Through-thickness control of polymer bioresorption via electron beam irradiation

Marie-Louise Cairns, Alice Sykes, Glenn R. Dickson, John F. Orr, David Farrar, Arthur Dumba, Fraser J. Buchanan

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14 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


Predicable and controlled degradation is not only central to the accurate delivery of bioactive agents and drugs, it also plays a vital role in key aspects of bone tissue engineering. The work addressed in this paper investigates the utilisation of e-beam irradiation in order to achieve a controlled (surface) degradation profile. This study focuses on the modification of commercially and clinically relevant materials, namely poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA), poly(L-lactide-hydroxyapatite) (PLLA-HA), poly(L-lactide-glycolide) co-polymer (PLG) and poly(L-lactide-DL-lactide) co-polymer (PLDL). Samples were subjected to irradiation treatments using a 0.5 MeV electron beam with delivered surface doses of 150 and 500 kGy. In addition, an acrylic attenuation shield was used for selected samples to control the penetration of the e-beam. E-beam irradiation induced chain scission in all polymers, as characterized by reduced molecular weights and glass transition temperatures (T-g). Irradiation not only produced changes in the physical properties of the polymers but also had associated effects on surface erosion of the materials during hydrolytic degradation. Moreover, the extent to which both mechanical and hydrolytic degradation was observed is synonymous with the estimated penetration of the beam (as controlled by the employment of an attenuation shield). (C) 2010 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-557
Number of pages10
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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