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Preliminary studies on degradation of polylactides fibers

Maryla Moczulska 1,3Wacław Tomaszewski 2Wojciech Swieszkowski 1Arie Bruinink 3Krzysztof J. Kurzydlowski 1

1. Warsaw University of Technology, Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering (InMat), Wołoska 141, Warszawa 02-507, Poland
2. Instytut Biopolimerów i Włókien Chemicznych w Łodzi, ul. M. Skłodowskiej-Curie 19/27, Łódź 90-570, Poland
3. EMPA, Materials Science and Technology, Laboratory for Advanced Fibers, Lerchenfeldstrasse 5, St.Gallen 9014, Switzerland


In vitro degradation study is essential step in the characterization of a tissue engineering products. The degradation rate of the tissue engineering products should be similar or slower than the rate of tissue repair. Products of degradation should be non toxic and no harmful to the body. They should be also easily secrete through normal physiological pathways. Many various agents can influence on degradation process (polymer molecular weight, polymer polydispersity, polymer crystallinity, pH of degradation medium, degradation condition: static or dynamic and also morphology and porosity). Design of scaffold can also influence on degradation process.

There are many strategies which are used to study scaffold properties during in vitro degradation. Some of them use as a buffer solution a phosphate buffered saline (PBS) to maintain a stable pH and perform the assay at 37oC. The scaffolds are immersed in solution for a certain period. Various parameter such as weight loss, polymer molecular weight and mechanical properties are monitored.

The aim of this work was preliminary studies of degradation of fibrous material produced from degradable polylactide (PLA). Fibers were fabricated via electrospinning. These material was tested using PBS as immersing liquid. Degree of degradation of the materials was estimated on the basis of weight loss. Microstructure of the materials was observed using scanning electron microscope. Molecular mass changes were evaluated by gel permeation chromatography (GPC). 

The results obtained in this study indicate that the incubation for a period 18 weeks in PBS caused the weight loss and decrease molecular mass. During incubation in PBS the fibers diameter do not change. It suggest that the fibers degrade through bulk hydrolysis.


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Presentation: Poster at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2009, Symposium F, by Maryla Moczulska
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2009

Submitted: 2009-08-05 12:29
Revised:   2009-08-05 12:29