Direct micro-patterning of biodegradable polymers using ultraviolet and femtosecond lasers

Aguilar, Carlos Andres
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Biodegradable polymeric materials have had a significant impact on medical technology, greatly enhancing the efficacy of many existing drugs and enabling the construction of entirely new therapeutic modalities. The development of next-generation micro and nano medical devices using biodegradable polymers relies heavily on advanced fabrication techniques. We present a general fabrication process involving the use of ultraviolet and femtosecond lasers for micro-machining the biodegradable polymers, poly ([epsilon]- caprolactone) (PCL) and Poly (glycolic acid) (PGA). The surface profile and morphology of the polymers were studied after laser direct patterning using a scanning electron microscope (SEM), surface profilometer, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Fourier Transform InfraRed Spectroscopy in Attenuated Total Reflectance mode (FTIR-ATR). The influence of the laser effects on the degradation characteristics of the biodegradable polymers are also reported and verified through In-vitro degradation tests after laser ablation. Our results demonstrate a rapid, flexible, reproducible and chemical-free approach for generating high-resolution micro-patterns on biodegradable polymers