A study on the rate of degradation of the bioabsorbable polymer polyglycolic acid (PGA)
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As part of a study to characterise bioabsorbable scaffolds for tissue engineering an investigation has been conducted into the rate of degradation of polyglycolic acid (PGA). This is one of the most commonly used bioabsorbable materials and has been used in sutures since the 60s and more recently in cell scaffolds, drug delivery devices and bone fixation pins. This study looks at the influence that surface-to-volume ratio i.e. thickness of material, has on degradation. By degrading various thicknesses of PGA in a buffer saline solution over 24 days and testing their properties at regular intervals, a knowledge of how surface-to-volume ratio affects degradation was developed. Properties such as weight loss, crystallinity, molecular weight and structural integrity were measured. Results showed that rate of mass loss was dependent on sample thickness but crystallinity, melting point and molecular weight were independent of thickness.
KeywordsDifferential Scanning Calorimetry Mass Loss Melting Enthalpy Thick Sample Thin Sample
The author would like to thank Smith & Nephew for supplying the materials for this study.
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