Generation of microcellular biodegradable polycaprolactone foams in supercritical carbon dioxide



Microcellular foaming of low-Tg biodegradable and biocompatible polycaprolactone (PCL) in supercritical CO2 has been studied. The purpose is to apply microcellular materials to drug containers and medical materials for artificial skin or bone. Effects of a series of variable factors on the foam structures, such as saturation temperature, saturation pressure, saturation time, and depressurization time were studied. The experimental results indicate that, while keeping other variables unchanged, higher saturation temperature leads to reduced bulk densities and different saturation pressures result in different nucleation processes. In addition, saturation time has a profound effect on the structure of the product. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 94: 593–597, 2004