Polylactic acid, known as PLA, is a biodegradable and biocompatible polymer derived from lactic acid. Lactic acid is obtained through the fermentation of natural sugars, such as corn starch or sugar cane, by lactic acid bacteria.
What is polylactic acid
PLA is a type of thermoplastic polymer, which means that it can be easily molded when heated and cooled rapidly. This property makes PLA widely used in manufacturing applications, such as 3D printing, films and coatings, disposable packaging, medical products and textiles.
One of the main advantages of PLA is its ability to degrade naturally and safely in the environment. Through an industrial composting process, it can be broken down into carbon dioxide and water in a relatively short period of time. This makes it a popular choice for reducing the environmental impact of conventional plastic products.
It also has applications in medicine, such as sutures and controlled drug release devices. Its biocompatibility and ability to degrade in the human body without leaving toxic residues make it suitable for various medical uses.
Polylactic acid in aesthetic medicine
In the field of aesthetic medicine, polylactic acid is used as a dermal filler or biostimulator to treat wrinkles, expression lines and loss of facial volume. Two main applications of PLA in this sector are detailed below:
- As a dermal filler, PLA is injected into the skin to treat wrinkles and fine lines. It has a gel-like appearance and restores volume and firmness lost due to cellular aging. The gel consists of microspheres that provide structural support. It also stimulates collagen production. As it is biodegradable, it is reabsorbed by the body and the newly created collagen occupies the space left by the gel.
- Polylactic acid is also used to perform a non-surgical facelift through injections in specific areas of the face. They are intended to tighten the skin to improve its appearance. As in the previous application, PLA stimulates collagen production in the long term, which contributes to firmer and rejuvenated skin.
The use of PLA in aesthetics and aesthetic medicine also has the advantage of being a biocompatible and biodegradable material. This means that the risk of adverse reactions and long-term complications is reduced. However, unlike some fast-acting dermal fillers that provide immediately visible results, results with PLA can be more gradual. It may take several weeks or even months for significant improvement to be seen as collagen production is stimulated.
PLA is effective in cases where the goal is volume loss and improved skin texture. But it may not be the best choice for areas where deeper wrinkle or crease correction is required.
In any case, the choice of dermal filler will depend on the professional’s assessment, as other products such as hyaluronic acid also have their disadvantages.
Commitment to quality
This text on polylactic acid has been prepared by professional writers. In addition, we have relied on experts in medicine, engineering and aesthetics as a source of information, as well as specific studies to maintain the quality of what we publish.
At Sisneo Bioscience we are committed to publish truthful and contrasted information. And to update or correct it as soon as new knowledge becomes available.
Among others, we have used the following sources:
- Iris Rosalía Campozano Mendoza y María Antoniera Riera. «Ácido poliláctico: una revisión de los métodos de producción y sus aplicaciones» en Publicaciones en Ciencias y Tecnología. 2022 Enero-junio vol.16 n.1. pp 42-53. doi: /10.5281/zenodo.6908007
- Herryman Munilla, Maribel y Blanco Carracedo Gladys. «Ácido láctico y poliláctico: Situación actual y tendencias» en ICIDCA. Vol. XXXIX, no. 1, 2005, pp.49-59. Redalyc https://www.redalyc.org/articulo.oa?id=223120659007