Biocompatible Materials Based on Plasticized Poly(lactic acid), Chitosan and Rosemary Ethanolic Extract I. Effect of Chitosan on the Properties of Plasticized Poly(lactic acid) Materials.Polymers (Basel) 2019; 11(6)P
The purpose of the present study is to develop new multifunctional environmentally friendly materials having applications both in medical and food packaging fields. New poly(lactic acid) (PLA)-based multifunctional materials containing additives derived from natural resources like chitosan (CS) and rosemary extract (R) were obtained by melt mixing. Each of the selected components has its own specific properties such as: PLA is a biodegradable thermoplastic aliphatic polyester derived from renewable biomass, heat-resistant, with mechanical properties close to those of polystyrene and polyethylene terephthalate, and CS offers good antimicrobial activity and biological functions, while R significantly improves antioxidative action necessary in all applications. A synergy of their combination, an optimum choice of their ratio, and processing parameters led to high performance antimicrobial/antioxidant/biocompatible/environmentally degradable materials. The polyethylene glycol (PEG)-plasticized PLA/chitosan/powdered rosemary extract biocomposites of various compositions were characterized in respect to their mechanical and rheological properties, structure by spectroscopy, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities, and in vitro and in vivo biocompatibility. Scanning electron microscopy images evidence the morphology features added by rosemary powder presence in polymeric materials. Incorporation of additives improved elongation at break, antibacterial and antioxidant activity and also biocompatibility. Migration of bioactive components into D1 simulant is slower for PEG-plasticized PLA containing 6 wt % chitosan and 0.5 wt % rosemary extract (PLA/PEG/6CS/0.5 R) biocomposite and it occurred by a diffusion-controlled mechanism. The biocomposites show high hydrophilicity and good in vitro and in vivo biocompatibility. No hematological, biochemical and immunological modifications are induced by subcutaneous implantation of biocomposites. All characteristics of the PEG-plasticized PLA-based biocomposites recommend them as valuable materials for biomedical implants, and as well as for the design of innovative drug delivery systems. Also, the developed biocomposites could be a potential nature-derived active packaging with controlled release of antimicrobial/antioxidant compounds.