Development of force field parameters for molecular simulation of polylactide.
ABSTRACT: Polylactide is a biodegradable polymer that is widely used for biomedical applications, and it is a replacement for some petroleum based polymers in applications that range from packaging to carpeting. Efforts to characterize and further enhance polylactide based systems using molecular simulations have to this point been hindered by the lack of accurate atomistic models for the polymer. Thus, we present force field parameters specifically suited for molecular modeling of PLA. The model, which we refer to as PLAFF3, is based on a combination of the OPLS and CHARMM force fields, with modifications to bonded and nonbonded parameters. Dihedral angle parameters were adjusted to reproduce DFT data using newly developed CMAP dihedral cross terms, and the model was further adjusted to reproduce experimentally resolved crystal structure conformations, melt density, volume expansivity, and the glass transition temperature of PLA. We recommend the use of PLAFF3 in modeling PLA in its crystalline or amorphous states and have provided the necessary input files required for the publicly available molecular dynamics code GROMACS.
Project description:Polylactide/triethyl citrate (PLA/TEC) systems were prepared in two ways by introducing TEC to solidified polymer matrix (SS) and by blending in a molten state (MS) to investigate the effectiveness of the plasticization process after solidification of polylactide. The plasticization processes, independently of way of introducing the TEC into PLA matrix, leads to systems characterized by similar stability, morphology and properties. Some differences in mechanical properties between MS and SS systems result primarily from the difference in the degree of crystallinity/crystal thickness of the PLA matrix itself. Based on the presented results, it was concluded that the plasticization process after solidification of polylactide is an alternative to the conventional method of modification-blending in a molten state. Then, this new approach to plasticization process was utilized for interpretation of thermal properties of PLA and PLA/TEC systems. It turned out that double melting peak observed at DSC thermograms does not result from the melting of a double population of crystals with different lamellar thickness, or the melting of both the ?' and ? crystalline phase (commonly used explanations in literature), but is associated with the improvement of perfection of crystalline structure of PLA during heating process.
Project description:Stereocomplexation between enantiomeric poly(l-lactide) (PLLA) and poly(d-lactide) (PDLA) provides an avenue to greatly enhance performance of eco-friendly polylactide (PLA). Unfortunately, although the manufacturing of semicrystalline polymers generally involves melt processing, it is still hugely challenging to create high-performance stereocomplexed polylactide (sc-PLA) products from melt-processed high-molecular-weight PLLA/PDLA blends due to the weak crystallization memory effect of stereocomplex (sc) crystallites after complete melting as well as the substantial degradation of PLA chains at elevated melt-processing temperatures of ca. 240-260?°C. Inspired by the concept of powder metallurgy, here we report a new facile route to address these obstacles by sintering of sc-PLA powder at temperatures as low as 180-210?°C, which is distinctly different from traditional sintering of polymer powders performed at temperatures far exceeding their melting temperatures. The enantiomeric PLA chain segments from adjacent powder particles can interdiffuse across particle interfaces and co-crystallize into new sc crystallites capable of tightly welding the interfaces during the low-temperature sintering process, and thus highly transparent sc-PLA products with outstanding heat resistance, mechanical strength, and hydrolytic stability have been successfully fabricated for the first time.
Project description:A fluorescence-labeled bioresorbable polymer was prepared by a coupling reaction of poly(ethylene glycol)-polylactide (PEG-PLA) with carboxyl pyrene, using N,N'-diisopropylcarbodiimide/1-hydroxy-7-azabenzotriazole (DIC/HOAt) as a coupling agent and 4-dimethylaminopyridine (DMAP) as a catalyst. The obtained copolymer, termed PEG-PLA-pyrene, was characterized using various analytical techniques, such as gel permeation chromatography (GPC), matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS), proton nuclear magnetic resonance ((1)H-NMR), infrared spectroscopy (IR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), to identify the molecular structure and to monitor the thermal property changes before and after the reaction. The presence of a pyrene moiety at the end of polylactide (PLA) did not alter the crystallization ability of the poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) blocks, indicating that the conjugate preserved the inherent thermal properties of PEG-PLA. However, the presence of PEG-PLA blocks strongly reduced the melting of pyrene, indicating that the thermal characteristics were sensitive to PEG-PLA incorporation. Regarding the physicochemical behavior in aqueous solution, a higher concentration of PEG-PLA-pyrene resulted in a higher ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) absorbance and fluorescence emission intensity. This is of great interest for the use of this conjugate as a fluorescence probe to study the in vivo distribution as well as the internalization and intracellular localization of polymeric micelles.
