Physicochemical Properties of UV-Irradiated, Biaxially Oriented PLA Tubular Scaffolds

Polymers (Basel). 2023 Feb 22;15(5):1097. doi: 10.3390/polym15051097.


PLA and its blends are the most extensively used materials for various biomedical applications such as scaffolds, implants, and other medical devices. The most extensively used method for tubular scaffold fabrication is by using the extrusion process. However, PLA scaffolds show limitations such as low mechanical strength as compared to metallic scaffolds and inferior bioactivities, limiting their clinical application. Thus, in order to improve the mechanical properties of tubular scaffolds, they were biaxially expanded, wherein the bioactivity can be improved by surface modifications using UV treatment. However, detailed studies are needed to study the effect of UV irradiation on the surface properties of biaxially expanded scaffolds. In this work, tubular scaffolds were fabricated using a novel single-step biaxial expansion process, and the surface properties of the tubular scaffolds after different durations of UV irradiation were evaluated. The results show that changes in the surface wettability of scaffolds were observed after 2 min of UV exposure, and wettability increased with the increased duration of UV exposure. FTIR and XPS results were in conjunction and showed the formation of oxygen-rich functional groups with the increased UV irradiation of the surface. AFM showed increased surface roughness with the increase in UV duration. However, it was observed that scaffold crystallinity first increased and then decreased with the UV exposure. This study provides a new and detailed insight into the surface modification of the PLA scaffolds using UV exposure.

PMID:36904337 | PMC:PMC10007632 | DOI:10.3390/polym15051097


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