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Keywords:

  • biopolymers and renewable polymers;
  • degradation;
  • colloids

Abstract

Poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) is a natural polyester known for its biocompatibility and biodegradability. The hydrolysis of PHBV nanoparticles (90–150 nm) and microparticles (33–58 µm) was investigated. Particles were formulated from preformed polymer(s) by miniemulsification/solvent evaporation technique to obtain nanoparticles or by emulsification/solvent evaporation technique to obtain microparticles. The morphology of the nanoparticles was studied by Field Emission Gun-Scanning Electron Microscopy (FEG-SEM). The kinetics of PHBV degradation was followed by gel permeation chromatography. After storage of PHBV nanoparticles for 25 days at 37 °C, the Mn and Mw of PHBV was reduced up to 85 and 80%, respectively. PHBV nanoparticles stored at 4 °C presented a much lower molecular weight reduction. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013