The in-vitro degradation of poly(glycolic acid) sutures--effect of pH

Journal of Biomedical Materials Research
C C Chu


Tensile strength of poly(glycolic acid) suture (PGA) of size 2-0 was examined as a function of three pH levels, 5.25, 7.44, and 10.09 of the buffer. Cord and yarn grip was used to eliminate grip-induced failure of breaking strength tests. It was found that Dexon sutures degraded significantly faster in pH = 10.09 buffer than the other two lower pH buffers. There was no significant difference in degradation rate at pH = 5.25 and 7.44. At 7 days, PGA sutures lost almost half of its original tensile strength at pH = 10.09, while the same sutures still remained more than 95% of their original breaking strength at buffers of pH = 5.25 and 7.44. After 21 days, no trace of sutures could be detected in the buffer of pH = 10.09 while about 20% strength still remained in the buffers of pH = 7.44 and 5.25. Cage effect in the crystalline phase and pH dependent hydrogen bonding were introduced to explain the difference in degradation phenomenon of PGA at buffers of various pH.


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