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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Research Project: Crystallization and Enzymatic Degradation Studies of Blends of Poly(hydroxyalkanoate) and Poly(lactic acid)

Location: Biobased and Other Animal Co-Products

Project Number: 1935-41000-090-02
Project Type: Nonfunded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jan 01, 2013
End Date: Dec 08, 2013

Objective:
To prepare blends of poly(lactic acid) and poly(hydroxyalkanoate) biopolymers with various ratios and to investigate the microstructure and degradation of these blends.

Approach:
Tissue engineering has become a well recognized technology for replacing or repairing damaged tissues or organs within the body. Biodegradable and biocompatible polymers are fast becoming the materials used for surgical implantation as opposed to non-degradable implants. Tissue engineers have often employed the use of synthetic scaffolds fabricated from poly(glycolic acid) (PGA), poly(lactic acid) (PLA), and their coplymer mixtures. These polymers, being biocompatible products, can be degraded either enzymatically or hydrolytically. Degraded components are eliminated through normal metabolic pathways. PLA, an FDA approved material, has often been used in surgical materials, such as sutures, or drug delivery devices due to its inherent biocompatibility and ability to biodegrade. However, due to relatively high cost compared to other polymers, PLA has not been used extensively. In order to reduce the cost and also to invent PLA-based materials with different properties, in this study PLA will be blended with poly(hydroxyalkanoates) (PHA) at different ratios, and the microstructure and degradation properties of the blends will be characterized.

Last Modified: 8/30/2014
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