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Keywords:

  • (bio)degradation;
  • biopolymer;
  • impedance spectroscopy;
  • monitoring;
  • poly(D,L,-lactic acid)

Abstract

Investigation of the degradation kinetics of biodegradable polymers is essential for the development of implantable biomedical devices with predicted biodegradability. In this work, an impedimetric sensor has been applied for real-time and in situ monitoring of degradation processes of biopolymers. The sensor consists of two platinum thin-film electrodes covered by a polymer film to be studied. The benchmark biomedical polymer poly(D,L-lactic acid) (PDLLA) was used as a model system. PDLLA films were deposited on the sensor structure from a polymer solution by using the spin-coating method. The degradation kinetics of PDLLA films have been studied in alkaline solutions of pH 9 and 12 by means of an impedance spectroscopy (IS) method. Any changes in a polymer capacitance/resistance induced by water uptake and/or polymer degradation will modulate the global impedance of the polymer-covered sensor that can be used as an indicator of the polymer degradation. The degradation rate can be evaluated from the time-dependent impedance spectra. As expected, a faster degradation has been observed for PDLLA films exposed to pH 12 solution.