Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)

Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) is one of the most successfully developed biodegradable polymers. Among the different polymers developed to formulate polymeric nanoparticles, PLGA has attracted considerable attention due to its attractive properties: (i) biodegradability and biocompatibility, and (ii) FDA and European Medicine Agency approval in drug delivery systems for parenteral administration.

Depending on the ratio of lactide to glycolide used for the polymerization, different forms of PLGA can be obtained: these are usually identified in regard to the molar ratio of the monomers used (e.g. PLGA 75:25 identifies a copolymer whose composition is 75% lactic acid and 25% glycolic acid). The crystallinity of PLGAs will vary from fully amorphous to fully crystalline depending on block structure and molar ratio. PLGA s typically show a glass transition temperature in the range of 40-60 °C. PLGA can be dissolved by a wide range of solvents, depending on composition. Higher lactide polymers can be dissolved using chlorinated solvents whereas higher glycolide materials will require the use of fluorinated solvents such as HFIP.

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