Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://localhost:8080/xmlui/handle/123456789/4430
Title: Thermoreversible Gels of Poly(l-lactide)/Poly(d-lactide) Blends: A Facile Route to Prepare Blend α-Form and Stereocomplex Aerogels
Authors: Krishnan, V G
Praveena, N M
Raj, R B A
Mohan, K
Gowd, E B
Keywords: polylactide
crystal complex
solvent exchange
Issue Date: 10-Feb-2023
Publisher: ACS Publications
Citation: ACS Applied Polymer Materials;5(2):1556-1564
Abstract: The demand for biodegradable polymer-based aerogels with superior comprehensive properties has escalated in various fields of application, such as packaging, tissue engineering, thermal insulation, acoustic insulation, and environmental remediation. In this work, we report a facile strategy for enhancing the thermal and mechanical properties of polylactide (PLA) aerogels through the stereocomplex (SC) formation between the opposite enantiomers. Thermoreversible gelation of poly(L-lactide) (PLLA)/poly(D-lactide) (PDLA) blend in crystal complex forming solvent and the subsequent thermal annealing of the gel resulted in crystalline pure SC gel, which, upon solvent exchange with water and freeze-drying, furnished robust SC aerogel. It was found that the SC content could be tuned by varying the annealing temperature of the blend gel and that we could prepare blend aerogels with pure α crystalline form and a mixture of α and SC. Crystalline pure blend α aerogel showed fibrillar morphology, whereas SC aerogel exhibited unique interwoven ball-like microstructures interconnected by PLLA and PDLA chains. The structural evolution during SC formation at the molecular level and the micrometer length scale instigated better properties in the PLA aerogels. When compared with the homopolymer aerogels, the crystalline pure SC aerogel showed an enhanced melting temperature of 227 ± 2 °C (50 °C higher), better thermal stability (onset of degradation was delayed by ∼40 °C), enhanced mechanical strength (compression modulus of 3.3 MPa), and better sound absorption ability. The biodegradability of PLA and the superior properties induced by stereocomplexation make these aerogels potential candidates for applications such as tissue engineering scaffolds, packaging, acoustic insulation, etc.
Appears in Collections:2023

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