Biodegradable polymers

Polylactides and their copolymers are key biodegradable polymers used widely for biomedical, pharmaceutical and ecological applications.
The development of synthetic pathways and catalyst/initiator systems to produce pre-designed polylactides has continuously been an important topic. In the past few years, we have explored in-situ generated metal alkoxides, from structurally well-defined yttrium, calcium and zinc precursors, for the rapid controlled polymerization of lactides under mild conditions. These catalyst systems have allowed the synthesis of a variety of advanced structures. For example, well-defined di- and tri-block copolymers of poly(ethylene glycol) and polyester, which form biodegradable polymersomes or thermoresponsive hydrogels, have been prepared.

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