PLA-Based Nanobiocomposites with Modulated Biodegradation Rate

  • Valentina IozzinoEmail author
  • Felice De Santis
  • Valentina Volpe
  • Roberto Pantani
Part of the Lecture Notes in Bioengineering book series (LNBE)


The disposal of polymeric waste is increasingly becoming an issue of international concern. The use of biodegradable polymers is a possible strategy to face most of the problems related to the disposal of the durable (non-biodegradable) polymers. Among biodegradable polymers, polylactic acid (PLA), obtained from renewable sources, is a very attractive one, due to its relatively good processability, biocompatibility, interesting physical properties. Hydrolysis is the major depolymerization mechanism and the rate-controlling step of PLA biodegradation in compost. The propensity to degradation in the presence of water significantly limits specific industrial applications such as automotive, biomedical, electronic and electrical appliances, agriculture. Therefore the control of biodegradation rate is somewhat even more important than the characteristic of biodegradability itself. In this scenario, it is critical to find additives able to modulate the biodegradation rate of biodegradable polymers, in relationship to the expected lifetime. Since the kinetics of hydrolysis strongly depend on the pH of the hydrolyzing medium, in this work some fillers able to control the pH of water when it diffuses inside the polymer were added to PLA. In particular, fumaric acid, a bio- and eco- friendly additive, and magnesium hydroxide, a common antiacid, were used. These fillers were added to the material using a melt-compounding technique, suitable for industrial application. The results obtained are encouraging toward the possibility of effectively controlling the degradation rate.


Polylactic acid PLA Nanocomposite Hydrolytic degradation Magnesium hydroxide Fumaric acid 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valentina Iozzino
    • 1
    Email author
  • Felice De Santis
    • 1
  • Valentina Volpe
    • 1
  • Roberto Pantani
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Industrial EngineeringUniversity of SalernoFiscianoItaly

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