Tailoring and Assessing Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (Eva)/Organoclay Nanocomposites for Biomedical Applications
The growth in the medical industry has encouraged the innovation and development of implantable medical devices. New biomedical materials are being investigated, including those elastomeric materials required for mimicking human soft tissue. Soft, flexible, and biocompatible polymers such as thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) have been incorporated with nanofiller to enhance their performance as biomaterials. In this chapter, we review current researches on EVA nanocomposites incorporating ‘pre-dispersed’ organically modified mont-morillonite for use as insulation materials in the implantable biomedical devices. Besides of having a low cost, the engineered nanoclay has low 4cytotoxicity level, can provide toughening, plasticizing, thermal, and bio-stabilizing effects to host polymer, making the resulting polymer nanocomposite tougher, more flexible, durable, and thermally stable. Here, we also highlight the advantages of EVA-based nanocomposites and their potential to replace non-recyclable silicone elastomer for implant applications. Optimizing the nanofiller dispersion and interfacial interactions between the nanofillers and the host copolymer are critical to achieving the desired nanocomposite performance as implantable materials.