In vitro degradation and characterization of sprayable polymer blends for tissue adhesion
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Fast degrading sprayable polymers could potentially serve as tissue adhesives instead of current invasive surgical closure techniques like suturing, stapling, and clips. In previous work, blending low molecular weight (LMW) and high molecular weight (HMW) poly(lactide-co-caprolactone) (PLCL) yielded significantly higher adhesive strength to cardiac tissue than a clinical control. In this thesis, eight different blends of PLCL containing molecular weights below and above entanglement molecular weight (Me) were synthesized to determine the effect of the molecular weight and blend component ratios on degradation rates and mechanical properties. Blending polymers below and above Me yielded more rapid and steady degradation when compared to blends containing polymers above Me. Further, we investigated the blends as tissue adhesives on two different porcine tissues (skin, and intestine). Blends containing 70% of LMW component yielded significantly higher adhesion strength to both tissues. Owing to their simple application, tunable degradation rates and mechanical properties, these blends have the potential to be used as a tissue adhesive on both dry and wet tissues.