PLLA (Polylactic acid) is an extremely innovative and green material and it can be used also in orthopedic surgery.
certified-green-products: which are the main features of PLLA?
Polylactate (PLLA) is a synthetic and biodegradable aliphatic polyester (eco-sustainable medical product) and it is suitable for different applications both in medicine and in industry in order to replace conventional petrochemical-based polymers.
Starting from renewable resources, it is possible to obtain non-toxic monomers with good mechanical properties and easy processing- These makes PLLA superior to other thermoplastics.
To meet the different needs of use, the PLLA resorbable copolymer can be synthesized with various methods using different catalysts. Many aliphatic polyesters have the desired characteristics, but PLLA was found to be the most useful and therefore the most attractive from a research point of view.
This is mainly due to the fact that lactic acid is easily obtainable with biotechnological processes (usually based on lactobacillus) from very convenient raw materials.
The advantages of PLLA in orthopedic surgery devices (certified-green-products)
Compared to other biopolymers, the production of PLLA orthopedic surgery devices has numerous advantages.
- First of all, it is an eco-friendly medical product, since – in addition to being derived from renewable resources (such as corn, wheat or rice) – PLLA is biodegradable, recyclable and compostable, all for the benefit of the environment.
- Additional advantages of using PLLA in orthopedic surgery devices are biocompatibility (very important aspect in biomedical applications), processability (PLLA has better thermal processability than other biopolymers) and energy saving (the material requires 25 to 55 % less energy for production).
- Another main advantage of this innovative medical material, which makes it perfect for the production of orthopedic surgery products, is its characteristic of being reabsorbed by the human body, in a certain time.
This feature makes a second surgery be avoid for the removal of the medical device in question.