New polymer coatings for food-contact surfaces resist microbes

27-Jul-16

Polylactic acid (PLA), is a biodegradable polymer commonly used to make a variety of products from disposable cups to medical implants to drug delivery systems. A team of Brown University researchers has shown that by treating PLA at various temperatures and pressures, they can induce a new polymer phase in the material -- one that could possibly decrease the rate at which it degrades. "It's an exciting finding from the standpoint of basic science, in that we've found a new polymer phase and have identified a method for inducing it," said Edith Mathiowitz, a professor of medical science and engineering at Brown. "In terms of applications, the polymer we worked with in this study has many uses, and we believe the properties we have discovered now will allow us to make it better." 

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