Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is a biocompatible, hydrophilic, synthetic polymer with extensive use in biomedical and some other applications. Polyethylene glycol is synthesized by using ring-opening polymerization of ethylene oxide to generate a huge amount of molecular weights and its distribution while distinct polyethylene Glycols are produced with a single, precise molecular weight. Polyethylene Glycols can be activated by the replacement of the terminal hydroxyl end group with the multiple reactive functional end groups empowering conjugation and crosslinking chemistries.
How is Polyethylene Glycol used?
Polyethylene glycols are FDA-approved, nonimmunogenic, non-toxic, and are often used in a wide range of biomedical applications containing drug deliver, bio-conjugation, tissue engineering, and surface functionalization. Bio-conjugation with polyethylene glycols also called as PEGylation, which is the covalent conjugation of several drug targets such as proteins, peptides, and oligonucleotides with polyethylene glycols for the improvement of the pharmacokinetic properties.
In drug delivery application, PEGs are used as linkers for ADCs (Antibody-Drug Conjugates) or as a surface coating over nanoparticles to enhance systemic drug delivery. Polyethylene glycol hydrogels are three dimensional, water-swollen polymers, resistant to biodegradation and protein adhesion.
PEG hydrogels are synthesized by crosslinking reactive polyethylene glycols end groups and are frequently used in drug delivery and tissue engineering.
Types of polyethylene glycols
The molecular weights of polyethylene glycols are measured by the several ethylene glycol units combined into every polyethylene glycols and vary from around 300 grams each mole to around 10,000,000 grams each mole. The molecular weight defines the characteristics of every category or type of polyethylene glycols. Low molecular weight PEGs, including 2 to 4 ethylene glycols unite for every polymer.
Polyethylene glycols including up to 700 ethylene units for each polymeric product are thick, clear liquids. Polyethylene glycols having around 1,000 or more units per polymeric material are waxy solids.
Characteristics of polyethylene glycols
Polyethylene glycols are odorless, non-toxic, nonirritating, colorless, and do vanish easily. Polyethylene glycols are measured inert, and they are harmless. Polyethylene glycols are solvable in a number of organic solvents. All polyethylene glycols willingly dissolve in water and do not change its odor, taste, or color of the water.
Medical Uses of Polyethylene Glycols
Several characteristics of polyethylene glycols make them amazing materials for use in pharmaceutical applications. PEGs are usually employed in a huge number of pharmaceutical products as a dispensing agent, solvents, medications and delivery liquids, tablets to fillers, as a treatment for constipation, and as suppository bases, in ophthalmic solutions. PEGs are also used in lubricants and veterinary products.
Industrial Applications of Polyethylene Glycols
In the manufacturing process, polyethylene glycols are used as water-based coatings, in agricultural products as anti-dusting agents, in electroplating as brighteners, in cosmetic products as moisturizers, detergents and cleaners, in molded products as non-stick agents, color stabilizers for ceramics manufacture, paper, an anti-static agent and softener in textile manufacture.
Oral Health Applications of polyethylene glycols
Polyethylene glycols in grouping with other products, are employed in breath fresheners, toothpaste, and mouthwashes, comprising antiseptic and anti-plaque mouth rinses. PEGs are used to improve the shelf-life and steadiness of the product.