Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - BIOMAHE (Biodegradable polymeric materials for health and environment -centre of excellence)

The project covers the field of biodegradable polymeric materials application in medicine and environmental protection including agro chemistry and ecological packaging issues. The research programme included synthesis and determination of chemical structure-property relationships of polymers as well as evaluation of their biocompatibility, biodegradability, mechanical behaviour and processing as a function of chemical composition and structure.

The research programme was carried out under the three thematic groups:
(i) team for polymeric bioresorbable implants;
(ii) team for environmental and agrochemical applications;
(iii) team for polymeric drug delivery systems.
Strong cooperation between multidisciplinary teams enabled a real progress in this field of knowledge. The measure was aimed at development of new areas of competencies and reinforcement of the research capacity of the host institution. It was accomplished by direct involvement of fellows and seconded staff to the research programme and simultaneously, by organisation of a series of undertakings aimed at education and training so as to ensure the transfer of knowledge and expertise. The latter covered seminars, workshops and training sessions on scientific issues directly connected with the research programme and secondly on the overall knowledge regarding research projects implementation, results presentation etc.

As a project results 21 paper has been published (mostly in the journal of high impact factor as e.g. macromolecules, biomacromolecules, J.Polym.Sci. Part A), 3 were submitted and 1 PCT patent application has been prepared.

The following main results have been accomplished:
- Regarding polymeric drug delivery systems, the synthetic routes for the preparation of (R,S)- 3-hydroxybutyrate oligomers as a potential carriers of drugs in the form of chemical conjugates were elaborated. Low-toxicity bioresorbable terpolymers with shape memory properties as promising new materials for biomedical applications have been prepared.
- Regarding environmental and agrochemical applications, it was demonstrated, that thermal degradation of poly(3-hydroxyalkanoate)s (PHAs) is induced by carboxylate groups via a newly proposed E1cB mechanism. In PHAs with end groups in the form of carboxylic acid salts with Na+, K+ and Bu4N+ counterions, the proposed mechanism explains the dependence of thermal stability on the size of the counterion. The degradation via intermolecular alfa -deprotonation by carboxylate is suggested to be the main PHA decomposition pathway at moderate temperatures.

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