Discuss polymers and its application to medicine
Discuss polymers and its application to medicine.
The global population is rapidly increasing thus there is an increase in health care demand to the ill and those ageing. Technological development in the field of medicine using polymers has advanced with creation of new treatment drugs and improved diagnosis. Polymers are composed of large self repeated molecules known as monomers (Förster, Leonhardi, Zöllner, & Zahn, 1975). Being synthetic and natural, the paper shall discuss the polymers and their applications in the field of medicine.
Polymers that get degraded in biological environment such as soil, river and the human body through enzymatic hydrolysis processes are known as biodegradable. Because of their advantages; light weight and being chemically stable in atmospheric conditions, they have been widely used in medical development (Förster et al., 1975). Contrary to their immersed applicable usage, when exposed to hash environmental conditions, they degrade, crack and as a result, they aren’t reliable for long term durability.
The application of biodegradable polymers for surgical use are hemostasis, sealing, adhesion to tissues and suturing; a medical process of combing the body tissues as one after a surgery operation. The commonly used natural polymers as absorbable suture are the collagen fibers obtained from the animal intestines whereas the artificially commercial polymers used for similar purpose include polyglycolide and copolymer. For bone fracture fixation, polymers are of preference to metal because on the process of healing, wound re-opening to remove metals would not be necessary (Rezwan, Chen, Blaker, & Boccaccini, 2006).
The biodegradable polymers should therefore meet following minimum requirements to be used as biomedical; should be non-toxic, non-pyrogenic and non- allergenic, effective in their performance, functionality and be durable, be sterilizable and biocompatible to the body organs and tissues (Rezwan et al., 2006)
Biodegradable polymers are too used for pharmaceutical drug delivery to the desired diseased body organ; a medical technology referred to as the drug deliver system (DDS). The process is sufficient for delivering optimal dosage and control the drug release through external stimuli, such polymers should be absorbable for they are not needed anymore after drug delivery (Rezwan et al., 2006).
Bioabsorbable polymers are required to fabricate capsulation, closure and separation to control drug delivery, occlusion for vascular embolization and contact inhibition for organ protection and adhesion prevention (Förster et al., 1975).
The process of artificially creating biological tissues used for replacement of lost tissues and those that are malfunctioned using cells combined with cell growth factors is referred to as tissue engineering. The presently used therapeutical methods of replacing large body tissues and organs by transplantation are encompassed with some challenges such as shortage of organ donors and biocompatibility of artificial organs to properly perform (Förster et al., 1975). Tissue engineering therefore provide biological organs and tissues that are bio - functional and biocompatible to the human body than the artificial organs. Moreover, the biodegradable polymers are essential in scaffolding for cellular proliferation and tissue guide; these initiate the reconstruction process of wearied skin, blood vessels and nerves reunion (Rezwan et al., 2006).
In conclusion therefore, the use of both the artificial and natural biodegradable polymers has immensely improved the technological developments in the field of medicine and thus to ensure that one achieve the maximum out of them, their application relies solemnly on each compound properties. Health care at each health centers has progressively increase with a reduction in cost.
Förster, F. J., Leonhardi, G., Zöllner, E. J., & Zahn, R. K. (1975). Separation of deoxyribonucleases (DNases) of normal human stratum corneum and psoriatic scales by micro-disc-electrophoresis. Archives for dermatological research. Archiv für dermatologische Forschung, 253(3), 213–218.
Rezwan, K., Chen, Q. Z., Blaker, J. J., & Boccaccini, A. R. (2006). Biodegradable and bioactive porous polymer/inorganic composite scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. Biomaterials, 27(18), 3413–3431. doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2006.01.039