Controlling surface properties and permeability of polyglycerol network films


While branched polyglycerol (PG)-based molecules are well established as hydrophilic particles, the capacity of utilizing PG in bulk materials and opportunities arising by their further surface functionalization have only recently been considered. Here we investigated how the mold used in PG network synthesis may affect surface composition and how the permeability of substances through PG can be controlled by altering network structure, i.e. introducing 20 mol% oligoethylene glycol (OEG) bifunctional spacer molecules. Overall, PG-based bulk network materials were shown to be tailorable, hydrophilic, low swelling and relatively stiff polyether-based materials, with low impact of salt onto material properties. Based on these features, but also on the principal capacity of free hydroxyl groups to be used for functionalization reactions, these materials may be an interesting platform for medical and technical applications, e.g. as diffusion-rate controlling membrane in aqueous environment.
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