Project description:In clay/polymer nanocomposites, the crystallization behavior and kinetics of the polymer can be affected by the presence of clay, its content and the degree of miscibility between the clay and the polymer matrix. The effect of two different organomodified vermiculites on the non-isothermal cold crystallization and melting behavior of polylactide (PLA) was studied by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). In the presence of vermiculites, the cold crystallization of PLA occurred earlier, particularly for the highest content of the most miscible organovermiculite with PLA. The cold crystallinity of PLA decreased at low heating rates, notably at high organoclay loadings, and increased at high heating rates, especially at low vermiculite contents. According to the crystallization half-time, crystallization rate coefficient (CRC), and crystallization rate parameter (CRP) approaches, the cold crystallization rate of PLA increased by incorporating vermiculites, with the effect being most noteworthy for the vermiculite showing better compatibility. The Mo model was successful in describing the non-isothermal cold crystallization kinetics of the PLA/vermiculite composites. The melting behavior was affected by the heating rate and the type and content of clay. The nucleating effect of the most compatible clay resulted in the less perfect crystallites. The activation energy was evaluated using the Kissinger and Takhor methods.
Project description:Properties of copolymers are generally influenced by the structure of the monomers and polymers. For the purpose of understanding the effect of polymer structure on the properties, two kinds of copolymers, poly(3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine)-g-polylactide and poly(3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine)-b-polylactide (PDOPA-g-PLA and PDOPA-b-PLA) were designed and prepared by ring-opening polymerization of lactide with pre-prepared PDOPA as the initiator and the amidation of the functional PLA and PDOPA oligomer, respectively. The molecular weight and composition of the copolymers could be adjusted by changing the molar ratio of LA and DOPA and were confirmed by gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and proton nuclear magnetic resonance (¹H NMR) spectra. The obtained copolymers with graft and block structures showed high solubility even in common organic solvents. The effects of the graft and block structures on the thermal and degradation properties were also detected. The PDOPA-g-PLA copolymers showed higher thermal stability than the PDOPA-b-PLA copolymers, due to the PDOPA-g-PLA copolymers with regular structure and strong π-π stacking interactions among the intermolecular and intramolecular chains. In addition, the degradation results showed that the PDOPA-g-PLA copolymers and the copolymers with higher DOPA composition had quicker degradation speeds. Interestingly, both two kinds of copolymers, after degradation, became undissolved in the organic solvents because of the oxidation and crosslinking formation of the catechol groups in the DOPA units during degradation in alkaline solution. Moreover, fluorescent microscopy results showed good biocompatibility of the PDOPA-g-PLA and PDOPA-b-PLA copolymers. The PDOPA and PLA copolymers have the potential applications to the biomedical and industrial fields.
Project description:Polyethylenimine (PEI) is a gold standard polymer with excellent transfection efficacy, yet its severe toxicity and nondegradability hinders its therapeutic application as a gene delivery vector. To tackle this problem, herein we incorporated the biodegradable polylactide (PLA) into the branched PEI by synthesizing a PEI-PLA copolymer via a facile synthetic route. PLA modification significantly improved the cytocompatibility of PEI, PEI-PLA copolymer showed much higher cell viability than PEI as verified in three different human cancer cell lines (HCT116, HepG2 and SKOV3). Interestingly, the PEI-PLA copolymer could effectively bind siRNA targeting PKM2, and the obtained polyplex displayed much higher stability in serum than naked siRNA as determined by agarose gel electrophoresis. Moreover, cellular uptake study demonstrated that PEI-PLA could efficiently deliver the Cy5-labled siRNA into the three tested cancer cell lines, and the transfection efficiency is equivalent to the commercial Lipofectamine® 2000. Finally, it is noteworthy that the polyplex is comparable to Lipo2000 in down-regulating the expression of PKM2 at both mRNA and protein level as measured by q-PCR and western blotting, respectively. Overall, the PEI-PLA copolymer developed in this study has the potential to be developed as a versatile carrier for safe and effective delivery of other nucleic acid-based agents.
