Functional Degradable Polymers by Radical Ring-Opening Copolymerization of MDO and Vinyl Bromobutanoate: Synthesis, Degradability and Post-Polymerization Modification

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Colleges, School and Institutes


The synthesis of vinyl bromobutanoate (VBr), a new vinyl acetate monomer derivative obtained by the palladium-catalyzed vinyl exchange reaction between vinyl acetate (VAc) and 4-bromobutyric acid is reported. The homopolymerization of this new monomer using the RAFT/MADIX polymerization technique leads to the formation of novel well-defined and controlled polymers containing pendent bromine functional groups able to be modified via postpolymerization modification. Furthermore, the copolymerization of vinyl bromobutanoate with 2-methylene-1,3-dioxepane (MDO) was also performed to deliver a range of novel functional degradable copolymers, poly(MDO-co-VBr). The copolymer composition was shown to be able to be tuned to vary the amount of ester repeat units in the polymer backbone, and hence determine the degradability, while maintaining a control of the final copolymers’ molar masses. The addition of functionalities via simple postpolymerization modifications such as azidation and the 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition of a PEG alkyne to an azide is also reported and proven by 1H NMR spectroscopy, FTIR spectroscopy, and SEC analyses. These studies enable the formation of a novel class of hydrophilic functional degradable copolymers using versatile radical polymerization methods.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2049-2058
Number of pages10
Issue number7
Early online date9 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2015