Blair, R. W.;Dunne, N. J.;Lennon, A. B.;Menary, G. H.;
The development of coronary stents from poly(L-lactic acid) requires knowledge of its mechanical properties and the effects of manufacturing processes on those properties. The effects of the biaxial stretching procedure on the mechanical and microstructural properties of poly(L-lactic acid) are hereby investigated. The mechanical properties were evaluated before and after biaxial stretching, with a Design of Experiments methodology employed to identify processing parameters that had the most significant effect on the elastic modulus and yield strength of the biaxially stretched sheets. Microstructural characterisation was performed using differential scanning calorimetry to evaluate crystallinity and thermal transitions of the biaxially stretched sheets. The results show that the mechanical properties of the stretched sheets are highly dependent on the extent of stretch ratio applied during processing; however, neither the elastic modulus nor yield strength are directly attributable to crystallinity, but are affected by the degree of amorphous orientation. The results of this study have the potential to be applied in the design of high stiffness, thin-strut polymeric expandable scaffolds for the application of coronary stents.