Effects of In Vitro Degradation on the Weight Loss and Tensile Properties of PLA/LPCL/HPCL Blend Fibers

  • Yoon Cheol Soo (Department of Textile Engineering, Dankook University) ;
  • Ji Dong Sun (Department of Textile Engineering, Dankook University)
  • Published : 2005.03.01


PLA/LPCL/HPCL blend fibers composed of poly (lactic acid) (PLA), low molecular weight poly ($\varepsilon$-caprolactone) (LPCL), and high molecular weight poly ($\varepsilon$-caprolactone) (HPCL) were prepared by melt blending and spinning for bioab­sorbable filament sutures. The effects of blending time and blend composition on the X-ray diffraction patterns and tensile properties of PLA/LPCL/HPCL blend fibers were characterized by WAXD and UTM. In addition, the effect of in vitro degra­dation on the weight loss and tensile properties of the blend fibers hydrolyzed during immersion in a phosphate buffer solu­tion at pH 7.4 and 37$^{\circ}C$ for 1-8 weeks was investigated. The peak intensities of PLA/LPCL/HPCL blend fibers in X-ray diffraction patterns decreased with an increase of blending time and LPCL contents in the blend fibers. The weight loss of PLA/LPCL/HPCL blend fibers increased with an increase of blending time, LPCL contents, and hydrolysis time while the tensile strength and modulus of the blend fibers decreased. The tensile strength and modulus of the blend fibers were also found to be increased with an increase of HPCL contents in the blend fibers. The optimum conditions to prepare PLA/LPCL/HPCL blend fibers for bioabsorbable sutures are LPCL contents of $5 wt\%, HPCL contents of $35 wt\%, and blending time of 30 min. The strength retention of the PLA/LPCL/HPCL blend fiber prepared under optimum conditions was about $93.5\% even at hydrolysis time of 2 weeks.



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