Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Poly (glycerol adipate) (PGA) backbone modifications with a library of functional diols: Chemical and physical effects

Jacob, Philippa L.; Cantu Ruiz, Laura A.; Pearce, Amanda K.; He, Yinfeng; Lentz, Joachim C.; Moore, Jonathan C.; Machado, Fabricio; Rivers, Geoffrey; Apebende, Edward; Fernandez, Maria Romero; Francolini, Iolanda; Wildman, Ricky; Howdle, Steven M.; Taresco, Vincenzo


Philippa L. Jacob

Laura A. Cantu Ruiz

Amanda K. Pearce

Transitional Assistant Professor

Joachim C. Lentz

Fabricio Machado

Edward Apebende

Maria Romero Fernandez

Iolanda Francolini

Professor of Multiphase Flow and Mechanics


Enzymatically synthesised poly(glycerol adipate) (PGA) has shown a palette of key desirable properties required for a biomaterial to be considered a ‘versatile polymeric tool’ in the field of drug delivery. PGA and its variations can self-assemble into nanoparticles (NPs) and interact at different levels with small active molecules. PGA derivatives are usually obtained by functionalising the glyceryl side hydroxyl group present along the main polymer scaffold. However, if the synthetic pathways are not finely tuned, the self-assembling ability of these new polymeric modifications might be hampered by the poor amphiphilic balance. For this reason, we have designed a straightforward one-pot synthetic modification, using a small library of diols in combination with glycerol, aimed at altering the backbone of the polymer without affecting the hydrophilic glyceryl portion. The diols introduce additional functionality into the backbone of PGA alongside the secondary hydroxyl group already present. We have investigated how extra functionalities along the polymer backbone alter the final polymer reactivity as well the chemical and biological properties of the nanoparticles. In addition, with the intent to further improve the green credentials of the enzymatic synthesis, a solvent derived from renewable resources, (2-methyl tetrahydrofuran, 2-MeTHF) was employed for the synthesis of all the PGA-variants as a replacement for the more traditionally used and fossil-based tetrahydrofuran (THF). In vitro assays carried out to evaluate the potential of these novel materials for drug delivery applications demonstrated very low cytotoxicity characteristic against NIH 3T3 model cell line.


Jacob, P. L., Cantu Ruiz, L. A., Pearce, A. K., He, Y., Lentz, J. C., Moore, J. C., …Taresco, V. (2021). Poly (glycerol adipate) (PGA) backbone modifications with a library of functional diols: Chemical and physical effects. Polymer, 228, Article 123912.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 27, 2021
Online Publication Date Jun 2, 2021
Publication Date Jul 16, 2021
Deposit Date Jun 3, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jun 3, 2022
Journal Polymer
Print ISSN 0032-3861
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 228
Article Number 123912
Keywords Organic Chemistry; Polymers and Plastics
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations