characterized by an initial increase in the wet weight, with concurrent decrease in the dry weight as the polysaccharides eroded from the matrix. Surface energy measurements and goniophotometry proved to be particularly useful in monitoring this stage of the degradation process. The concurrent increase in internal porosity leads to the eventual collapse of the matrix, a process which occurs, but less rapidly, in the degradation of the unblended PHB-PHV copolymers. Information obtained from molecular weight and crystallinity studies enabled a comprehensive profile of the overall degradation process to be built up.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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