Polyethylene glycol (PEG), also known as poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) or poly(oxyethylene) (POE), is a synthetic, hydrophilic and biocompatible polyether. Typically, materials with molecular weight less than 20,000 g/mol are referred to as PEGs, whereas those with molecular weight above 20,000 g/mol are referred to as PEOs. These polymers are soluble in water as well as in many organic solvents, such as ethanol, acetonitrile, toluene, acetone, dichloromethane, hexane, and chloroform.
PEGs are versatile and commonly used in biomedical research, such as in drug delivery, tissue engineering, bioconjugation and surface functionalization applications. PEGs are non-toxic and approved by the FDA and other authorities for use in pharmaceutical, food and cosmetics formulations.
The conjugation or non-covalent attachment of PEG molecules to molecules or nanoparticles and micro-particles is referred to as PEGylation. In drug delivery, PEGylation can provide biologics drugs (e.g. peptides, proteins, oligonucleotides) and particulate delivery systems “stealth” properties and biocompatibility, and optimize the pharmacokinetic properties of drugs. PEG hydrogels can be produced by crosslinking bifunctional PEGs and are commonly used in controlled drug release and scaffolding in tissue engineering. We offer a broad portfolio of well-defined PEGs with a wide range of molecular weights, end functionalities, reactivities, and polymer architecture for all of your biomedical research applications. For more in-depth information, including the four general characterizations, key industrial applications, and related products, please explore our Bench to Bulk Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) and Polyethylene Oxide (PEO) for Medical Devices Brochure.