Bone fracture can be fixed with PCL/PLA

  • 2022-10-27
After the fracture of human bone, it can be repaired by external fixation and internal fixation. After fixation, the bone can repair itself over time.

External fixation requires plaster, which is wrapped outside the body to prevent bone displacement. However, plaster will limit the patient's mobility. Therefore, internal fixation is a popular medical strategy today.

Internal fixation can use steel plates and screws, which can be removed after the bone is healed, but this increases the patient's pain. Biodegradable plastics can meet various functional requirements of medical devices, and they are increasingly used in the medical field.

PCL is a widely used synthetic polymer, and its properties are being explored for biomedical applications. In addition, PLA and PCL also showed excellent biocompatibility and biodegradability. In addition, they are non-toxic and degrade at a controlled rate once injected into the human body.

Compared with PCL, glassy PLA is more brittle, decomposes faster, and its flexibility and softness are also reduced. However, because PCL has low surface energy, there is no adhesion signal, and as a result, fewer cells adhere to the surface. In order to create new biomaterials that can act beyond each polymer alone, the two polymers can be effectively combined.

Although PCL and PLA are compatible, research shows that there is only a relatively weak relationship between the two materials when using the melt blending process. According to the research results of Broz et al. (2003), PCL blends with a PCL concentration of more than 50% showed an increase in the interaction between PLA and PCL. In addition, Zhai et al. (2009) found that the best mixing ratio of PCL and PLA was PLA70/PCL30.

Researchers from Diponegoro University in Indonesia studied the influence of PCL concentration on the properties of PLA polymer blends. They prepared PLA/PCL blends by ball milling, pressing and sintering, which is expected to improve the strength of PLA/PCL blends and produce good interfacial bonding.

This method is to use a ball mill to mix PCL and PLA with different concentrations at 80rpm for 2 hours. The obtained mixture is placed in a stainless steel 304 mold for the compaction process, which uses a pressure of 30 MPa to create the green body. The sintering procedure was carried out in a digital oven on a green billet produced at 150 ° C for 2 hours. PLA/PCL blends were obtained by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), density, porosity and three-point bending tests.

The results showed that the increase of PCL content led to the surface roughness of 90PLA, 80PLA, 70PLA and 60PLA samples, which had many voids and lamellar structures. This proves that the plastic deformation increases with the increase of PCL content. The mixing ratio has a significant effect on the values of bulk density, apparent density and porosity. The porosity of PLA/PCL blends decreased with the increase of PLA concentration.


Density and porosity of polylactic acid (PLA) and polycaprolactone (PCL) blends.

In addition, the density of PLA/PCL blends increased linearly with the increase of PLA content. The 90PLA sample has the highest density (1.19 g/cm3) and the lowest porosity (8.62%). The bending strength of PLA/PCL blends increased with the increase of their density. The 90PLA sample has the best mechanical properties, with the maximum force and displacement of 51.13 N and 7.21 mm, respectively. The addition of 10 weight%% PCL can improve the stress transfer and allow the formation of a harder bond, thus contributing to the improvement of the flexural properties of PLA/PCL blends. In addition, high PCL content will reduce the stiffness of PLA molecular chain, leading to a decline in bending performance.

Bending Test Results of PLA/PCL Blends

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