Degradation and Viscoelastic Properties of PLA-PCL, PGA-PCL, PDO and PGA Fibres
Aliphatic polyesters, such as polylactic acid (PLA), polyglycolic acid (PGA), polycaprolactone (PCL), polydioxone (PDO) and others, have been commonly used in biodegradable products. Hydrolytic and/or enzymatic chain cleavage of these materials leads to α-hydroxyacids, which, in most cases, are ultimately assimilated in human body or in a composting environment. However, each of these has some shortcomings, in terms of mechanical properties and degradation time, which restrict its applications. The combination of these materials, by copolymerization or blending, enables a range of mechanical properties and degradation rates. These are extremely promising approaches which can improve or tune the original properties of the polymers. A composite solution of several materials with different degradation rates also enables tuning the rate of degradation of a device and the mechanical properties. After immersion of an aliphatic polyester device, diffusion occurs very rapidly compared to hydrolysis. Therefore, it is usually considered that hydrolysis of ester bonds starts homogeneously and has traditionally been modelled according to a first order kinetics. In this experimental study, fibres of PLA-PCL, PGA-PCL, PDO and PGA, with two different dimensions, were characterized in terms of their degradation rate under three different environments (water, NaCl and PBS) at constant temperature (37°C). Weights and mechanical properties were measured after six different degradation stages. Stages durations were different depending on materials, according to the predicted degradation times. As other thermoplastics, they are viscoelastic materials. In this experimental study mechanical properties of fibres were compared at different strain rates.
Luís Guerra ROSA and Fernanda MARGARIDO
A.C. Vieira et al., "Degradation and Viscoelastic Properties of PLA-PCL, PGA-PCL, PDO and PGA Fibres ", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 636-637, pp. 825-832, 2010