AbstractThe enzymatic degradation of oligo(ε-caprolactone) (OCL) based films at the air-water interface is investigated by Langmuir monolayer degradation (LMD) experiments to elucidate the influence of the molecular architecture and of the chemical structure on the chain scission process. For that purpose, the interactions of 2D monolayers of two star-shaped poly(ε-caprolactone)s (PCLs) and three linear OCL based copolyesterurethanes (P(OCL-U)) with the lipase from Pseudomonas cepacia are evaluated in comparison to linear OCL. While the architecture of star-shaped PCL Langmuir layers slightly influences their degradability compared to OCL films, significantly retarded degradations are observed for P(OCL-U) films containing urethane junction units derived from 2, 2 (4), 4-trimethyl hexamethylene diisocyanate (TMDI), hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) or lysine ethyl ester diisocyanate (LDI). The enzymatic degradation of the OCL based 2D structures is related to the presence of hydrophilic groups within the macromolecules rather than to the packing density of the film or to the molecular weight. The results reveal that the LMD technique allows the parallel analysis of both the film/enzyme interactions and the degradation process on the molecular level.