John Garner

PLGA and PLCL from PolySciTech used in development of biodegradable foam for advanced wound treatment

Blog Post created by John Garner on Oct 24, 2017

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One means to encourage wound healing, in either chronic or traumatic wounds, is to reduce the pressure across the wound surface to encourage local blood-flow, stimulate healing, and draw out excess fluids. This requires placing a sterile foam over the top of the wound and connecting the foam to a vacuum pump with an air-tight cover to apply vacuum to the wound. Conventionally, this is done with a non-degradable polyurethane-type foam. During this treatment, tissue often grows into the foam, which creates significant problems upon changing the dressing as fresh-grown tissue can be damaged. Recently, researchers at Wake Forest University utilized multiple PLGA, PLCL, and PCL products (PolyVivo AP037, AP081, AP036, AP073, AP013, and AP015) from PolySciTech ( to develop a degradable, compressible foam for wound therapy. This research holds promise for development of improved wound-therapy methods using foams that simply resorb into the body rather than have problems with in-growth. Read more: Warner, Harleigh J., and William D. Wagner. "Fabrication of biodegradable foams for deep tissue negative pressure treatments." Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part B: Applied Biomaterials.


“ABSTRACT: Devices for negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) rely on compressible foams operating at the tissue-device interface. Clinically used foams are nonabsorbable and if used on deep wounds or left in place for an extended period of time, excessive cell ingrowth and formation of granulation tissue into the foam may require a surgical procedure to remove the foam. Foams with fast degradation and with low immunogenicity and fibrotic response are required. Foams composed of combinations of poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA), poly(lactide-co-caprolactone) (PLCL), and polycaprolactone (PCL) were created by combined salt leaching and solvent displacement protocols. In vitro and in vivo degradation studies and mechanical properties of foams were evaluated and compared to clinically used poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) foam and PCL foams. Foams composed of PLGA (50:50 lactide:glycolide) of low molecular weight blended with PCL maintained mechanical properties and degraded significantly after 21 days of subcutaneous implantation in rats. The most ideal formulations for use in NPWT were identified as copolymeric PLGA (Mn 3000 Da) at a lactide:glycolide ratio of 50:50 combined with PCL at either a 75:25 or 50:50 ratio, and copolymeric PLGA (Mn 7500 Da) at a lactide:glycolide ratio of 50:50 combined with PCL at a 50:50 ratio. KeyWords: polyester, polycaprolactone, poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid), foams, negative pressure wound therapy”