279157 Mechanical and Biological Characterization of Corn-Derived Poly-L-Lactic Acid

Thursday, November 1, 2012: 4:35 PM
304 (Convention Center )
Leslie Rea1, Nishath Khan2, Manju Misra2, Amar K. Mohanty3 and Sujata K. Bhatia4, (1)Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, (2)School of Engineering and the Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada, (3)Department of Plant Agriculture & School of Engineering, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada, (4)School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

The ability to create biocompatible materials, and use such materials for medical purposes in the human body, will help treat diseases that result from loss of mechanical function in tissues.  Biopolymers are an intuitive choice for biomedical applications such as tissue repair and regeneration, given that bio-based materials are constructed from naturally-derived materials, and may be expected to be friendly to biological tissues.  Moreover, bio-based materials possess tunable chemical, physical, and mechanical properties, so that these materials can be readily constructed to match the native properties of a variety of target tissues, and ultimately be implanted in the human body to enable re-growth of cells and tissues.

Congestive heart failure and emphysema are examples of two diseases that result from a loss of elasticity in the muscles and tissue. Both of these diseases are potentially treatable with implantable, naturally-derived biocompatible materials.  The purpose of this study is to characterize the mechanical and biological properties of electrospun corn-derived poly-L-lactic acid.  We find that corn-derived poly-L-lactic acid has modulus of elasticity of 0.2-0.4 MPa.  These properties are compatible with human myocardium, which has a modulus of elasticity of 0.2-0.5 MPa.  Further, we find that corn-derived poly-L-lactic acid is non-cytotoxic to clinically relevant cell lines, including cardiac fibroblasts and cardiac myocytes.  These results are promising for the use of bio-derived materials in biomedical applications.


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