Langmuir Monolayers as Tools to Study Biodegradable Polymer Implant Materials


Langmuir monolayers provide a fast and elegant route to analyze the degradation behavior of biodegradable polymer materials. In contrast to bulk materials, diffusive transport of reactants and reaction products in the (partially degraded) material can be neglected at the air–water interface, allowing for the study of molecular degradation kinetics in experiments taking less than a day and in some cases just a few minutes, in contrast to experiments with bulk materials that can take years. Several aspects of the biodegradation behavior of polymer materials, such as the interaction with biomolecules and degradation products, are directly observable. Expanding the technique with surface‐sensitive instrumental techniques enables evaluating the evolution of the morphology, chemical composition, and the mechanical properties of the degrading material in situ. The potential of the Langmuir monolayer degradation technique as a predictive tool for implant degradation when combined with computational methods is outlined, and related open questions and strategies to overcome these challenges are pointed out.
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