The benefit of capillary rheometry in the fabrication of polymer scaffolds for tissue engineering

Polymers are extensively used for tissue repair and replacement in the form of implantable biomedical scaffolds. Examples include surgical meshes, cardiovascular stents, nerve conduits, and bone regeneration scaffolds and fixation devices. Thermal processing is a common denominator in all these applications. Rather than discuss use of the rheometer to study polymer rheology, on which a large body of literature exists, the webinar will focus on the use of capillary rheometer as a tool for optimizing the process parameters with a few grams of polymer before using up hundreds of grams in extruders. Capillary rheometer is indispensable in the evaluation of degradable polymers that have a tight window for processing. We have taken advantage of the temperature stability of the rheometer to assess the thermal stability of polymers, and drugs and processing aids that are incorporated into polymers. 

A rheometer can also be used as a small-scale extruder to screen a large number of polymers by extruding ~ 100 m diameter fibers from which their mechanical and degradation behavior can be ascertained. We have also used rheology to referee the molecular weight determinations of a series of polymers. Some examples of recent successes using the rheometer in our laboratory are the optimization of the conditions for extrusion of fibers from our tyrosine derived polymers, extrusion of ~ 5 mm rods for machining into bone fixation screws, evaluation polymers for 3D printing applications, and for extruding the 1.75 mm diameter filaments for use with 3D printers that use fusion


Guest Presenter: Professor Sanjeeva Murthy -
Sanjeeva Murthy, Associate Research Professor at the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials (NJCBM), is a materials scientist with expertise in polymers, bio-materials and biological structures. His current activities at the lab include testing and characterization of new polymers for regenerative medicine, and fabricating them into devices, scaffolds for tissue repair and replacement, biomedical implants, nerve regeneration scaffolds and drug delivery systems. A common denominator in all NJCBM’s research projects is the processing of polymers into various forms, fibers, pins and films.

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Who should attend?
Anybody using polymer extrusion processes who would like to know how capillary rheometry can be used to optimize processing conditions.

Why attend?
To learn how capillary rheometry can be used to screen large numbers of polymers for stability and processing prior to larger scale extrusion, thereby saving time and money.

What will you learn?
How capillary rheometry can be used to screen biodegradable polymers and additives for thermal stability and process-ability with just a few grams of sample.