Hydrolytic and enzymatic degradation of a poly(å-caprolactone) network

Autores UPV
Revista Polymer Degradation and Stability


Long-term hydrolytic and enzymatic degradation profiles of poly(å-caprolactone) (PCL) networks were obtained. The hydrolytic degradation studies were performed in water and phosphate buffer solution (PBS) for 65 weeks. In this case, the degradation rate of PCL networks was faster than previous results in the literature on linear PCL, reaching a weight loss of around 20% in 60 weeks after immersing the samples either in water or in PBS conditions. The enzymatic degradation rate in Pseudomonas Lipase for 14 weeks was also studied, with the conclusion that the degradation profile of PCL networks is lower than for linear PCL, also reaching a 20% weight loss. The weight lost, degree of swelling, and calorimetric and mechanical properties were obtained as a function of degradation time. Furthermore, the morphological changes in the samples were studied carefully through electron microscopy and crystal size through X-ray diffraction. The changes in some properties over the degradation period such as crystallinity, crystal size and Young¿s modulus were smaller in the case of enzymatic studies, highlighting differences in the degradation mechanism in the two studies, hydrolytic and enzymatic.