Biopolymers and Their Uses in the Medical Field
All too often, plastics get a bad rep. They are well known for hurting the environment, but most people don’t realize how many biodegradable polymers are available. They are made from plants instead of oil, which allows the plastic to break down within weeks instead of centuries. This means that they won’t accumulate in landfills and continue to cause problems. They could also provide pain relief, help minimize scarring, and advance the medical field. Biopolymers can do so without causing more medical issues to patients and dissolve naturally as wounds heal.
New biopolymers are being engineered to create eating utensils, straws, and even plates that degrade within a matter of weeks and won’t build up in landfills. However, they have been being used in the medical field for many years now, in both pharmaceutical and biomedical applications. It is often used as wound healing materials and wound dressings but has also been used as scaffolds in tissue engineering to minimize scarring when treating burns. Patients who have excessive soft tissue loss often need an autologous flap reconstruction. This is where tissue is removed from the wound site and it would beneficial to have soft tissue replacement readily available in the case of a tumor resection or physical trauma. It is also expected that biopolymers will start contributing to advancements in designs for engineered human skin.
Some of the most recent studies show that biopolymers could deliver benefits in areas that are unexpected – for instance, relief in joint pain in a patient’s knees. This is done using polymer gel. It is used to reinforce the worn out cartilage in a patient’s joints in order to ease the pain of arthritis. Reinforcing the cartilage in the joints to create healthy cartilage acts as a cushion in the joint and reduces the amount of pain that patients feel.
Biopolymers have many incredible uses and is becoming more common as our society advances. New ones are in the process of being created every passing day. Plastic Service Center can assist you with your polymer needs, both medical and otherwise. Call us today to discuss your plastic needs!