Exploring the enzymatic degradation of poly(glycerol adipate)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Sadie M.E. Swainson
  • Vincenzo Taresco
  • Lucie H. Clapp
  • B. Ager
  • Mark McAllister
  • Cynthia Bosquillon
  • Martin C. Garnett

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Nottingham
  • UCL
  • Pfizer Global RandD


Poly(glycerol adipate) (PGA) is a biodegradable, biocompatible, polymer with a great deal of potential in the field of drug delivery. Active drug molecules can be conjugated to the polymer backbone or encapsulated in self-assembled nanoparticles for targeted and systemic delivery. Here, a range of techniques have been used to characterise the enzymatic degradation of PGA extensively for the first time and to provide an indication of the way the polymer will behave and release drug payloads in vivo. Dynamic Light Scattering was used to monitor change in nanoparticle size, indicative of degradation. The release of a fluorescent dye, coupled to PGA, upon incubation with enzymes was measured over a 96 h period as a model of drug release from polymer drug conjugates. The changes to the chemical structure and molecular weight of PGA following enzyme exposure were characterised using FTIR, NMR and GPC. These techniques provided evidence of the biodegradability of PGA, its susceptibility to degradation by a range of enzymes commonly found in the human body and the polymer's potential as a drug delivery platform.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-386
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics
Early online date15 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019


  • Biodegradable, Breakdown, Enzymatic degradation, Poly(glycerol adipate), Polyester, Polymer modification

ASJC Scopus subject areas