Polylactides and their copolymers are currently among the most frequently used thermoplastics in medicine. They can be obtained from renewable raw materials through chemical synthesis. The optical and physical properties of these biopolymers, as well as their biocompatibility and biodegradability, enable their use not only in the most diverse areas of medical technology, but also as practical and ecologically-friendly mass plastics, e.g. for use in food packaging.
We are engaged in the synthesis of multifunctional polylactides for use as osteosynthesis tools (pins, screws, plates etc.), surgical sutures, adhesives, coatings and wound dressings, drug depots for pharmaceuticals and as carrier materials for cell cultivation and tissue engineering.
By copolymerization with other biocompatible monomers, such as ε-caprolactone or glycolide, it is possible to selectively vary the properties of the polylactides with respect to strength, melting point and degradation behavior, thereby considerably expanding their range of application. By adding inorganic fillers, we can also produce biodegradable bone implant materials, which can be used in the non-load-bearing musculoskeletal system.
In a current research project (IGF project no.: 19019 N), polylactide, with zinc oxide as an antibacterial agent and tricalcium phosphate as a filler, is extruded and physically, chemically and biochemically characterized along the whole process chain up to the in vitro behavior.
Our department has the corresponding expertise for the synthesis, characterization and processing of polylactides and special copolymers and therefore acts as a suitable partner for individual inquiries from research and industrial institutions.