- Synthetic biodegradable polymers have numerous applications in many different sectors.
- Green biodegradable materials are used in a number of products, like sutures and plastics.
- Biodegradable materials break down over time, completely dissolving.
1. Bone Replacement With Biodegradable Materials
Synthetic biodegradable polymers have shown to be a great option for bone replacement inside the human body. Breaks in the bone require time and growth to mend, and during this recovery period the bone can not bear weight. With materials that do not degrade, such as steel pins and rods, after the bone heals and the materials are removed, the bone is weak and may break again. Using materials that are biodegradable will allow the material to stay in longer and dissolve slowly over time. This gives the bone time to strengthen due to increased weight bearing gradually.
2. Drug Delivery In The Body Using Synthetic Biodegradable Polymers
Green biodegradable drug delivery systems are possible today thanks to polymers which are synthetic and biodegradable. These polymers degrade slowly, so they have the capability to release specific amounts of a drug over a specific time period, such as hours or days. This drug release that occurs as the biodegradable materials break down may be the primary benefit or a side effect for a polymer that also functions as part of another medical device at the same time.
3. Green Biodegradable Packaging Materials
Plastics made from synthetic biodegradable polymers are much better for the environment, because they break down substantially faster. Landfills around the world are full of plastics and packaging materials, some of which may take decades or longer to completely break down. Plastic packaging made from biodegradable materials instead will ensure that these plastics and packages break down fairly quickly, and do not add to the trash and pollution that harms the earth.
4. Tissue Engineering With Synthetic Biodegradable Polymers
Synthetic biodegradable polymers have many medical applications, and one of these is tissue engineering. The biodegradable materials can form a support or scaffolding, which encourages and supports growing tissue while slowly degrading. This means that the polymers will eventually break down and dissolve from the body, leaving only the healthy tissue which was engineered. This application can be used in many different ways, wherever tissue engineering is needed in the body.
5. Green Biodegradable Sutures
Sutures which use biodegradable materials offer many benefits. These sutures will slowly dissolve over time, so there is no need for another doctor or hospital visit or the associated medical costs. With traditional sutures they are put in and then a return visit is needed in seven to ten days from that date for the sutures to be taken out by a medical professional. Green biodegradable stitches, also called dissolving stitches, free up medical personnel and lower the total cost for suture procedures.
6. Vascular Stents That Are Made With Biodegradable Materials
Vascular stents which are made using synthetic biodegradable polymers offer significant advantages over the older types of stents used. A vascular stent requires surgery for insertion, and if it is not made from biodegradable materials this stent requires general surgery to remove as well. Stents that break own in the body and dissolve over time means that a second surgery is usually not necessary, because there is no need to remove the stent. Instead, it harmlessly breaks down in the body and the materials are passed out in the bodily waste materials.
Green biodegradable materials are becoming much more common in both general and reconstructive surgeries. Biodegradable polymers can be used in a number of ways, from making equipment that can stay in the body without requiring removal later on to dental devices which will slowly dissolve as you heal. The uses that these polymers are put to in the surgical suites around the country are numerous and varied.
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