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Biopolymers from Renewable Resources (Macromolecular Systems - Materials Approach)
Natural Fibers, Biopolymers, and Biocomposites
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Poly(Lactide-co-Glycolide) Copolymers

Poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) is a biodegradable polyester, that has been
extensively used in various biomedical applications due to its excellent
biocompatibility. Poly(lactide-co-glycolide) copolymers are extensively used in drug
delivery systems, sutures, and orthopaedic fixation devices such as pins, rods and
Screws.
Poly(lactide-co-glycolide) and the respective homopolymers Polylactide (PLA) and
Polyglycolide (PGA) are FDA approved polymers to be used in biomedical
applications.

PLA and PGA exhibit biodegradable and hydrophilic properties that are unique to
their polymeric architecture. Copolymerization of lactide and glycolide allows
tailoring the aforementioned properties to match the requirements of the potential
application.
Polyesters are attractive in biomedical field due to
their better degradation behavior through the
hydrolysis of ester linkage. The products made by
PLA, PGA of PGLA can be hydrolyzed to lactic
acid and other byproducts which can be resorbed
through the metabolic pathways.

PGLA structure can be easily tailored to alter the
degradation rates and other properties of the
biomedical product. For example, by increasing the
glycolide units in the PLGA copolymer, the
hydrophilicity can be lowered, and mechanical
strength can be improved.

Use of poly(lactide-co-glycolide) and their
homopolymers are also extensively studied in issue
engineering applications. Biocompatible products
from new polymers are emerging to meet the
requirements in orthopedic injuries and diseases
including scaffolds that provide mechanical support
the tissue growth. More demanding applications
includes the ability to incorporate cells, growth
factors etc.
Poly(lactide-co-glycolide) synthetic scheme