• poly(ε-caprolactone);
  • poly(ethyl glycol);
  • blend;
  • water sorption;
  • drug release;
  • improvement


Poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) has been thermally synthesized, and then fractionated to blend with poly(ethyl glycol) (PEG). Blend films of PCL and PEG have been prepared by solution casting. Fourier transform infrared spectrum and differential scanning calorimetry of the films have been carried out, and the results indicate some hydrogen bonding interaction between the two components, which is resulted from the carbonyl groups of PCL and the hydroxyl end-groups of the low-molecular-weight PEG. Scanning electron microscope images of the blend films reveal porous network structures for their surfaces and for their inner parts and the porous structure becomes more pronounced with the increase of PEG in the blend film. Ibuprofen (IBU) was used as the model drug to test the drug release behavior for the PCL/PEG blend matrices. The results show that IBU could be released from the blend tablets rapidly, and the release rate increases with PEG content. Analysis of the release profiles indicates PCL erosion control release mechanism of pure PCL tablet, but drug diffusion control of the blend tablet, because PEG can absorb water to allow water feasible to diffuse into drug core and dissolve drug. Therefore, the interconnected channels in the blend matrices and the hydrophilic nature of PEG contribute to the improvement of the IBU release rate. The research indicates that drug release rate from PCL based material could be efficiently improved by addition of small amount of hydrophilic low-molecular-weight PEG. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011