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Fabrication of a polymer-based biodegradable stent using a CO2 laser

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This paper deals with CO2 laser machining of biodegradable polymers. We investigate the influence of laser parameters on the quality and geometry of cuts made in poly(l-lactide) and poly(l-lactide-co-glycolide). Because of the thermal character of material removal, liquid phase occurs and heat propagates into the material, changing its properties near the cutting zone. For this reason, the mechanical properties of laser cut samples were examined. Oar-shaped samples cut with a CO2 laser were compared with injection moulded samples and also with those manufactured using a KrF excimer laser. Samples with dimensions comparable to those of stent struts were examined in a uniaxial quasi-static tensile test. The influence of laser power and scanning speed on the geometry of cuts was investigated. Narrow cuts (120 µm) were made in 250 µm-thick polymer sheets. A tubular stent based on poly(l-lactide) was designed and then fabricated using a CO2 laser. We noted that this method allows achieving stent struts that are 300 µm wide; however, for such narrow elements the influence of the heat-affected zone can be critical. We believe that this technique has a potential to become an alternative, cost-efficient method of manufacturing biodegradable stents.
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Bibliogr. 29 poz., rys., tab., wykr.
  • Faculty of Microsystem Electronics and Photonics, Wroclaw University of Technology, Wyb. Wyspianskiego 27, 50-370 Wroclaw, Poland
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