Degradation of poly-L-lactide. Part 1: in vitro and in vivo physiological temperature degradation

Glenn Dickson, N.A. Weir, Fraser Buchanan, John Orr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Citations (Scopus)


Poly-L-Lactide is a bioresorbable polymer which degrades through hydrolysis of its ester linkage influenced by initial molecular weight and degree of crystallinity. Polymers belonging to the aliphatic polyester family currently represent the most attractive group of polymers that meet the medical and physical demands for safe clinical applications. Compression moulded PLLA pellets were produced as rods, sterilized and degraded both in vitro and in vivo (sub-dermal implantation model). The material molecular weight, crystallinity, mechanical strength and thermal properties were evaluated. In both in vitro and in vivo environments, degradation proceeded at the same rate and followed the general sequence of aliphatic polyester degradation, ruling out enzymes accelerating the degradation rate in vivo. By 44 weeks duration of implantation the PLLA rods were still biocompatible, before any mass loss was observed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-319
Number of pages13
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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