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J Biomed Mater Res. 1994 Dec;28(12):1465-75.

Erosion of a new family of biodegradable polyanhydrides.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139.


Studies investigating the erosion mechanism of the newly developed poly (fatty acid dimer: sebacic acid) polyanhydride (p:[FAD:SA]) are described. The overall erosion of different monomer compositions of p(FAD:SA) copolymers was examined to determine whether and to what extent copolymer properties affected polymer erosion. Increasing the hydrophobic monomer (FAD) content up to 50 wt% in the copolymer resulted in longer erosion, whereas further increases up to 70 wt% decreased the erosion period. Polymer crystallinity depended on copolymer FAD content. Copolymer degradation was studied by examining anhydride bond hydrolysis using infrared spectroscopy. Much faster hydrolysis was found in p(FAD:SA) 70:30 compared with more crystalline copolymers of higher SA content. Light microscopy indicates the presence of an erosion zone, a distinct area where mass loss occurs. This erosion zone moves from the outside toward the interior of the polymer matrix. It plays an important role in erosion because any water or monomer must diffuse through this eroded layer.

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