In recent years, the development of biodegradable polymer materials and/or obtained from renewable sources has become a major focus of research in the packaging and biomedical areas. In this context, it has to be highlighted the use of poly(lactic acid), PLA, a biodegradable and biocompatible thermoplastic obtained from renewable sources and with similar properties when compared with petroleum-based polymers. The inclusion of nanoparticles (NPs) is an efficient alternative to improve the thermal and mechanical properties of polymers, producing innovative materials. This research project proposes to develop bionanocomposites of PLA with sepiolite (SEP), which present great potential for biomedical applications. The compounds will be obtained by melt blending, aiming an efficient dispersion of the nanoparticle in the polymeric matrix. The methodology includes the characterization of the thermal, rheological and mechanical behavior of the bionanocomposites with different SEP contents. The results will be evaluated and correlated in terms of structure, properties and processing.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: