Materials Science

Oxygen on Demand

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Science  14 Sep 2007:
Vol. 317, Issue 5844, pp. 1471-1473
DOI: 10.1126/science.317.5844.1471d

In the design of artificial tissues or repair of large wounds, one critical limiting factor is the availability of the oxygen necessary for vascularization and healing to occur. To skirt slow oxygen diffusion, Harrison et al. have explored the possibility of creating a material that can generate oxygen in situ. Sodium percarbonate was mixed with poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) in solution, and films were solution-cast and slowly dried to prevent the formation of voids. In a moist environment, steady oxygen production was observed for 24 hours and then gradually slowed and ended after 70 hours in total. PLGA films were placed under dorsal skin flaps in mice and then observed over a period of 1 week. Those containing sodium percarbonate exhibited a significant decrease in flap necrosis over the first 3 days, along with less visible tissue damage and greater mechanical strength. However, there was no benefit after a week in comparison with untreated PLGA films. The authors are seeking to extend the oxygen release time, either through encapsulation of the sodium percarbonate or through the use of different oxygen-generating chemical components. — MSL

Biomaterials 28, 4628 (2007).

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