The potential of electron beam irradiation for simultaneous surface modification and bioresorption control of PLLA for medical device applications

Fraser Buchanan, Marie-Louise Cairns

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Bioresorbable polymers have been widely investigated as materials exhibiting significant potential for successful application in the medical fields of bone fixation devices and drug delivery. Further to the ability to control degradation, surface engineering of polymers has been highlighted as a key method central to their development. Previous work has demonstrated the ability of electron beam (e-beam) technology to control the degradation profiles and bioresorption of a number of commercially relevant bioresorbable polymers (poly-l-lactic acid (PLLA), L-lactide/ DL-lactide co-polymer (PLDL) and poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA). This work investigates the further potential of e-beam technology to impart added biofunctionality through the manipulation of polymer (PLLA) surface properties. A Dynamatron Continuous DC e-beam unit (Synergy Health, UK), with beam energies of 0.5, 0.75, and 1.5 MeV, was used for the irradiation of PLLA samples with delivered surface doses of 150 or 500 kGy at each energy level. The chosen conditions reflect the need to achieve a specific surface modification for the control of surface degradation as demonstrated in previous work. Surface characterization was then performed using contact angle analysis, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Raman spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy.
Results demonstrated a significant increase in surface wettability post e-beam treatment. In correlation with this, XPS data showed the introduction of oxygen-containing functional groups to the surface of PLLA. Raman spectroscopy indicated chain scission in the near surface region of PLLA. E-beam irradiation did not seem to affect the surface roughness of PLLA as a direct consequence of the treatment. In conclusion electron beam surface modification has been found to modify both the surface-to-bulk bioresorption profile and the surface hydrophilicity. Both could provide benefits in relation to the performance of implantable medical devices.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
EventInternational Meeting of Radiations Processing (IMRP) 2013 - Shanghai, China
Duration: 04 Nov 201308 Nov 2013


ConferenceInternational Meeting of Radiations Processing (IMRP) 2013


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