Lactic Acid Homopolymer
Title: Lactic Acid Homopolymer
CAS Registry Number: 26023-30-3; 26161-42-2 (L-form); 26917-25-9 (D-form)
CAS Name: Poly[oxy(1-methyl-2-oxo-1,2-ethanediyl)]
Additional Names: poly(lactic acid); PLA
Trademarks: EcoPLA (Cargill Dow); Lacea (Mitsui Toatsu); Lactron (Kanebo); Lacty (Shimadzu)
Literature References: Biodegradable thermoplastic polymer which can be derived from entirely renewable resources; degrades in vivo to lactic acid. Prepn: W. H. Carothers et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 54, 761 (1932); J. Kleine, H.-H. Kleine, Makromol. Chem. 30, 23 (1959). Synthesis of L-form by lactide ring-opening polymerization: H. R. Kricheldorf, S.-R. Lee, Polymer 36, 2995 (1995); by lactic acid melt/solid polycondensation: R. Miyoshi et al., Int. Polym. Process. 11, 320 (1996); S.-I. Moon et al., High Perform. Polym. 13, S189 (2001). Kinetics and mechanism of ring-opening polymerization: W. Dittrich, R. C. Schulz, Angew. Makromol. Chem. 15, 109 (1971). Comparison of properties from different synthetic methods: M. Ajioka et al., J. Environ. Polym. Degrad. 3, 225 (1995). Comparison of melt-spun and solution-spun L-form fibers: B. Eling et al., Polymer 23, 1587 (1982). Thermal properties: K. Jamshidi et al., ibid. 29, 2229 (1988). 13C solid state NMR study of crystallinity and morphology: K. A. M. Thakur et al., Macromolecules 29, 8844 (1996). 1H NMR determn of lactide composition: idem et al., Anal. Chem. 69, 4303 (1997). Study to assess potential use in surgical implants: R. K. Kulkarni et al., Arch. Surg. 93, 839 (1966). Brief reviews: M. Matsui, Chem. Fibers Int. 46, 318-319 (1996); M. Dartee et al., ibid. 50, 546, 548, 551 (2000). Review of properties and uses: M. Vert et al., J. Macromol. Sci.-Pure Appl. Chem. A32, 787-796 (1995); of material design systems: M. Spinu et al., ibid. A33, 1497-1530 (1996); of biocompatibility and clinical orthopaedic applications: K. A. Athanasiou et al., Biomaterials 17, 93-102 (1996); of mfr, properties and commercial applications: J. Lunt, Polym. Degrad. Stab. 59, 145-152 (1998); of use in drug delivery with polyglycolide: R. A. Jain, ibid. 21, 2475-2490 (2000).
Properties: Glassy material. mp 175°. Glass transition temperature: 55-60°. d 1.25 g/cm3. n 1.45. Contact angle: 0.254.
Melting point: Glassy material. mp 175°
Index of refraction: n 1.45
Density: d 1.25 g/cm3
Use: In packaging (primarily food), biomedical, film and fiber applications.

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