Tuning properties of poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(simvastatin) copolymers synthesized via triazabicyclodecene

Theodora A. Asafo-Adjei, Thomas D. Dziubla, David A. Puleo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Simvastatin was polymerized into copolymers to better control drug loading and release for therapeutic delivery. When using the conventional stannous octoate catalyst in ring-opening polymerization (ROP), reaction temperatures ≥ 200 °C were required, which promoted uncontrollable and undesirable side reactions. Triazabicyclodecene (TBD), a highly reactive guanidine base organocatalyst, was used as an alternative to polymerize simvastatin. Polymerization was achieved at 150 °C using 5 kDa methyl-terminated poly(ethylene glycol) (mPEG) as the initiator. ROP reactions with 2 kDa or 550 Da mPEG initiators were also successful using TBD at 150 °C instead of stannous octoate, which required a higher reaction temperature. Biodegradability of the poly(simvastatin) copolymer in phosphate-buffered saline was also improved, losing twice as much mass than the copolymer synthesized via stannous octoate. The three copolymers exhibited modified rates of simvastatin release, demonstrating tunability for drug delivery applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-46
Number of pages10
JournalReactive and Functional Polymers
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Diblock copolymer
  • Drug delivery
  • Poly(simvastatin)
  • Simvastatin
  • Triazabicyclodecene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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