Aliphatic polyesters are potential sustainable alternatives to PVC for use in medical devices, such as IV bags. Our candidate replacement of PVC-based IV bags use P4MCL, a sustainable polymer with demonstrated uses in mechanically robust materials. The goal of our project was to compare the mechanical and biocompatibility characteristics of P4MCL/PLLA star block copolymer TPEs with commercial PVC-based IV bags. P4MCL/PLLA TPEs were synthesized according to previously reported methods. Uniaxial tensile testing was conducted pre- and post-autoclave. Impact and tear resistance testing was performed on non-autoclaved specimens according to ASTM standards. Cytotoxicity was examined using NIH 3T3 Fibroblasts with an AlamarBlue assay. A student’s t-test was used to compare results with statistical significance of P < 0.05. PVC tended to be stiffer but P4MCL/PLLA was more extensible. The tensile properties for the P4MCL-based material did not change after autoclaving. When compared to PVC-based IV bags, the P4MCL/PLLA TPE demonstrated a lower peak force and average force but a greater elongation at break and total absorbed energy (P<0.05). P4MCL/PLLA, unlike PVC-based materials with DEHP plasticizer, was non-cytotoxic. In summary, P4MCL/PLLA has desirable mechanical and biocompatibility advantages compared to PVC making the material a potential sustainable alternative for medical grade plastics.

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