This study aimed at the synthesis and characterization of segmented polyurethanes (SPUs), based on low molecular weight (2 kDa) macrodiols - poly(ethylene glycol), poly(L-lactide) and poly(trimethylene carbonate) (PEG, PLLA and PTMC, respectively) - and different diisocyanates (2,4-diisocyanato-toluene and 1,6-diisocyanato-hexane, 2,4-TDI and HDI, respectively) and chain extenders (1,4-butanediol and 2,2-bis-hydroxymethyl-propanoic acid, DMPA and BDO respectively). The PLLA and PTMC macrodiols were synthesized by ring-opening polymerization (ROP). The SPUs were obtained by a two-step route: synthesis of prepolymers from diisocyanates and macrodiols, followed by a chain extension step. The effects of the weight ratio of macrodiols on the physico-chemical and morphological properties of SPUs based on 2,4-TDI and BDO were studied. The ¹H NMR and GPC analysis revealed differences in reactivity of macrodióis, which resulted in differences in composition of the SPUs in relation to the reaction medium and in the molar mass distribution. Analysis by DSC, DMTA, AFM and swelling assays revealed that the intrinsic properties of the precursors were combined and modulated in SPUs. The combination of the three macrodiols results in SPUs with unique properties not found in binary and single component SPUs. The effects of the nature of the chain extenders and diisocyanates on the properties of ternary SPUs were also studied. The SPUs based on symmetrical diisocyanates (HDI) presents lower glass transition temperatures than those based on 2,4-TDI. Moreover, they are semi crystalline while SPUs based on 2,4-TDI are essentially amorphous. The morphology of the SPUs, typically of a dispersed phase in a matrix, is affected by the macrodiols ratio and by the nature of diisocyanates and chain extenders. The water swelling capability of the SPUs is governed by the PEG content and varies with temperature (temperature responsive SPUs) as well as with pH (pH responsive SPUs) when BDO is replaced with DMPA. SPUs with low PEG content and rich in PLLA were processed by electrospinning technique, resulting in nanofibrous porous films with elastomeric properties.
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