Glycolic Acid for the Medical Industry
Glycolic acid high purity 70% grade is used for various medical applications. Polyglycolic acid (PGA) and poly lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) sutures were introduced in the 1970s as the first synthetic absorbable synthetic sutures and are still used today.
In addition to use as a bio-absorbable suture material, PGA and PLGA have been applied to:
- Absorbable staples, screws, meshes, and stents
- Anastomosis rings, pins, rods, plates, and screws
- Tissue engineering, including non-woven meshes
- Controlled drug delivery
How Glycolic Acid Works
PGA’s hydrolytic instability stems from the ester linkage in its backbone. It biodegrades in two steps to
Sutures manufactured with PGA lose half their strength after two weeks and 100% of their strength after four weeks. The body will absorb the polymer/monomer completely within four to six months.
Features and Benefits of Glycolic Acid Used in the Medical Field
For more than two decades, PLGA has also been used to create devices for drug delivery of small molecule drugs, proteins, and macromolecules in commercial and research uses. It's also used for various tissue engineering applications because:
- It is biodegradable and biocompatible
- It has tunable mechanical properties
- It exhibits a wide range of erosion times
- It is an FDA-approved polymer