Poly(lactide) (PLA) is the most well known biodegradable and biocompatible material among the aliphatic polyesters nowadays explored for biomedical, pharmaceutical and environmental applications. Different poly(lactide)s are distinguished, namely stereoregular PLLA and PDLA, atactic, heterotactic, syndiotactic and stereoblock PLAs. Because the stereochemistry of the monomeric units in the polymer chains plays a decisive role in the mechanical, physical and degradation properties of PLA materials, stereospecific catalysts to prepare different polylactide architectures are a major topic. In this review, after a general introduction on metal catalyzed ring opening polymerization, we mainly focus on single site catalyst systems inducing stereoselective polymerization of lactides.
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