The influence of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) plasticiser content and molecular weight on the physicochemical properties of films cast from aqueous blends of poly(methyl vinyl ether-co-maleic acid) was investigated using thermal analysis, swelling studies, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and attenuated total reflectance (ATR)-Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. FTIR spectroscopy revealed a shift of the C=O peak from 1708 to 1731 cm(-1), indicating that an esterification reaction had occurred upon heating, thus producing crosslinked films. Higher molecular weight PEGs (10,000 and 1000Da, respectively), having greater chain length, producing hydrogel networks with lower crosslink densities and higher average molecular weight between two consecutive crosslinks. Accordingly, such materials exhibited higher swelling rates. Hydrogels crosslinked with a low molecular weight PEG (PEG 200) showed rigid networks with high crosslink densities and, therefore, lower swelling rates. Polymer: plasticizer ratio alteration did not yield any discernable patterns, regardless of the method of analysis. The polymer-water interaction parameter (X) increased with increases in the crosslink density. SEM studies showed that porosity of the crosslinked films increased with increasing PEG MW, confirming what had been observed with swelling studies and thermal analysis, that the crosslink density must be decreased as the M. of the crosslinker is increased. Hydrogels containing PMVE/MA/PEG 10,000 could be used for rapid delivery of drug, due to their low crosslink density. Moderately crosslinked PMVE/MA/PEG 1000 hydrogels or highly crosslinked PMVE/MA/PEG 200 systems could then be used in controlling the drug delivery rates. We are currently evaluating these systems, both alone and in combination, for use in sustained release drug delivery devices. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
|Journal||European Polymer Journal|
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - 2009|