Biodegradable polymers derived from natural fatty acids

Abraham J. Domb, Raphael Nudelman

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68 Scopus citations


A new class of polyanhydrides synthesized from nonlinear hydrophobic fatty acid esters, based on ricinoleic, maleic acid, and sebacic acid, possessed desired physico‐chemical and mechanical properties for use as drug carriers. The polymers were synthesized by melt condensation to yield film‐forming polymers with molecular weights exceeding 100,000. Their rate of elimination from rats in the course of about 2 months was faster than that found for similar polyanhydrides previously tested. In vitro studies showed that these polymers underwent rapid degradation in the first 10 days. The drug release followed first‐order kinetics, showing a rapid drug release rate in the first 10 days which correlated with the degradation of the polymers. The fatty acid ester monomers underwent in vitro enzymatic degradation to the natural starting acids. Tests in rats demonstrated their toxicological inertness and biodegradability. © 1995 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)717-725
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • biodegradable polymers
  • fatty acid ester
  • polyanhydride
  • ricinoleic acid


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