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  • UV-Vis Spectroscopy: Ultraviolet-vis spectroscopy is a useful technique for quantitative estimation of species that absorb in the UV-visible region.  This is also useful for the estimation of impurities that absorb in the UV-vis region.

 

  • High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC): This technique is used for purity analysis of small molecules (e.g. monomers and precursors), analysis of degradation products of polymeric biomaterials, and analysis of drug released from various drug-containing matrices. A new Waters Associates Empower HPLC acquired this year is fully automated and has a capacity of analyzing 120 samples.

 

  • Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC): Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) is fundamental to the characterization of polymeric biomaterials, since molecular weight, Mw distribution, and polydispersity are important parameters that affect the properties of the polymeric biomaterials.  This is also used to determine the degradation rate of polymers under in vitro and in vivo conditions.

 

  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC):  Differential scanning calorimetry is mainly used for the determination of glass transition temperature (Tg) and melting temperature (Tm) of polymers. DSC is also used routinely to determine the purity of monomers and other small molecules.

 

  • Mechanical Tester (MTS):  The Syntec 5/D mechanical tester with environmental chamber is routinely used for testing films, fibers, cylindrical pins and porous scaffolds. These equipment enables measurement of mechanical properties of biomaterials (porous scaffolds, cylindrical pins, thin fibers, films, etc) under physiological conditions.

 

  • Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation:  Real time kinetics of adsorption phenomena can be detected with the quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D, Q-sense, Gothenburg, Sweden). A quartz crystal sensor is made to oscillate by applying an AC-field at a frequency close to the resonance frequency of the quartz crystal, which is usually in the MHz range.  The strength and the uniqueness of this newly developed technique is the simultaneous monitoring of the changes in the resonant frequency (and in several overtones) and in the dissipation induced by the deposition of a film or a viscoelastic material (polymer film or protein layer) on the crystal sensor. The new high-throughput E4 instrument measures 4 samples simultaneously where frequency and dissipation changes are modeled applying a Voigt – based model allowing for the determination of film properties such as thickness and viscoelastic properties.

 

  • Thermogravimetric Analyzer (TGA):  Thermogravimetric analyzer has two important applications-determination of volatile components in a material and the determination of the decomposition temperature.  The microbalance of the TGA can very accurately determine the weight of a test material as a function of temperature.