Bioresorbable polymers


Researchers at QUB have developed a process to control and optimise the degradation behaviour of bio- resorbable medical devices

Bioresorbable polymers are set to play a major role in the future development of implantable medical devices. They are well established in a number of key applications ranging from orthopaedic to cardiovascular. FDA approved bioresorbable polymers include the aliphatic polyesters, such as poly (l-lactic acid) (PLLA), polyglycolic acid (PGA) and various co-polymers thereof.

The degradation process has significant implications for the performance of bioresorbable implants in vivo. Well publicised issues include:

  • Loss in mechanical strength before significant mass loss occurs- regenerating tissue cannot in-grow and occupy the space (phase I)
  • Inflammation may occur at a late stage in the degradation process due to the burst-release of acidic degradation products (phase II)
  • When drugs or bioactive compounds are incorporated (e.g. antineoplastic agents, antibacterials, anti-inflammatories and calcium-ba fillers) their release rate is not idea.

The QUB technology of electron beam modification can be applied to finished products (similarly to sterilisation processes) and allows for through-thickness control of device degradation. This allows for:

  • Gradual transfer of loads to ingrowing tissue
  • Minimised burst-release of degradation products.
  • Controlled release of bioactives

Bioresorbable polymers - diagram  

Bioresorbable polymers

Lead Institution

Queen's University Belfast

Associated Patents

US Patent Granted …

Project Funding

We have access to a range of potential funding mechanisms to support your business collaborate with this project including

ktp Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are based on partnerships between academic groups and companies who need access to skills and knowledge in order to innovate. The academic and industrial partners jointly devise and manage a two or three year programme to achieve the advances the company needs. This programme of work is carried out in the company by a KTP Associate and the resulting relationship can be very challenging and rewarding to all parties
4k-vouchers Innovation Vouchers are designed to enable small Northern Ireland enterprises to access knowledge and expertise to develop innovative solutions to business issues. The programme provides a voucher of up to £4000 to enable small enterprises to engage with one of the 41 universities, colleges and other publicly funded research organisations throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
If you are interest and would like to find out more including potential funding mechanisms, please complete your details below