Project description:Cyclic polylactide (<i>c</i>PLA) is a structural isomer of linear polylactide (PLA) although it possesses unique functionalities in comparison to its linear counterpart. Hitherto, the control of stereochemical purity in conventional <i>c</i>PLA synthesis has not been achieved. In this study, highly stereochemically pure <i>c</i>PLA was synthesized in the absence of a metal catalyst and organic solvent, which required high consumption of the residual monomer. The synthesis was conducted in supercritical carbon dioxide under CO? plasticizing polymerization conditions in the presence of an organocatalyst and thiourea additives. In comparison with the stereocomplexes synthesized through conventional methods, <i>c</i>PLA from l-lactide (<i>c</i>PLLA) and <i>c</i>PLA from d-lactide (<i>c</i>PDLA) were synthesized with higher stereochemical purity and improved thermal stability. Moreover, the method presented herein is environmentally friendly and thus, applicable on an industrial level.
Project description:Camptothecin-polylactide conjugates (CMPT-PLA) were synthesized by covalent incorporation of CMPT into PLA of different microstructure, i.e., atactic PLA and atactic-block-isotactically enriched PLA (Pm = 0.79) via urethane bonds. The kinetic release of CPMT from CMPT-PLA conjugates, tested in vitro under different conditions, is possible in both cases and notably, strongly dependent on PLA microstructure. It shows that release properties of drug-PLA conjugates can be tailored by controlled design of the PLA microstructure, and allow in the case of CMPT-PLA conjugates for the development of highly controlled biodegradable CMPT systems-important delivery systems for anti-cancer agents.
Project description:The aim of the performed study was to fabricate an antibacterial and degradable scaffold that may be used in the field of skin regeneration. To reach the degradation criterion for the biocompatible polyurethane (PUR), obtained by using amorphous ?,?-dihydroxy(ethylene-butylene adipate) macrodiol (PEBA), was used and processed with so-called "fast-degradable" polymer polylactide (PLA) (5 or 10 wt %). To meet the antibacterial requirement obtained, hybrid PUR-PLA scaffolds (HPPS) were modified with ciprofloxacin (Cipro) (2 or 5 wt %) and the fluoroquinolone antibiotic inhibiting growth of bacteria, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus, which are the main causes of wound infections. Performed studies showed that Cipro-modified HPPS, obtained by using 5% of PLA, possess suitable mechanical characteristics, morphology, degradation rates, and demanded antimicrobial properties to be further developed as potential scaffolds for skin tissue engineering.
Project description:A direct, efficient, and scalable method to prepare stereocomplexed polylactide (PLA)-based nanoparticles (NPs) is achieved. By an appropriate combination of fabrication parameters, NPs with controlled shape and crystalline morphology are obtained and even pure PLA stereocomplexes (PLASC) are successfully prepared using the spray-drying technology. The formed particles of varying D- and L-LA content have an average size of ?400 nm, where the smallest size is obtained for PLA50, which has an equimolar composition of PLLA and PDLA in solution. Raman spectra of the particles show the typical shifts for PLASC in PLA50, and thermal analysis indicates the presence of pure stereocomplexation, with only one melting peak at 226 °C. Topographic images of the particles exhibit a single phase with different surface roughness in correlation with the thermal analysis. A high yield of spherically shaped particles is obtained. The results clearly provide a proficient method for achieving PLASC NPs that are expected to function as renewable materials in PLA-based nanocomposites and potentially as more stable drug delivery carriers.