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Issue 2, 2012
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A biocompatible, metal-free catalyst and its application in microwave-assisted synthesis of functional polyesters

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Abstract

Aliphatic polyesters are one of the most important classes of biodegradable materials. Convergence of functionality and biodegradability represents a major trend in modern materials, especially for biomedical applications and as environmentally friendly alternatives to non-degradable petrochemicals. However, the synthesis of functional polyesters is still a formidable challenge. Most current methods are inefficient and require complex chemical processes. We report a microwave-assisted, acid-initiated epoxide ring opening polymerization. With this one-step synthetic strategy, functional polyesters are produced within half an hour without generation of any byproduct. Thus, our approach represents a significant improvement over current methods by increasing efficiency, minimizing chemical processes, and reducing the usage of hazardous chemicals and waste. The newly designed catalyst, bis(tetrabutylammonium)sebacate, is a metal-free catalyst readily prepared under mild conditions at a large scale. The catalyst is stable and easily stored for more than 7 years under standard storage conditions. Additionally, the catalyst shows good cytocompatibility when tested using primary rat osteoblasts. We expect this technology will be very useful to produce new biodegradable materials.

Graphical abstract: A biocompatible, metal-free catalyst and its application in microwave-assisted synthesis of functional polyesters

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 Sep 2011, accepted on 04 Nov 2011 and first published on 29 Nov 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1PY00400J
Citation: Polym. Chem., 2012,3, 384-389
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    A biocompatible, metal-free catalyst and its application in microwave-assisted synthesis of functional polyesters

    Z. You, X. Bi, E. M. Jeffries and Y. Wang, Polym. Chem., 2012, 3, 384
    DOI: 10.1039/C1PY00400J

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