Conformational Footprint in Hydrolysis-Induced Nanofibrillation and Crystallization of Poly(lactic acid)
2016 (English)In: Biomacromolecules, ISSN 1525-7797, E-ISSN 1526-4602, Vol. 17, no 3, 985-995 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
The origin of hydrolysis-induced nanofibrillation and crystallization, at the molecular level, was revealed by mapping the conformational ordering during long-term hydrolytic degradation of initially amorphous poly(lactic acid) (PLA), a representative model for degradable aliphatic polyesters generally displaying strong interplay between crystallization and hydrolytic erosion. The conformational regularization of chain segments was essentially the main driving force for the morphological evolution of PLA during hydrolytic degradation. For hydrolysis at 37 degrees C, no significant structural variations were observed due to the immobilization of frozen PLA chains. In contrast, conformational ordering in PLA was immediately triggered during hydrolysis at 60 degrees C and was responsible for the transition from random coils to disordered trans and, further, to quasi-crystalline nanospheres. On the surfaces, the head-by-head absorption and joining of neighboring nanospheres led to nanofibrillar assemblies following a gluttonous snake-like manner. The length and density of nanofibers formed were in close relation to the hydrolytic evolution, both of which showed a direct rise in the initial 60 days and then a gradual decline. In the interior, presumably the high surface energy of the nanospheres allowed for the preferential anchoring and packing of conformationally ordered chains into lamellae. In accordance with the well-established hypothesis, the amorphous regions were attacked prior to the erosion of crystalline entities, causing a rapid increase of crystallinity during the initial 30 days, followed by a gradual fall until 90 days. In addition to adequate illustration of hydrolysis-induced variations of crystallinity, our proposed model elucidates the formation of spherulitic nuclei featuring an extremely wide distribution of diameters ranging from several nanometers to over 5 mu m, as well as the inferior resistance to hydrolysis observed for the primary nuclei. Our work fuels the interest in controlling nanofibrillation mechanism during hydrolysis of PLA, opening up possibilities for straightforward nanofiber formation.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Chemical Society (ACS), 2016. Vol. 17, no 3, 985-995 p.
Poly(L-Lactic Acid), Enzymatic Degradation, Molecular-Weight, Poly(Butylene Succinate), Aqueous-Media, L-Lactide, Pla, Biodegradation, Polylactide, Poly(Epsilon-Caprolactone)
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-185373DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.5b01636ISI: 000372391800030PubMedID: 26820906ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84961778414OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-185373DiVA: diva2:921282
QC 201604202016-04-202016-04-182016-04-20Bibliographically approved