ERIC Number: EJ1161201
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Polymeric Medical Sutures: An Exploration of Polymers and Green Chemistry
Knutson, Cassandra M.; Schneiderman, Deborah K.; Yu, Ming; Javner, Cassidy H.; Distefano, Mark D.; Wissinger, Jane E.
Journal of Chemical Education, v94 n11 p1761-1765 Nov 2017
With new K-12 national science standards emerging, there is an increased need for experiments that integrate engineering into the context of society. Here we describe a chemistry experiment that combines science and engineering principles while introducing basic polymer and green chemistry concepts. Using medical sutures as a platform for investigating polymers, students explore the physical and mechanical properties of threads drawn from poly(e-caprolactone) samples of different molecular masses and actual purchased absorbable and nonabsorbable medical sutures. An inquiry-based part of the experiment tasks students with designing their own experiment to probe the potential of melt blending poly(e-caprolactone) with commercially available polylactide products in order to modify the properties of the "sutures" drawn. Through these lessons students gain an appreciation for the importance of plastics in our society and how scientists are working to develop more sustainable alternatives. Overall, this laboratory experiment provides a feasible, versatile, sophisticated laboratory experience that engages students in a relatable topic and meets many of the Next Generation Science Standards.
Descriptors: Plastics, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods, Standards, Molecular Structure, Medicine, Engineering, Scientific Concepts, Cooperative Learning, Introductory Courses, High School Students, Undergraduate Students, Science Experiments, Organic Chemistry, Conservation (Environment), Laboratory Experiments
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://pubs.acs.org/jchemeduc
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: DMR1559833