Fatty acid based biodegradable polymer

Jay Prakash Jain, Marina Sokolsky, Neeraj Kumar, A. J. Domb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Synthetic polymers have become an indispensable part of the daily-life of human beings and the biodegradable class of polymers hold immense value in therapeutics. Fatty acid incorporation in biodegradable polymers renders flexibility, low melting point, hydrophobicity, and pliability properties. At the same time, degradation into naturally occurring compounds makes them environmentally friendly besides their utility in various applications like drug delivery and as implantable devices. Fatty acid monomers are integrated in the polymeric chain using carboxylic acid functional groups. Most fatty acids are monofunctional in nature and act only as chain terminator during polymerization. This limitation has been overcome by the dimerization of unsaturated fatty acids or by creating a functional group on the monomers. The most recent addition to this series is ricinoleic acid based polyanhydrides and copolyesters. In this article, the synthesis methods, the physical properties, the degradation, the stability, and the toxicological aspect and applications of each class of fatty acid based polymers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-191
Number of pages36
JournalPolymer Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Biocompatibility
  • Biodegradable polymer
  • Biomedical application
  • Degradation
  • Fatty acid
  • Stability
  • Synthesis


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