Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Design of New Biomaterials from lactic acid

30.11.2007
Researchers from the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos have developed new biocompatible polymeric materials that have many applications inside the medical surgery and the biodegradable materials fields.

Polymeric biomaterials derived from lactic acid have extensive uses in medical applications, especially in the context of biodegradable sutures. They are widely used in the architecture of cardiac tissue, as support for drugs, and biodegradable fixation devices for the repair of small broken bones such as the ones in the hands, joints and feet.

These orthopaedic implants are gradually metabolised and naturally assimilated by the body. Their mass is progressively transferred into the broken bone, helping the healing process and thereby eliminating the need for a second intervention.

These new materials are obtained through molecular catalysis, and require breaking the cyclic dimer of lactic acid “lactide” to obtain polylactic acid (PLA). The lactide is a renewable natural resource that occurs as a by-product of the fermentation of biomass with high starch content, such as maize, wheat, or sugar beet. As in every polymerisation process, a catalyst is required and in this case the active compound must be a metal.

... more about:
»Metal »PLA »acid »biodegradable »catalyst »lactic

Consequently, this catalytic process has been studied with different metals such as tin, yttrium, titanium, aluminium and other lanthanides. However, since on some occasions residues of the catalyst can be incorporated into the polymer, it is important to preserve the biocompatibility and zero toxicity of the PLA by insuring that the metallic catalyst used is biologically benign and does not have a negative impact on tissue. These medical uses have favoured the use of metals like magnesium, calcium or zinc, all of them common inside the human body.

On a different front, PLAs are being investigated as a possible raw material of many manufactured products, since they present similar and in some cases better properties than traditional polymers that are derived from the bioresistant poly (a-olefin), with the significant added benefit of biodegradation.

While their production costs were considered too high in the past, recent developments in the treatment and production combined with the contrasting ecological hazard represented by petroleum derived polymers have brought these types of biodegradable polymers to very competitive positions.

One of the most recent and relevant examples that confirm this growing expansion, is the joint endeavour by Cargill. Inc., and The Dow Chemical Co., who have recently announced the mass production of many tons of PLAs.

The scientific community shows a growing interest to find catalysts that are capable of producing such biomaterials with well defined microstructures, since this defines the mechanical properties, the biodegradability, and the overall usability of the material.

With this in mind, the research group from the URJC, formed by Dr Andrés Garcés and Carlos Alonso and coordinated by Dr Luis Fernando Sánchez-Barba, is working in collaboration with the UCLM to develop different families of catalysts based on magnesium and zinc and stabilised by ligands like heteroscorpionate of they type “NNN”, capable of polymerising the ε-caprolactone and the lactide in a controlled manner. These are extremely active initiators with a chemical formula of [M(R)(NNN)] (M = Mg, Zn) that achieve a productivity of 21.000 Kg of poly-ε- caprolactone (PLC) produced per mol of Mg each hour at room temperature.

Moreover, some of these initiators allow for a controlled growth of the PLA’s microstructure. This is linked to the influence that the heteroscorpionate exerts during the process of opening the cyclic dimmer, which in turn grants control over the future specifications and applications of the produced material such as a high molecular mass, crystallinity as well as high fusion temperature (165ºC), all of it generating a great interest from industry.

This study has been published in the latest editions of the Inorganic Chemistry & Organometallics magazine.

Gabinete de prensa | alfa
Further information:
http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi/orgnd7/2007/26/
http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi/inocaj/2007/46/i05/abs/ic062093c.html

Further reports about: Metal PLA acid biodegradable catalyst lactic

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Mass spectrometry sheds new light on thallium poisoning cold case
14.12.2018 | University of Maryland

nachricht Protein involved in nematode stress response identified
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>