Review of multifarious applications of Poly (lactic acid)
Geever, Luke M.
Killion, John A.
Lyons, John G.
Higginbotham, Clement L.
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Poly (lactic acid) is considered to be a promising alternative to petroleum-based polymers due to its renewability, biodegradability, biocompatibility, and good mechanical properties. Because of the high cost, the applications of poly (lactic acid) were limited to the medical field. Over the past decade, improvements in polymerization allow the economical mass production of high molecular weight poly (lactic acid). Therefore, the applications of poly (lactic acid) have recently spread to domestic, commercial packaging, and textile applications. This review outlines the chemical, thermal characteristics of poly (lactic acid) and discusses the use of poly (lactic acid) in medical applications such as sutures, stents, drug carrier, orthopaedic devices, scaffolds, as well as commercial applications in textile and packaging fields with superior properties such as high wicking performance, good dyeability, antibacterial feature, good ultraviolet resistance, high water vapor transmission rates, shrink wrapping, and dead fold property. While the drawbacks of poly (lactic acid) utilized in these fields are also discussed. It is clear that the advantages of using poly (lactic acid) outlined in this review will ensure that the market for poly (lactic acid) products will continue to expand.
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