Aconityl-derived polymers for biomedical applications : Modeling study of cis-trans isomerisation
Soluble polymers have been prepared that are designed to undergo enhanced rates of hydrolysis at pH values less than that observed in blood circulation. The degradable element in the polymer mainchain is derived from cis-aconityl acid and is defined by a carboxylic acid pendent functionality (C-4) that is cis across a double bond to an amide at C-1 in the polymer mainchain. While degradation studies in vitro have confirmed these polymers do undergo enhanced rates of degradation at acidic pH values, there is also increasing evidence that during the degradation process the double bond isomerises to the trans configuration and thus prevents the full degradation of a polymer. From a molecular modelling perspective we are seeking to understand the propensity for this cis-trans isomerisation and the mechanism of this cis-trans isomerisation is discussed.