3D printing assisted conceptual design of biodegradable PLA surgical staple with self-tightening function
Yeo, Eugene Jun Hao
Date of Issue2014
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Shape memory materials (SMMs) are materials that possess the ability of recovering to its original shape from a seemingly plastic deformation when a particular stimulus is applied. This unique property of SMM is termed as shape memory effect (SME). This exclusive SME property can be used widely in many fields of work, namely biomedical field that is of relevance to the report. The material of primary concern is polylactic acid (PLA). PLA is an aliphatic polyester, and belongs to the category of shape memory polymer (SMP) that is actually one of the five main sub class of SMM. PLA has attracted attention increasingly in the recent years due to its SME, excellent mechanical properties, outstanding biocompatibility and biodegradability. It can degrade in the body into non-harmful and non-toxic compounds over time, which is a highly sought after trait in any biomedical tools. By utilising the SME present in PLA, the report focuses on designing a surgical staple that is capable of closing internal lacerations in the human body. The design is based on PLA’s SME such that the typical process of stapling can be done without using the crimp base area of the stapler. Doing so would allow the staple to be used in minimally invasive internal surgery for closing of wounds. The report studies the properties of SME in PLA and SMP as a whole and addresses the limitations of using PLA as a surgical staple. Designing and fabrication of the surgical staple along with the testing and simulation of application of the staples ensues. The final section concludes the project and reveals possible exploration of future works of PLA in the biomedical field.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University