Hydrolytic degradation of ionically cross‐linked polyphosphazene microspheres

Alexander K. Andrianov, Lendon G. Payne, Karyn B. Visscher, Harry R. Allcock, Robert Langer

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43 Scopus citations


The hydrolytic degradation of gel microspheres based on calcium cross‐linked phosphazene polyelectrolytes, poly[di(carboxylatophenoxy)phosphazene] (PCPP) and poly[(carboxylatophenoxy) (glycinato)phosphazene] (PCGPP), was investigated. These microspheres are of importance as carriers in protein and cell encapsulation. Both PCPP and PCGPP ionotropic polyphosphazene hydrogels are degradable in an aqueous environment (pH 7.4, 37°C). The degradation rates can be increased by incorporation of hydrolysis sensitive glycinato groups as the pendant structures in the polymer (PCGPP). Hydrolysis of these polymer hydrogels led to low molecular weight (<1,000 Da) products. The erosion and molecular weight profiles varied also according to the molecular weight of the polyphosphazene constituting the gel beads. Another approach to affect the degradation rates consists of coating microspheres with poly‐L‐lysine. Ionotropic polyphosphazene hydrogels have potential as biodegradable devices for controlled drug delivery systems. © 1994 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1573-1578
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number12
StatePublished - Sep 19 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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