How to sterilize polylactic acid based medical devices?
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/2981
EDITED VERSION: https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4360/13/13/2115
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
How sterilization techniques accurately affect the properties of biopolymers continues to be an issue of discussion in the field of biomedical engineering, particularly now with the development of 3D-printed devices. One of the most widely used biopolymers in the manufacture of biomedical devices is the polylactic acid (PLA). Despite the large number of studies found in the literature on PLA devices, relatively few papers focus on the effects of sterilization treatments on its properties. It is well documented in the literature that conventional sterilization techniques, such as heat, gamma irradiation and ethylene oxide, can induced damages, alterations or toxic products release, due to the thermal and hydrolytical sensitivity of PLA. The purposes of this paper are, therefore, to review the published data on the most common techniques used to sterilize PLA medical devices and to analyse how they are affecting their physicochemical and biocompatible properties. Emerging and alternative sterilization methods for sensitive biomaterials are also presented.
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