Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) was modified using collagen through a grafting method to improve its biocompatibility and degradability. The carboxylic group at the open end of PLA was transferred into the reactive acylchlorided group by a reaction with phosphorus pentachloride. Then, collagen-modified PLA (collagen-PLA) was prepared by the reaction between the reactive acylchlorided group and amino/hydroxyl groups on collagen. Subsequently, the structure of collagen-PLA was confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled fluorescence spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and DSC analyses. Finally, some properties of collagen-PLA, such as hydrophilicity, cell compatibility and degradability were characterized. Results showed that collagen had been grafted onto the PLA with 5% graft ratio. Water contact angle and water absorption behavior tests indicated that the hydrophilicity of collagen-PLA was significantly higher than that of PLA. The cell compatibility of collagen-PLA with mouse embryonic fibroblasts (3T3) was also significantly better than PLA in terms of cell morphology and cell proliferation, and the degradability of PLA was also improved after introducing collagen. Results suggested that collagen-PLA was a promising candidate for biomedical applications.
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