Acta Pharm. 70 (2020) 63-75


full paper

Original research paper


Branched PLGA derivatives with tailored drug delivery properties


1 Charles University, Faculty of Pharmacy, 500 05 Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic

2 SYNPO, 532 07 Pardubice, Czech Republic

3 Wyatt Technology Europe, 56307 Dernbach, Germany

4 Institute of Chemistry and Technology of Macromolecular Materials, University of Pardubice, 532 10 Pardubice, Czech Republic

Accepted February 26, 2019

Published online March 20, 2019


Despite several shortcomings such as extreme hydrophobicity, low drug capacity, characteristic triphasic drug release pattern with a high burst effect, poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid derivatives are widely used in drug delivery. Most frequent attempts to improve their properties are blending with other polymers or synthesis of block copolymers. We introduce a new class of branched poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) derivatives as promising biodegradable carriers for prolonged or targeted drug release systems, employed as thin adhesive films, solid dispersions, in situ forming implants or nanoparticles. A series of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) derivatives with lower molar mass and star or comb architecture were synthesized by a simple, catalyst free, direct melt polycondensation method not requiring purification of the obtained sterile product by precipitation. Branching monomers used were mannitol, pentaerythritol, dipentaerythritol, tripentaerythritol and polyacrylic acid. The products were characterized by molar mass averages, average branching ratio, rheological and thermal properties.


Keywords: PLGA, branching, star polymer, polymer synthesis, light scattering