Molar Mass and Structural Characteristics of Poly[(lactide-co-(aspartic acid)] Block Copolymers



Summary: We report on various synthetic procedures for the preparation of biodegradable and biocompatible poly(lactide-co-aspartic acid) block copolymers based on natural monomeric units – lactic acid and aspartic acid. Multiblock poly(lactide-co-aspartic acid) copolymers of different comonomer composition were synthesized by heating a mixture of L-aspartic acid and L,L-lactide in melt without the addition of any catalyst or solvent and with further alkaline hydrolysis of the cyclic succinimide rings to aspartic acid units. Diblock poly(lactide-co-aspartic acid) copolymers with different block lengths were prepared by copolymerization of amino terminated poly(β-benzyl-L-aspartate) homopolymer and L,L-lactide with subsequent deprotection of the benzyl protected carboxyl group by hydrogenolysis. The differences in the structure, composition, molar mass characteristics, and water-solubility of the synthesized multiblock and diblock poly(lactide-co-aspartic acid) copolymers are discussed.