Moisture sorption, transport, and hydrolytic degradation in polylactide

Richard A. Cairncross, Jeffrey G. Becker, Shri Ramaswamy, Ryan O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Management of moisture penetration and hydrolytic degradation of polylactide (PLA) is extremely important during the manufacturing, shipping, storage, and end-use of PLA products. Moisture transport, crystallization, and degradation in PLA have been measured through a variety of experimental techniques including size-exclusion chromatography differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray diffraction. Quartz crystal microbalance and dynamic vapor sorption experiments have also been used to measure moisture sorption isotherms in PLA films with varying crystallinity. A surprising result is that, within the accuracy of the experiments, crystalline and amorphous PLA films exhibit identical sorption isotherms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)774-785
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006


  • Bio-based polymers
  • Biodegradable polymers
  • Diffusion
  • Hydrolysis
  • PLA
  • Polylactic acid

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