Star polymers and polymer networks containing a novel, hydrolyzable diacetal-based dimethacrylate cross-linker: Synthesis, characterization, and hydrolysis kinetics
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A hydrolyzable diacetal dimethacrylate cross-linker, MOEME, was retrieved from the same product mixture where its monoacetal homologue, DMOEM, was synthesized. MOEME was copolymerized with MMA by GTP after purification, to prepare degradable polymer networks and star polymers. The number of arms at the cores of the prepared star polymers were limited by the relative bulkiness of MOEME to ̃10, similar to that obtained with DMOEM, but much lower than that obtained with the more traditional, nondegradable and compact, dimethacrylate cross-linker EGDMA. The degradable star polymers containing this acid-labile cross-linker were hydrolyzed in the THF using HCl to give lower MW polymer products with the expected MWs. Both the MWs and the compositions of the hydrolysis products were thereby close to those expected on the basis of the full hydrolysis of the cross-linkers.
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