Polymeric Biomaterials have been emerging in the market enormously. They are widely utilized for therapy, medical diagnosis, or as a part of artificial organs. There are two types of the polymeric biomaterial; one which is composed of a natural polymer and the other which is made up of synthetic polymers. The synthetic polymers are mostly preferred due to its low cost and ease of processing. A good polymeric biomaterial must offer biocompatibility, stabilizability and ease of manufacture. As we see that these polymers are utilized as a part of the biological components of a human body, any flaw in its quality will not only push down the brand but can risk lives. In this blog section, we will share details about the accelerated ageing test conducted for evaluation of the longevity of these substances using Xenon test chambers.


Polymeric Biomaterials and their Applications

The polymer-based biomaterials are used in numerous applications such as medical disposable supplies, a prosthetic material, dental material, implants, dressing, polymeric drug delivery, tissue engineering product etc.

The majority forms of polymers which are utilized in such applications are:

  • Polyvinylchloride (PVC) - An Amorphous & rigid polymer with high melt viscosity. It is made flexible and soft by the adding plasticizers. It is used for manufacturing blood and solution bag, surgical packaging etc.
  • Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) – It is resistant to inorganic solutions and has excellent optical properties. It is used for manufacturing of blood pump and reservoir, implantable ocular lenses, bone cement etc.
  • Polypropylene (PP) – It has the high tensile strength and is an excellent stress-cracking resistant. It is majorly used for manufacturing of disposable syringes, blood oxygenator membrane, artificial vascular grafts etc.
  • Polystyrene (PS) – It is an unmodified general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) which exhibits good transparency, ease of fabrication, thermal stability, and relatively high modulus. It is used in tissue culture flasks, vacuum canisters, filterware etc.

The accelerated ageing test

The polymeric material utilized in biomedical procedures tends to go through differential conditions such as temperature changes, pressure alterations, and the difference in moisture content. These type of conditions when experience at a prolonged time can cause failure in the polymer material and in case of biomaterial these failure can be fatal. Therefore, using an accelerated ageing machine such as Xenon test chamber will be the ultimate solution.

It is an ideal testing device which is used to verify the properties of polymeric products when exposed to different environmental conditions. The testing device is equipped with a Xenon light bulb which produces an energy spectrum which implicated actual sunlight and emitted the colour temperature of 6000K. The Xenon bulb has a stable characteristic of the light spectrum that ensures that the xenon bulb will never change throughout the life. The chamber is used to test the weathering resistance of coated polymers, plastics, and elastomers.

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