Polymeric materials derived from poly(maleic anhydride-alt
-octadecene)—here referred as PAM-18—have shown interesting properties that make them potential pharmaceutical excipients. In this work, eight polymers derived from PAM-18 were obtained using NaOH and KOH at 1:1; 1:0.75, 1:0.5, and 1:0.25 molar ratios. The resulting products were labeled as PAM-18Na and PAM-18K, respectively. Each polymer was purified by ultrafiltration/lyophilization, and the ionization degree was determined by potentiometric studies, which was related to the zeta potential. The structural characterization was performed using the Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) espectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques. The physical characterization was carried out by SEM, particle analysis, and humidity loss and gain studies; the surface studies were performed by the sessile drop method. PAM-18Na had ionization degrees of 95%, 63%, 39% and 22%, whereas those for PAM-18K were 99%, 52%, 35% and 20%, respectively. The results also showed that for higher inorganic base amounts used, the polymeric materials obtained possess high ionization degrees, which could form polymeric solutions or hetero-dispersed systems. Likewise, it was observed that for higher proportions of carboxylate groups in the polymeric structure, the capability to retain water is increased and, only can be eliminated by drying at temperatures greater than 160 °C. On the other hand, the modification of PAM-18 to its ionized forms led to the formation of powder materials with low flowability and surfaces that ranged from very hydrophobic to slightly wettable.
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