S. Khalaj Amnieh, P. Mosaddegh, M. Mashayekhi, M. Kharaziha, "Biodegradation evaluation of poly (lactic acid) for stent application: Role of mechanical tension and temperature", Journal of Applied Polymer Science 138 (19), PP. 50389, 2021
In this study, an experimental investigation is conducted on mechanical characteristics of poly(lactic acid) (PLA), before, and during degradation for stent application. A bioreactor is designed and fabricated to mimic in-vivo environment of the body for studying degradation behavior of PLA fibers manufactured by melt spinning method. Beside PLA fibers, the degradation of PLA braided stents is investigated as control samples. To measure stress–strain and stress relaxation properties of PLA fibers, tensile, and relaxation tests are conducted. The decreasing trend of Young's modulus, variations in residual stress value after relaxation and pattern of stress relaxation are found during degradation. The influence of effective parameters, that is, temperature and stress, on PLA degradation is also studied. Moreover, the PLA degradation is analyzed by gel permeation chromatography (GPC), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and microscopic images. GPC results indicate the molecular weight decreases from 196,000 to 80,000 due to degradation while DSC analysis confirmed that the degradation promote an increase in PLA degree of crystallinity (from 43.3% to 59.8%). In addition, TGA results show that the PLA thermal stability decreases during degradation. This study provides useful information on PLA properties during degradation to assess the material in context of degradable stents.