Fabrication methods and property characterization of polyglycolic acid (PGA), polylactic acid (PLA), and their copolymers are reviewed. Both of these aliphatic polyesters belong to the a-hydroxy group and biodegrade in a physiological environment to monomeric acids, which are readily processed and excreted from the body. The physical and mechanical characteristics discussed include molecular weight, crystallinity, stress–strain behavior, permeability, and melting/glass transition temperatures. The most common methods of fabricating PLA–PGA materials into medical devices are described.
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