Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Smart Plastics For Medicine


Biopolymers obtained by Russian researchers with the help of hydrogen bacteria, are compatible with tissues of the organism and are autodestractive after a while. That makes such biopolymers indispensable for medical articles.

Polymers of microbe origin, or biopolymers, have recently drawn increasing attention of a great variety of specialists. These polymers have two important advantages. Firstly, they get destroyed in the environment and thus solve the contamination problem. Secondly, they are biocompatible, and consequently, they are not rejected by the organism when applied for medical purposes. The Krasnoyarsk and Moscow researchers from the Institute of Biophysics (Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences) and ??? “Biokhimmash” supported by the International Science and Technology Center are developing technology of biopolymer production and manufacturing of medical articles from them.

These are polymers of oxyderivative fatty acids, the so-called polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). Some microorganism, for example hydrogen bacteria that get vital energy via oxidizing hydrogen, are able to synthesize PHAs. PHAs have a lot of advantages - their physicochemical characteristics, for example, thermoplasticity, is the same as that of polypropylene and polyethylene, and on top of that they possess antioxidant and optical properties and piezoelectric effect. Besides, like any biopolymers, they are compatible with tissues of organism and get destroyed in the environment. That is why they are promising for use in medicine (surgical and disposable materials), pharmacology (prolongation of drug action), food industry (packing and antioxidant materials), agriculture (seed obducers, destructible films).

The researchers tested the polymer production technology first in the laboratory and then in production environment. So far, the scientists can obtain three types of polymers: polyoxybutyrate and its copolymers with oxybutyrate and oxyvalerianate, but in the future the range of goods will increase. Within a week, 1 kilogram of polymer (or up to 50 kilograms per year) can be produced on the installation.

The researchers are mainly interested in PHA utilization for medical articles. They have already produced out of them wound healing films, suture material, covering for vessel prostheses (stents), matrix for bioartificial organs and implantates, membranes, microparticles, etc.

It is interesting to note that various articles need absolutely different rate of polymer biodegradation - suture threads and films should dissolve quickly, but stents and valve prostheses should serve for a long time. How do scientists solve this problem? “The degradation rate depends on the surface type, it can vary if different fillings are used, or it can be accelerated when needed through preliminary gamma irradiation”, explains Tatiana Volova.

Biopolymers underwent tests on animals at the Scientific Research Institute of Transplantology and Bioartificial Organs (Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation). Trade mark of biomaterial – ElastoPOBtm – has been registered. Clinical trials have been started. Specialists say that the current demand for polymers for medicine makes 400 thousand tons per year, therefore they consider industrial production of destructible bioplastics economically feasible. Based on the polymer’s sale price of 95 rubles per kilogram, they have already calculated polymer’s pay-back, return and profitability.

Sergey Komarov | alfa
Further information:

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>