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Poly(ortho esters)

Catalog number Type Package size Price, USD
20661-100 poly(DETOSU-CHDM) [1:1] (Type II) 5 g 2,000.00
20661-101 poly(DETOSU-CHDM-(Lactide-CHDM) [1:0.9:0.1] (Type IV) 5 g 2,500.00
20661-102 poly(DETOSU-CHDM-(Lactide-CHDM) [1:0.75:0.25] (Type IV) 5 g 2,500.00

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Product Details


Handle with normal care, but minimize exposure to moisture to avoid degradation.


Protect against moisture. Store at -20°C.

Molecular Weight

5-30 kDa (size exclusion chromatography, polystyrene standards)


Poly(ortho esters) (POE) belong to a class of degradable polymeric materials. Initially described in 1970 and developed specifically for drug delivery applications. Four distinct families of POE (type I-IV) have been developed, but only type II and IV are undergoing further development and commercialization. Unlike polyesters such as PLA and PLGA, which undergo bulk degradation, most poly(ortho esters) degrade through surface erosion. This is a result of hydrophobicity preventing water from dissolving or entering the bulk polymer material thereby limiting hydrolysis of the ortho ester bonds to the accessible surface layers. Poly(ortho esters) are relatively stable at alkaline or neutral conditions, but hydrolyze rapidly at acidic conditions.

POE type II materials are all based on the same monomeric building block DETOSU, which is shown in the image below.

In addition to DETOSU, various comonomers are required. Typical examples of these are glycols and aliphatic or cyclic diols. The comonomers affect both the mechanical properties and degradation rate of the polymer material. A short, rigid comonomer, such as 1,4-cyclohexanedimethanol will provide hard, brittle materials, whereas injectable materials can be obtained using a long flexible comonomer.

POE type IV is a further refinement of type II. In this family of poly(ortho esters), part of the diol comonomer has been modified to contain either lactic or glycolic acid. The acids will accelerate the degradation rate of the obtained materials. This allows mechanical properties to be tailored through comonomer selection and degradation rate controlled through acid content.

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