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The changes in tensile strength were slower for the oriented material. The molecular weight decreases rapidly during the first 50 days while the crystalline phase increases, probably due to an annealing-like effect caused by the temperature at which the degradation was performed and rapid water absorption [175]. The biodegradability of poly(e-CL) and biocompatibility of its degradation products are well documented in the literature [199]. It is degradable in several biotic environments, such as river and lake waters, sewage sludge, farm soil, paddy soil, creek sediment, roadside sediment, pond sediment, and compost [200, 201].

4 Tin(IV) Alkoxides Monotin alkoxides, tin dialkoxides and cyclic tin alkoxides have been utilized as initiators in the ROP of cyclic esters. The tin alkoxides are known to form cyclic species during synthesis and the dibutyltin alkoxides are known to exist as monomers and dimers [74]. The cyclic tin alkoxides were originally studied because of their resistance towards hydrolysis [75]. The tin alkoxides have been reported to be effective transesterification catalysts initiating polymerization at moderate temperatures [76].

M. Stridsberg, M. -C. Albertsson 4 Macromolecular Architecture . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Homopolymers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Block Copolymers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Star-Shaped (Co)Polymers . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 55 57 5 Biodegradable Polymers . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Polymer Degradation . . . . . Polyglycolide and Copolymers . . . Polylactide and Copolymers . . . Poly(e-caprolactone) and Copolymers . . 58 59 59 61 6 Conclusions .

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