The Structure and Glass Transition Behaviour of Plla under the Influence of Gamma Radiation
AutoriMilićević, Dejan S.
Trifunovic, Saša B.
Mudrinić, Tihana M.
Dojčilović, Jablan R.
Suljovrujić, Edin H.
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The influence of gamma radiation on the structure and glass transition behaviour of poly-L-lactide (PLLA) has been studied. Since PLLA exposed to high-energy radiation in the presence of air is prone to chain scission reactions and large degradation, changes in molecular weight were obtained by the gel permeation chromatography (GPC). Alterations in the glass transition behaviour were investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The apparent activation energy, Delta H*, for the glass transition was determined on the basis of the heating rate dependence of the glass transition temperature, T(g). Our findings support the fact that chain scission is the main reason for the decrease of Tg and Delta H* with the absorbed dose. At low doses, despite large changes in molecular weight, only small alterations are observed in the glass transition temperature and apparent activation energy. Further increase in the absorbed dose introduces not only significant changes in the molecular w...eight but also in the glass transition temperature and the activation energy. Such glass transition behaviour is a manifestation of a well-known effect of molecular weight on Tg, postulated by the Fox-Flory equation. However, all the observed alterations are small and tolerable at absorbed doses required for sterilization (up to 25 kGy in most circumstances). Furthermore, this study reveals that the radiation-induced changes in the molecular weight and the glass transition temperature occur in a predictable and fairly accurate manner. Therefore, gamma radiation can be used not only for sterilization but also for tailoring desirable end-use properties of PLLA based implants.