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Polymers 2018, 10(3), 288; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10030288

Tube Expansion Deformation Enables In Situ Synchrotron X-ray Scattering Measurements during Extensional Flow-Induced Crystallization of Poly l-Lactide Near the Glass Transition

1
Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
2
Division of Sustainable Materials, ENEA, Centro Ricerche Portici, 80055 Portici, Italy
3
Division of Photovoltaics and Smart Networks, Innovative Device Unit, Centro Ricerche Portici, 80055 Portici, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 February 2018 / Revised: 4 March 2018 / Accepted: 6 March 2018 / Published: 8 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Processing-Structure-Properties Relationships in Polymers)
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Abstract

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, claiming over seven million lives each year. Permanent metal stents, the current standard of care for CHD, inhibit arterial vasomotion and induce serious complications such as late stent thrombosis. Bioresorbable vascular scaffolds (BVSs) made from poly l-lactide (PLLA) overcome these complications by supporting the occluded artery for 3–6 months and then being completely resorbed in 2–3 years, leaving behind a healthy artery. The BVS that recently received clinical approval is, however, relatively thick (~150 µm, approximately twice as thick as metal stents ~80 µm). Thinner scaffolds would facilitate implantation and enable treatment of smaller arteries. The key to a thinner scaffold is careful control of the PLLA microstructure during processing to confer greater strength in a thinner profile. However, the rapid time scales of processing (~1 s) defy prediction due to a lack of structural information. Here, we present a custom-designed instrument that connects the strain-field imposed on PLLA during processing to in situ development of microstructure observed using synchrotron X-ray scattering. The connection between deformation, structure and strength enables processing–structure–property relationships to guide the design of thinner yet stronger BVSs. View Full-Text
Keywords: PLLA; bioresorbable vascular scaffolds; stretch blow molding; biaxial elongation; SAXS; WAXS PLLA; bioresorbable vascular scaffolds; stretch blow molding; biaxial elongation; SAXS; WAXS
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Ramachandran, K.; Miscioscia, R.; Filippo, G.D.; Pandolfi, G.; Di Luccio, T.; Kornfield, J.A. Tube Expansion Deformation Enables In Situ Synchrotron X-ray Scattering Measurements during Extensional Flow-Induced Crystallization of Poly l-Lactide Near the Glass Transition. Polymers 2018, 10, 288.

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